Let me try to sell this plot to you. Three dysfunctional priests, a crazy housekeeper and a bunch of nuns. All these characters are trapped on an island west of Irelands coast, where the weather is consistently bad. This does sound like a great recipe for a wacky sitcom, don’t you think? Well, obviously I did until I actually pressed the play-button and let myself into the world of “Father Ted”.
“Father Ted” is a TV-series from 1995 that shows the misadventures of three Roman Catholic priests. Father Ted is the series main character, but also the series only close-to-normal character. In his parochial house lives the old and drunken Father Jack Hackett, who cannot keep his fingers away from young girls, and the stupidious and childlike Father Dougal McGuire, who has no remote understanding of his Catholic religion. Together these three characters are lovable, but sadly there are scenes – and many of them indeed – where the parts are overacted, which drag entire episodes down.
The series first episode revolves around the title character, who is offered to perform on the television show called “Faithful fathers”. As the day of the interview approaches, we see how Father Ted goes to extreme lengths to ensure that his fellow fathers don’t interrupt his moment of fame. As one may predict, things come in the way of the interview and poor Father Ted ends up stuck in a Ferris wheel, while the childlike Father Dougal McGuire takes on the interview.
Although “Father Ted” offers some unique characters and a great blend of surrealism and Irish priest humour, I can’t help myself, but to wonder why this series is so popular. I will admit that the series first episode did bring forth some hard laughs, but likewise it made me cringe with embarrassment every time – which was often – a joke fell to the ground.
Sadly, “Father Ted” did not leave me wanting more. In my view the roles and the humour was so exaggerated, that I sometimes rather felt like pressing that play-button again. This time only to exit the world of “Father Ted”.