Newest Review: ... in both Ireland, where it is set, and the United Kingdom, where it is recorded. Agnes is a very nosy woman, who is always interested i... more
Mr Agnes Brown and her boys... and her daughter
Mrs Brown's Boys - Series 1 (DVD)
Member Name: blissman70
Mrs Brown's Boys - Series 1 (DVD)
Advantages: hilarious, rib tickling, great acting, great gags, if a bit old, brilliant banter and so much fun
Disadvantages: Maybe not to everyone's taste
I bought my brother-in-law a DVD for Christmas, (big spender aren't I?), and he raved how funny it was, the DVD not the fact I bought it.
Anyway, he tried to explain to me what the DVD was about, telling me it was a sitcom about a man dressed as a mother of many grown kids who was trying to keep her house in order.
His explanation of the DVD didn't have me intrigued at all but as he continued to rave about the show I decided to give it a go, just to see what all the fuss was about, and to be perfectly honest I'm so glad that I did as it is without doubt one of the funniest sitcoms I have had the pleasure of watching for a long time.
So what is this sitcom then? I can hear you all asking, (or is that the voices in my head again?).
This sitcom is in fact called Mrs Browns boys and, as my brother-in-law put it, it is a comedy about a mother and her Irish family as they go about their day to day lives.
Mrs Agnes Brown, the mother, became the head of the Brown family after the death of her husband and father to her children, Cathy, Mark, Dermot, Rory and Trevor, (who doesn't appear in this series as he is away on missionary work).
Also living in the house is Grand dad who rarely speaks but makes a big impact in several scenes with his short, but quite powerful stints of acting.
The show itself is set in a studio which is made up to look like a house, although you only see the living room and the kitchen, but on many shots you get to see how the set up is, especially when Brendon, I mean Mrs Brown, wanders around the set and is followed by one of the camera's, which then shows the entire set, sometimes including the audience.
It is created by Brendon O'Carroll who also writes the episodes and stars in them as the main character, Mrs Brown. Yes, he's dressed up as a woman.
And it is directed by Ben Kellet, who also has a hand in other shows such as My Parents are Aliens, Armstrong and Miller, Al Murray's MPD and some other comedies as well, so he knows a little about what makes people laugh.
The people who star alongside Brendon are mainly real life family and friends, such as...
Fiona O'Carroll, Danny O'Carroll, Eilish O'Carroll, Jennifer Gibney, Paddy Houlihan, Pat Shields, Amanda Woods, Rory Cowan, Gary Hollywood and Dermot O'Neil
To date there are 2 series, with this first series having 6 episodes whilst the second has 7 episodes, including the Christmas special.
There is a 3rd series planned for sometime in 2012, possibly towards the end of the year maybe.
It has a 15 certificate as it does contain some semi-strong language, word such as 'feck' instead of ... well you know. But during the course of the series, and indeed in some of the extra bits, there is indeed a little bit of swearing which may well offend some people.
A few facts about the show...
Although the sitcom is supposed to make you think it's in Ireland it is actually filmed in Scotland in front of a live studio audience, which means that the laughter you hear is real laughter and not that horrid canned stuff that some shows pump into the speakers, making it sound so unrealistic.
Initially the show had a but of a bad reception, from papers such as 'The Irish Times' and 'The Irish Independent', stating that the show was outdated and would only appeal to those who enjoyed watching a man dressed as a foul mouthed old lady. But the viewing figures shot those critics out of the water as the each of this first series episode become the most viewed at the time. In fact the 2011 Christmas episode actually watched by almost half the Irish viewers when it was aired, (48.6%).
Then when the show was aired in the UK it was again criticised by the papers only for the viewing figures to hit around 3 million for the third episode, therefore show that people really do like this sort of 'silly' humour where you can just sit back and laugh.
