'Mammy Christmas' (part 1 of 2)TX: 29/12/2012, BBC 1
'The number of those who undergo the fatigue of judging for themselves is very small indeed'
- Sheridan, The Critic (1781)
After too long, us Messrs Lichfield and May return to some TV blogging, whilst simultaneously watching the goggle box. One is not entitled to an opinion on a book, a film or TV series if you've not read or seen it; thus, we trust you will appreciate an undertaking of truly fatiguing proportions.
Tom: Here we go...
Tom: A back-to-back two-parter? Why?
David: I even hate the title sequence.
Tom: That's an inept title sequence, aye.
Tom: [recalling the announcer's words about not having to listen to Slade any longer] Better hearing from Slade than this.
David: This is some cringe-worthy shit.
Tom: There’s laughter…
David: Tackiest sitcom ever.
Tom: 'Mammy Christmas'. Up a tree, tee-hee.
David: Old woman swears. Ho ho ho.
Tom: “Wek up yerbastud!”
Tom: Seemingly, speaking in an Irish accent is in itself a guarantee of 'humour'.
Tom: “Bono, my grandson”. Ha, very amusing.
David: I can guarantee I won't be laughing once.
Tom: On the “feck”-count we so far haven't any score. I reckon that'll change.
David: Three “bastard”s though.
David: No camp stereotypes here…
David: He's a hairdresser.
David: [following inordinate studio audience snickering] These jokes don't merit that level of uncontrollable laughter.
Tom: Winnie... She embodies that certain sort of irritating, 1970s/80s sitcom busybody with infuriatingly perky body language shit.
David: Even the transitions between scenes are cheap.
Tom: Hilarity ensues here.
David: Production values of a scotch egg.
Tom: Some idiot dressed as a chicken.
Tom: Ah, there had to be a priest here…
Tom: And now there’s a second one. Oddly, they seem to like rubbing in the fact that this isn't Father Ted.
David: Oh, looks like it’s Shelley-off-Corrie's mum.
Tom: The studio audience seem to react to the line “Who the fuck are you?” with utter, unabashed hilarity.
David: I'm sure we've had no “fecks” but two “fuck”s.
David: Pointlessly crude.
David: Can't we write some toss like this and set ourselves up financially for life? I thought we were past one-dimensional stereotypes in comedy?
David: Five “fucks”?
Tom: This is as irritating as anything...
David: The Scouting for Girls of sitcoms.
Tom: Now this is comedy... for people who are either without a brain. I say that in sorrow rather than anger - the level of this is depressing.
David: Or the Mumford and Sons of Irish comedy.
Tom: [following some inexplicably inane moment] Did we need that?
David: At least Last of the Summer Wine was charmingly unfunny.
Tom: [Sighs] 'Funny' religion stuff and Richard Branson 'gag'.
David: It's offensive in a completely different manner than it seems was intended.
Tom: “Winnie, it was a joke!!” If these are jokes than Silvio Berlusconi is an honourable man.
Tom: Forced laughter there from the characters themselves.
David: It's not even close to guilty pleasure status.
Tom: No pleasure in this. “Fuck no”, to quote Mrs Brown herself there.
David: Lazy, clichéd, embarrassing, boring, outdated, nonsensical, unimaginative, cheap, brainless toss.
Tom: He-he, cream over his chin forms a Santa Claus-esque beard; that's fecking inspired!
David: A cunt dressed as a cabbage.
Hey, characterization! No wait, I don't recall a single thing to like about these 'people'...
Tom: “The poor little mites”.
Tom: They think that that’s funny, seemingly – the use of the word “Panini”.
Tom: No character comedy here, other than in the broadest sense...
David: It's outrageous that this sort of shit's getting commissioned in 2012. It's like the last thirty years of comedy never happened: the only concession to alternative comedy being over-use of the word “fuck”.
Tom: Such gurning fool faces.
Tom: “FECK” #1!
Tom: “The bucking biscuits” – Stanley Unwin-esque quality wordplay there.
David: Gives the cheesiest of 1970s sitcoms a bad name. At least they had to be relatively clever about sneaking sexual references in.
Tom: And the two old biddies are under the table again.
Tom: And, surprisingly enough, there is some headbanging.
David: Has anyone fallen over yet?
Tom: This is epically tiresome.
Tom: Ah, “feck” again there.
Tom: And Fiona Phillips as the daughter.
David: It's an old woman swearing. It's an old woman swearing. IT'S AN OLD WOMAN SWEARING. That's the entire premise of the show.
Tom: Fiona subject to yet another cream drenching.
Tom: “Bono”. FUCK OFF.
David: If I was Irish I'd be personally offended by this dreck.
Tom: 'Awww...' There are sighs from the studio audience.
Tom: There's a tacked-on left-turn into sentimentality that just doesn't wash...
David: Utterly charmless.
David: Are you sure this isn't an hour?
Tom: Fairy tales and the kids... They think they can imbue this with charm at the end? After the sheer grim gormlessness of the rest of it?
Tom: Pan-pipe shite on the soundtrack. Sir Cliff Richard would be proud.
Tom: Mrs B Looks to the camera – and, yep, US, THE AUDIENCE BACK HOME.
Tom: “Goodnight Bono”…
David: Why should sitcoms for the masses have to be this toss? It's no Only Fools and Horses!
Tom: That was teeth-grinding, unremitting, desultory codswallop of the basest type.
David: That was one of the unfunniest, steaming piles of excrement I've ever sat through.
Tom: Then featuring an 'amusing' little cartoon Agnes on the end titles.
David: NO REDEEMING FEATURES.
Tom: From a country that produced W.B. Yeats and Father Ted, that was unforgivable. It made So Haunt Me look like Fawlty Towers.
David: It's bad enough living through this political and social horror without all the culture going to shit too.
Tom: What is the BBC thinking? Putting this in prime-time...
David: Was massive in Ireland for various series first, worryingly.
David: Why would a country enjoy being stereotyped like that?!
Tom: The only benefit is that we're allowed not to watch the second episode...
David: I literally would pay not to.
Tom: I think an hour of that would turn Kriss Akabusi into a subdued depressive.
ADDENDUM. While sourcing the screen-shots above, I struggled to access the BBC iPlayer broadcast due to some automatically imposed 'Parential Guidance' control. A Quality Control quarantine might be more advisable.