Father Ted: The Definitive Collection

Father Ted: The Definitive Collection
One of the most popular and critically praised Brit-coms of the last decade or so, Father Ted won multiple BAFTAs and has developed a rabidly devoted international following. The show is light-years better than its TV guide caption would suggest: "three Irish priests live together on an isolated island.” After some "financial improprieties,” Father Ted Crilly is banished to Craggy Island, a clump of peat and rock off of the west coast of Ireland. Father Ted shares his existential hell with two other Catholic priests: the twisted, lecherous, monosyllabic and perpetually drunk Father Jack, and the powerfully thick, childlike Dougal. Over 25 episodes, they find themselves fixing church raffles, entering the Eurosong competition, desperately trying not to get spotted in the labyrinth of a women’s lingerie department and managing a near-catatonic football team of priests, all over the age of 75. Created by Irishmen influenced by both American and British sitcoms, Father Ted mixes absurdist, surreal, almost cartoon-ish humour with a self-aware, tongue-in-cheek approach to the form. The writers/creators Graham Linehan and Arthur Mathews have gone on to have their fingers in some of the cream of the crop of British comedy, including Brass Eye (essential viewing), Jam, Big Train (with Shawn of the Dead’s Simon Pegg) and Black Books. There are ample bonus features in this five-disc collection, including two documentaries from Ted Fest (a fan convention for the show), a 2002 interview with the writers, an episode of Comedy Connections that neatly connects the cast and creators with other projects they’ve been involved in, commentary on every episode by Graham Linehan (which reeks of a man alone in a booth with nothing to say, and would have greatly benefited from the contributions of the cast members, to say nothing of co-creator Arthur Mathews) and more. (BBC)