Mrs Brown’s Boys Live is my first experience of a full Mrs Brown’s Boys episode, and I can see why I’ve avoided it until now.
After three series, a number of Christmas specials and even a theatrical release, am I wrong? I can’t see that I am, despite a captive audience laughing on cue when the light came on telling them to do so.
The continuity bod at the start told us to “Expect the unexpected”, yet I got exactly what I expected.
Observing this, I see the show constantly breaks the fourth wall to speak to the audience or, in this case, reference the fact that they’re live, such as Mrs Brown taking out his earpiece, which connects him to the studio. However, I would presume that he had two in, and that this was the ‘stunt’ one.
As I’ve only seen in clips, previously, the programme uses pretend swearing to get an effect. Even Father Ted used Father Jack’s “Feck!” exclamation sparingly, but this just uses it all the time.
The rest of the time, the script was full of jokes going for the obvious (and often very tired ones): Winnie had a jigsaw which took her two months to complete, but this was okay because the box says “2-4 years”, Mrs Brown saying the word “organism” instead of “orgasm”, a line of “Don’t forget to pay the rent… boy”, and scatalogical humour I’ve seen done far better before, plus reusing the age-old ‘pussy’ joke from Are You Being Served.
Oh, and there’s a slight attempt at a plot to throw in the Kama Sutra, but with Finbarr Saunders-style innuendo, falling flat at every word spoken, they just kept coming and coming.
And I thought I’d learned something, in that penguins don’t have ears… but they do, they’re just hidden because they don’t have ear flaps like us.
There were one or two slight gaffes and a bit of corpsing, but it was something they could quickly overcome. I can see that everyone involved are professionals, but it’s just not funny.
It also threw in a shameful plug for past BBC comedy glories such as Dad’s Army, Fawlty Towers and Only Fools and Horses, but the fact that those are long finished – and that there’s nothing looking to challenge their might – speak volumes.
Overall, Mrs Brown’s Boys Live was the longest 35 minutes of my life, and the best moment was that there was no continuity moron to ramble over the closing credits.
Mrs Brown’s Boys Live isn’t yet available to pre-order on DVD, but there’s also plenty more to buy including the Series 1-3 DVD boxset currently at £9.99. If you missed it, you can watch the episode on BBC iPlayer, up until August 21st, and click on the top image in this review for the full-size version.
Director: Ben Kellett
Series Producer: James Farrell
Writer: Brendan O’Carroll
Agnes Brown: Brendan O’Carroll
Dermot Brown: Paddy Houlihan
Maria Brown: Fiona O’Carroll
Buster Brady: Danny O’Carroll
Grandad: Dermot O’Neill
Father Damien: Conor Moloney
Winnie McGoogan: Eilish O’Carroll
Cathy Brown: Jennifer Gibney
Mark Brown: Pat ‘Pepsi’ Shields
Betty Brown: Amanda Woods
Rory Brown: Rory Cowan
Dino Doyle: Gary Hollywood
Sharon McGoogan: Fiona Gibney
Reviewer of movies, videogames and music since 1994. Aortic valve operation survivor from the same year. Running DVDfever.co.uk since 2000. Nobel Peace Prize winner 2021.