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4.8 out of 5 stars194
4.8 out of 5 stars
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I can review the show itself in five words; it's the best comedy of all time.
This review is for those wondering whether or not to buy this so-called definitive edition, and what sets it apart from previous releases.

Well, for a start, it's bigger. It comes in one of those bookish-type DVD boxes, which has turnable 'pages' for each disc, with five in total. Series 1 takes up a disc while 2 and 3 are on two each. The real reason for the reissue of this series is the inclusion of the extra features (as well as groovy new artwork).

The set includes BBC's Ted episode of Comedy Connections, featuring all the key players apart from of course Dermot Morgan. The half-hour show serves as a great making-of supplement and deals with how the show came about, how it was initially disliked (!) and the legacy it left. Very concise and insightful, with no fluff. Also included are Ted and Dougal's in-character appearances for Comic Relief, worth watching to see them creasing up with the giggles once or twice. A two part, 40-minute interview with the creators is also very insightful, and details much of how the show was influenced, and influential, featuring some very rare footage of them performing years before the fame of Father Ted.

The only let-down of the extras is the footage of Ireland's annual "Ted-Fest", which seems to me very much like an event where people go to get drunk and shout catchphrases rather than celebrate how great the show was. All the superfluous features (sound effects, clip segments) from the original DVDs are carried over too.

In summary, I think this is the treatment Father Ted has always deserved, and the show is well worth the price of an upgrade as the extras are fantastically informative (and often hilarious) without crossing that line into having too much. I would strongly recommend buying it, whether you have the older DVDs or not (you don't? Shame).
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When it first aired, I passed this series over: I can distinctly remember the first time I saw the Coronation Street style theme tune soap opera opening and a seeing a clip showing a dreary, wet & windy outdoor scene, with some comedy priests (it was the Craggy Island funfair in the first episode) and thinking that it wasn't worth watching. Indeed Linehan himself says, in the commentary that the premise - a sitcome based on a bunch of priests in an out of the way Irish island - would have put him off too.

However, the series, with it's staid Terry and June style sitcom trappings and anarchic, surrealist Young Ones slapstick came to be a defining moment in British (OK - Irish!) comedy. It's aged very well despite the fifteen years since it first aired and a period of almost back-to-back repeats on Dave. There's something timeless about the setting, the characters and the situations that suggest that it will be as funny in another 15 years as it was in '95.

Witness Ted's frustrated attempts to achieve fame and fortune ("that money was resting in my account!"), Dougal's wide eyed idiocy and Jack's drunken, crusty faced, milky eyed pugnacity. Consider Mrs Doyle's tea and sandwich obsession and surely Bishop Len Brennan would have been pope by now if he hadn't been held back by "the cast of Police Academy". None of it sounds particularly promising, but it works perfectly.

This 5 disc box set contains all 25 episodes of the three series of and is a must have for any decent comedy collection. The extras don't add up to much - a couple of interviews with the writers and some niff naffy bits to fill out the schedule, but never mind that. What you have here is a comprehensive collection of a peerless, modern comedy and, if you enjoy a good laugh, your DVD shelf may as well be empty without it.

Father Dougal: God, Ted, I heard about those cults. Everyone dressing in black and saying our Lord's gonna come back and judge us all!
Father Ted: No... No, Dougal, that's us. That's Catholicism.
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VINE VOICEon 30 April 2010
Fantastic characters and fantastic writing come together to create a hilarious and timeless comedy.

Feck! who would think that this is 15 years old, and to be honest who would think that anyone over 15 years of age would be in fits of laughter at the tought of a group of priests getting lost in "Ireland's largest lingerie section", but I was.

I missed Father Ted first time around on the TV so this collection has allowed me to catch up on missed episodes, and there's not a poor one among them.

An added bonus is that this collection includes the Christmas Special, although this isn't clear from the blurb and as a result I bought that as well!
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on 7 April 2008
I bought this earlier in the year so that I had something to watch while living in France...and it's easily the funniest comedy I've ever seen! It's difficult to pick my favourite episode, as they're all sheer genius...although the milkman one is definitely up there! The extras are reasonably good, especially the greatest moments of each character (including the video for "My Lovely Horse"), and the Comic Relief part is rather funny as well. Quote of the whole thing has to go to Father Jack..."Don't tell me I'm still on that feckin' island!"...well thank goodness you are, it wouldn't have been the same without him!
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on 16 October 2009
Father Ted is one of the great comedies of the last 20 years. Why? There are a number of reasons for this. The key reason is the underlying truth of the characthers - those of us who are Irish simply know that they are "real" - Mrs Doyle: "Go on have a cup of tea?" with her insistent hospitality, the warring couple, who keep up appearances in front of the priests and the clueless priests, All this is true social comment on Irish culture where the underlying lunacy or madness in Irish culture is never far from the surface. An interesting issue is to what extent the Celtic Tiger has affected this culture -nothing stands still and there is bound to have been some change since the 90s, particularly with the continuing decline of the Church. We will have to wait and see for the next great comedy on Irish culture - when will that be?
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on 18 July 2011
I will review this product in three stages: the physical box, the DVDs, and the show.

First, the box. The cover is very well-designed, and the box is thicker than it appears to be in the picture. The DVD case, which consists of five plastic, page-like flaps which each hold a disc (like this Blackadder box set), fits inside an outer sleeve. The pages each have funny Ted-Dougal conversations on the left. It seems fairly well-made, but mine has already been worn in some places from opening the box a lot as I watched the whole thing. The discs can be hard to get out (they use the DVDigipack, which is notoriously difficult to get discs out of).

