TV: Father Ted (1996-1998)

Created by: Graham Linehan & Arthur Mathews
Language: English
Length: 24 episodes of about 25 minutes and 1 double length episode
Finished watching on: 26 July

An old favourite, and a great show from Ireland. Or was it Britain? Not really bothered, to be honest. The characters can be a bit one-dimensional at times, and there isn’t much development between episodes, so it lends itself to the style of just being watched irregularly on TV whenever it’s on. So this is the first time I’ve watched it through from the beginning. Except that I didn’t, because I actually watched some of the episodes on a compilation DVD around Christmas before deciding only a couple of months ago to actually watch the rest too.

Anyway, I was kind of surprised to discover one or two episodes that I wasn’t sure if I’d seen before. I’m going to give them the benefit of the doubt, though, since the show has been around for so long.

The comedy is almost sublime in certain episodes. The writing managed to become so tight that in at least a couple of episodes – the racism one jumps to mind – everything that happens in the plot becomes one contrived coincidence after another to make Ted look like a racist. It’s things like that that make the series great.

Sadly, a combination of “British Brevity” (the TV Tropes name for the phenomenon of short series in Britain, and conversely long series in America) and the premature death of its star a day after filming of the final episode means that there’s only 25 episodes, which is far too short! I want more! On the other hand, the episodes are perfectly rewatchable, so I’m not going to worry about that too much.

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