Thursday, 19 September 2013

"Father Figure" Episodes 1-5, Episode 6 BBC 1, review

Jason Byrne's TV sitcom is old school stuff, quite fun, if you don't mind lots of slapstick, food fights and manic Irish mammies. It's "Father Ted" meets "My Family". Pauline McLynn (doing a variation on her Mrs Doyle from "Father Ted") does well as the obsessed gran. I used to like Karen Taylor (playing Elaine, the mum) in "The Sketch Show".
My wife and I got a few laughs - "I'm a human poo", grandpa stuck in the couch and the kitchen wrestling match.
It's all a bit broad, the slapstick and the kids could get a bit wearing (lacking the charm of "Outnumbered") after a few episodes.
Episode 2: How getting a new TV turned into a search for a lost child and a dogging misadventure in the family 7-seater wasn't worth the journey. Three laughs in 28 minutes - not a good strike rate. But it's funnier than "Big School" and "Bad Education" ... which isn't hard.
Episode 3: The 1978 flashback of the "Housewife of the Year" contest had shades of "Father Ted" lunacy. I did enjoy the "getting in touch with your inner mammy" training. Pretty silly, but probably the most consistent episode so far.
Episode 4: More chins than a Chinese phone book. A cute intro scene with chin 'puppets', Peter Serafinowicz's dulcet tones and Mount Rushmore-like chin, "Tai chin", chin-envy and Jason Byrne does some funny business with fitted sheets and duvets.
Episode 5: Meh? Forgettable. Something about going cold turkey with gadgets.
Episode 6 was the best so far. "Mother Figure" had dad having a phantom-pregnancy. This show is plain silly with no hidden agenda - just to make you laugh. It's not smutty like some UK sitcoms (see above).
It succeeds about 50% of the time, not a bad strike rate compared to some of the slop coming from the US fall season sitcoms. Poor Rebel Wilson ("Super Fun Night") and don't get me started on Robin Williams' ("The Crazy Ones").

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