Can’t Cope Won’t Cope took Ireland by storm, because, for once, fiction was not portraying an unbelievable fantasy. We love the likes of Sex and the City, and Girls and even Made in Chelsea when we really want to hurt ourselves. Yet the fact is, these fictions are indeed dream worlds that do not portray the real, disgusting humans that we are.
Preissner’s world, on the other hand defies these boundaries. It rids us of the cage in which we find ourselves. The beauty of difference is portrayed, the difference of the realness that makes life so special is illustrated through a simple yet complex relationship between two Irish girls. I am in awe of the sheer reality my fellow Cork girl nailed through the screen.
Can’t Cope, Won’t Cope is now set to be released to U.K audiences through BBC three while Preissner excites us with the news of a second series.
I was honoured when she agreed to meet me for a Starbucks and spill the herbal tea / vanilla soya latte on the greatness that is her series.
I ask her, What is it like to be a woman today? Can you tell me in three adjectives?
You say three adjectives and I’m like what the fuck is an adjective again, hang on a tick…
It’s, okay, so it’s confronting, it is, somehow, there’s a real responsibility to it but I can’t think of the word.
No, no let me think..
No it’s less majoritive. Okay I can’t think of the word but you know what it’s an exciting time. It’s an exciting time to be a woman.
I think everything changes and nothing changes. I think we have come a long way but we do have a long way to go but I think that progress is glacial and I don’t think that that is necessarily a bad thing. People protest that they want change now and that is very admirable but I think that change is something that needs to happen quite slowly so that it is not too much of a culture shock, so that it is not too confronting for women.
I think that right now, we are at the start of a big change, and maybe we’ll look back in ten or twenty years and go “Oh look this is where it started”; Can’t Cope Won’t Cope, That was the start of you know, seeing realistic women on screen.
Was it scary to be at the start of something new?
It means you have to shout louder and it means that you have to work harder for the change but I think it’s a very important thing and I think that it is something that we will look back at and be very very proud of.
One of the things that I kind of live by is that I don’t protest, I try not to shout loud at all. I think that it is equally valid to protest by shifting the status quo, very very slightly and just refusing to accept the norm is enough sometimes.
How did Can’t Cope, Won’t Cope come about?
I didn’t pitch the idea to RTE myself, I pitched it to the production company that made it and people were very very receptive to it I have to say. The producer of it is a woman and she was very excited by the idea and actually RTE, the people who were working on it, Bill Malone and Eddie Doyle at the time, were also very very receptive to it and at that time we didn’t have to fight, I didn’t have to convince anyone, I think they saw the scripts, they saw the dialogue and I think that it got accepted and it got produced because of the quality of the writing, equally as much as the female lead version of itself.
It wasn’t until it was made and it came out and the press were so focused on the woman thing that it became a bit scary. At that point, I didn’t have to shout very loud. It spoke for itself really.
What are the struggles that women face are today?
I kind of see it like a magnifying glass, I think the lens on women is a little bit more magnified. We are seen, we are watched very very closely, by women and by ourselves as well. I think women are very very hard on women. That’s one of the things that’s difficult once you start to be a voice for women. You are looked at, with a magnifying glass.