This set compiles all six side-splitting episodes from the legendary first season of FATHER TED, featuring the comedic exploits of three Irish priests and their hellion housekeeper, all exiled to the Parochial House on Craggy Island for their incompetence in the line of duty.
• "Good Luck, Father Ted" -- Ted gets a chance to escape Craggy Island when he's asked to appear on "Faith of Our Father," a prestigious Eirean television program. However, his aspirations are frustrated by the cantankerous Father Jack, the loopy Father Dougal and the arrival of Funland, the world's worst carnival.
• "Entertaining Father Stone" -- a visit from the insufferably dull Father Stone finds Ted praying for relief, only to be horrified when his prayers are answered with a bolt of lightning.
• "The Passion of St. Tibulus" -- Ted and the gang find themselves at the center of controversy when the Pope orders them to protest a blasphemous movie which happens to be showing on Craggy Island.
• "Competition Time" -- Ted comes up with a seemingly sure-fire plan to defeat the rival priests from Rugged Island in the annual "All Priests Stars in Their Eyes Look-a-Like" competition.
• "And God Created Women" finds all the residents of Craggy Island a buzz when the sultry novelist Polly Clarke comes for a visit and shows interest in Ted. Will a whirlwind romance be in Ted's future, or is Polly after something else?
• "Grant Unto Him Eternal Rest" -- Father Jack drinks a little too much floor polish and departs this mortal coil. In his will he leaves Ted and Dougal one half million pounds, provided they assure he isn't buried alive by spending a night with him in his crypt.
I had an Irish friend and when he heard that I had never seen any Father Ted, he took it as a challenge to get me to watch at least one episode but he almost spoilt the whole thing by giggling and laughing and telling me I have to watch certain scenes and going into detail of such scenes.
I have watched Father Ted a few times still can't believe how popular it is due to how silly some of it is, how do you lose the west side of the island? and a lot of other such nonsense. It shows the catholic faith in a very silly way and the people are portrayed as being of limited brain capacity. The actor who played Father Jack was done in a good way, he was a man of limited interests (one was not his faith) and of even less words, he is the one that made the biggest impact on me when watching.
I do watch this from time to time but only when I'm in the mood for nonsense shows and mindless laughing. Some of the topics are serious but then you watch Father Ted and wonder what the producers were thinking as they reduce the faith to jokes and not much else.
Not surprisingly, even this classic series suffered from a common ailment of many 'niche' UK TV series such as Blackadder - it started out a little dull, but got better as it went along. Series one is probably one of the most important series, in that it helps to introduce and define all the important characters that shape the following episodes, the three Craggy Island priests we will come to know and lov - The fiscally-inept and morally-ambiguous Father Ted Crilly, the somewhat brain-dead and disaster-prone Father Dougal, and the eternally-drunk on anything and everything Father Jack - their 'evil doppelgangers' on Rugged Island - led by Father Dick Byrne, Bishop Brennan - who put them all there in the first place as penance for their various misdeeds, and of course the various residents of Craggy Island itself who are ministered to by our three delightfully dodgy protagonists.
Though the episodes are a little 'flatter' than memory would have me believe, I do recall many episodes in later seasons that had my sides splitting, so it was a little sad to see that season one - though firmly entrenching this franchise as a classic in the making - was not quite as entertaining as I recalled. Maybe the years have softened the wit, or maybe my youth was more inspired by the innuendo-laden one-liners, character names and situational comedy. Either way, this season was still fun, just don't expect the really classic laughs just yet. For that, aim for Season 2 I would say.
All in all, still well worth getting, and if dry Irish humour is more your kettle of wit, this may be already pretty close to bang-on for you.
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