In fact, contradictory to the so called critics, this show then went onto being nominated for a BAFTA in 2011 and won an IFTA for Best Entertainment programme
(this information can be found freely on-line)
* Agnes Brown, (Brendon O'Carroll) is mother of the brood with is proud of her family no matter what they do or say. She often swears during her daily conversations, although many of her swear words are spoken in such a way that they're not exactly swear words. Apart from her love of her family she also loves hearing, and spreading gossip, what ever she hears. Her best friend is her neighbour, Winnie, who, even thogh they are best friends, she loves to wind up when ever she can when they are sat around in the kitchen or the local bar chatting.
* Cathy Brown, (Jennifer Gibney, who happens to be Brendon's wife in real life), is Agnes's daughter in the show. She is a single woman who is always looking for true love, only finding it hard to get the right man, especially as she knows her mother will just stick her nose in and ruin any chance she has.
* Dermet Brown, (Paddy Houlihan, is a close friend of the O'Carroll family), plays the youngest son. He works in PR, sort of, which often means he is required to wear a rather strange uniform in his day to day job.
* Maria Nicholson, (Fiona O'Carroll, Brendon's daughter in real life), plays Dermot's wife. She is a nurse and mother to Dermot's three kids, triplets, and is a bit of a thorn in Agnes's side.
* Winnie McGoogan, (Eilish McHugh, Brendan's sister in real life), plays Agnes's next door neighbour, who is also her best friend. Although she comes across as a little naive and quiet she is constantly sat around the table gossiping with Agnes about someone or other.
* Buster Brady, (Danny O'Carroll, who is Brendon's son in real life), is the best friend, and past prison cell mate, of Dermot. He is constantly coming up with some plan to rob or con someone and is always convincing Dermot to join in, much to Agnes's disgust.
Mark Brown, (Pat Shields), is the eldest son of Agnes, living with his wife Betty and their son Bono. He is a gentle soul with a secret that he tried to keep well hidden, even from his wife.
Betty Brown, (Amanda Woods, who is married to Danny O'Connell so is Brendon's daughter in law in real life), plays Agnes's daughter-in-law in the show too, as she is married to Mark. She is probably the only one that actually stands up to Agnes and this causes a lot of friction when the two of them come together.
Rory Brown, (Rory Cowan) is Agnes's gay son, although it takes a long while, and a lot of 'hints' for Agnes to realise that Rory is on fact gay, but when she does find out she handles the news in only the way that Agnes can....
Dino Doyle, (Gary Hollywood), is Rory's close friend, according to Agnes, who runs a hair dressers, together with Rory.
Grandad, (Dermot O'Neill), is the slightly mad father-in-law of Agnes who tends to just sit, or stand, around doing nothing but always getting in the way of something or other.
Hilary Nicholson, (Sorcha Cusack) is Maria's mother who is a bit of a 'snob' until she has a few drinks inside her and then there's no stopping her.
The episodes themselves...
1... The Mammy
Grandad is not so well and the doctor is called out, only his tests don't go quite as smoothly as he hoped.
Meanwhile Dermot and Maria are not speaking to each other, much to Agnes's, (Mrs Brown's), joy, but things soon take a turn for the better when Cathy uses her skills as a Psychology student to the tests, getting the two together to discuss their troubles, only Agnes wants to get involved.
2... Mammy's secret
There's many secrets in the Brown household, Mark won't tell anyone why he's had to leave his marital home, Cathy won't tell Agnes who her new boyfriend is and Dermot won't tell anyone what is worrying him.
So when Mrs Brown begins to intervene in the troubles it is not too long before the trouble escalates and the future looks a little bleak for Dermot and his upcoming wedding.
3... Mammies merchandise
Dermot's wedding is getting closer and his troubles are beginning to show, starting with his choice of best man , as it isn't to everyone's liking, especially when a money makign scheme doesn't quite go as well as it should do.
Meanwhile, Winnie is not very happy when her husband is rushed into hospital and she has to get some money together to pay for the operation.
4... Mammy rides again
Agnes and Winnie feel a little left out when they don't get an invite to Maria's hen night, so Agnes comes up with a plan to gate crash it, only for things to turn out not entirely as she planned.
But things get even more complicated for Agnes when she has a dinner date with Maria's mother, Mrs Nicholson, but first has to refurbish a small room to impress the snobby woman. But again, things don't go according to plan.
5... Mammy of the Groom
Buster is trying his hardest to write a bestman speech for Dermot's wedding but Agnes is not happy with what he has to say about her son.
Things are even worse for Dermot when he gets last minute nerves and takes to the toilet in the hope of hiding away from it all.
But Agnes confusion after reading a book turns to happiness when she hears some reassuring news about where her son wants to live.
6... Mammy's miracle
Grandads moaning about the fact that he thinks no one will have anything nice to say about him at his funeral so Dermot comes up with a rather strange plan.
Dermot and Buster are planning a way to get some money together but are soon in a little trouble when someone suddenly appears.
Meanwhile, Father Quinn is at a cross roads as he feels he is losing his faith and Maria wanting to move out of the Browns house Agnes has many more dilemmas to deal with once again.
Can she sort out everyone's problems before the end of the series???
This is a two disk set with the first disc having the 6 episodes on it, whilst the second disc, after the usual palaver of the universal screen followed by the copy right nonsense, which seems to stay on for ages, presents you with...
* The pilot episode, which is called Dermot's dilema. This is really the first episode in the DVD series entitled "The Mammy" but is filmed slightly differently, but is still as funny.
* Special features, which include the trailer, introductions of the cast and crew, extended scenes, interviews, out takes and dedications.
The interviews include a brilliant interview with the man himself, then there's a rather lovely section where Brendon, or more Mrs Brown, does a live Birthday section to the crowd, wishing certain members of the Audience a happy Birthday, in only the way Brendon knows how.
To be honest when I first saw a few clips of this show I initially thought that it looked a pile of, (be polite), garbage, but when I actually watched the first episode on theis disc, after borrowing it from my brother-in-law, I was instantly hooked on the man in a dress, (not my brother-in-law, he doesn't wear a dress, well, not that often).
Anyway, as I said, when I sat through the first episode, The Mammy, I was in stitches, in fact my sides were hurting from all the laughing and I had tears rolling down my face.
So I watched the rest of the episodes thinking that surely the guy couldn't keep up the comical genius he had created, but he certainly had and it only got better as the show rolled on.
There is just so much banter from the entire cast, with even the crew joining in at some points, and you get to see some of them as the show goes on, starting in the first episode when Mrs Brown forgets her handbag and has to go home to get it... simply brilliant and in some shows this little sketch, together with many other sketches, would have been confined to the outtakes.
Maybe this is why Mrs Brown's boys is on a class of its own then, due to the fact it doesn't feel the need to edit certain 'mistakes' out of the final show as it adds to the charm of the Irish, so to speak.
There's a lot to look out for, including the things that go on in the back ground, watching as the cast try not to laugh whilst Agnes is doing what she does. Then there's the hilarious faces that are made as the arguments commence when Agnes tries to take control of any situation that arises, such as in the first episode when someone 'forgets the badges'.
It is one of those shows that, on paper, may sound a little too stupid to watch but if you actually watch it it is just so funny that you'll want to watch it over and over again, seeing things in it that you may have missed the past time you watched it.
In all, this has to be one of, if not the funniest sitcoms that has graced the small screen for a long time and I have enjoyed watching it over and over again, finding something new to laugh at each time I watch it.
And if you get bored with watching the episodes, which I doubt very much, you can always watch the second disc which is crammed with all sorts of hilarity, including the out takes, which do contain some bad language, and a lot more.
So if you want to get your hands on this first series then grab a copy of the double disc set, which comes in a bright yellow case, for around £6.50, which for over three hours of simply fantastic, hilarious, comical genius is defiantly great value for money in anyone's eyes.
Summary: It's a man in a dress.... you can't get funnier than that can you???
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