Now, to the discs themselves. Each disc contains from 4 to 6 episodes, and from one to three special features (things like writer interviews, a Comedy Connections documentary, Comic Relief with Ted and Dougal, Tedfest 2007 videos, and some feeble biographies and sound effect galleries). I would rather they had put the episodes on the first four discs, and saved the last for special features, like in the aforementioned Blackadder set, but they are instead spread out over the discs. They are easy to locate, though, since the box comes with a guide to what is on each disc at the front, and a loose episode guide leaflet (which can get quite annoying when trying to close the box, but more than makes up for that in usefulness). The episodes also come with audio commentaries from one of the writers, Graham Linehan (whose other work, The IT Crowd and Black Books, you should check out). He is alone on the first two discs, but is joined by Ardal O'Hanlon (Dougal) on disc 3, and co-writer Arthur Mathews on discs 4 and 5. The DVD menus are fairly easy to navigate (they are all set in Funland from the first episode). Tip: if you're watching on a computer, you can use VLC (Google it) to skip all the 2entertain nonsense and go straight to the menu.


Finally, the show itself. Father Ted is an Irish sitcom which was made in the late nineties, and stars three priests, Ted (the sensible and slightly immoral one), Dougal (the stupid one), and Jack (the outrageously drunk one), and their housekeeper, Mrs Doyle, all of whom live on Craggy Island, a remote and weather-beaten island off the western coast of Ireland. Each episode runs for around 25 minutes, has abridged (they shorten what the characters say) English subtitles, and is presented in the old 4:3 (square TV) aspect ratio. There are two audio tracks: the standard stereo English audio (with the show's original un-canned laughter track), and one with the audio commentary. The show is definitely one of the funniest sitcoms (even TV shows) ever made; although some of the jokes and situations are cheesy and predictable, the show still has its charm, and the outcomes are usually hillarious. Most of the episodes are great, although the best ones are "A Song For Europe", "New Jack City", "Flight Into Terror", "The Mainland" and "Kicking Bishop Brennan Up The Arse". The box is rated 15, but two of the discs are 12s. The show contains some (BBFC moderate) language, but anything stronger than "feck" (with an "e") or "bastard" is usually bleeped (watch out for the "fupp"s in "Old Grey Whistle Theft").

All in all, a great show, and a great box set. Five stars!
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on 10 July 2010
love this show its absolutely brilliant. Ted (Dermot Morgan), Dougal (Ardal OHanlan), Jack (Frank Kelly) and Mrs. Doyle (Pauline McLynn) are all great characters and every episode is bound to have you laughing. If you havent seen this yet then it is a must. Enjoy. One of the best sitcoms ever, all the characters in this programme put in superb performances throughout espically Frank Kelly as Father Jack, iconic scenes throughout this series with my favourite being a group of priests trying to escape from the largest linguire department in Ireland, brilliant fun which have you laughing out loud for many years to come Father Ted Crilly dreams of a parish in Las Vegas and alife free from embarrassment. But in the meantime he is also trying to remain sane on Craggy Island, and to find maybe an at least hour free from embarrassment. Young Father Dougal McGuire lives simply. The sun is always shining in his world and he is oblivious to anything outside it. He is without doubt one of God's special creatures. Mrs.Doyle is the real lynchpin of the Parochial House. Constantly afloat a sea of tea, the house-keeper has an eye on events over an ever-boiling kettle. As for Father Jack, all I need to say is "Drink, Feck, Arse, Girls" Buy this collection
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on 12 December 2008
If you're a laughaholic this is the fix you need. The comedy is timeless and in another generation this will be taught in schools instead of religion, there will be class trips to Craggy Island and the must have trinket will be a replica of the Holy Stone of Clonrichert. Everyone will want to christen their boys Ted and all the housewives will go weak at the knees for the randy milkman! The Eurovision song contest will be reinvigorated and the lovely girls competition will take the world by storm.The worst that could happen is a plague of rabbits or hairy hands or hairy babies! Its the future I tell you Ive seen it and you can see it too....Buy this box set.

This series has spawned an army of Irish comedians and continues to be an endless source of quips and quotes so if you've been good this year put it on your list for Santa and who knows...........
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I must have watched every episode of Father Ted at least a dozen times and when I received this Definitive Collection as a present I was delighted. I never tire of the idiocy of the respective Priests, the hilarious Mrs. Doyle, the totally mad residents of Craggy Island and of course the dreaded Bishop Brennan.

Having come across a few Priests in my lifetime I can only think the writers of this excellent series must have based it partly on fact because I most certainly knew two Priests who resembled Father Jack and one who bore an uncanny likeness to Father Dougal.

Why was Dermot Morgan taken so early though? He will forever live on though in the my heart as one of the funniest comedians ever.
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VINE VOICEon 6 July 2008
A sitcom about four Catholic priests, living in a remote island community off the coast of Ireland? It doesn't sound the most promising of set-ups but Father Ted is pure comedy gold.

Brilliant from the first episode to the last, Father Ted is a laugh riot. Ted himself is a shallow, fame-seeking schemer who thinks he is too clever for his companions to appreciate him. Father Dougal is a naive idiot who simply speaks his mind ("I don't even believe in organised religion!" he says on television) and Father Jack is a degenerate drunk who does little more than sleep, shout, swear and drink. He does them brilliantly, mind. Their houselady, Mrs Doyle, is a tea and sandwich obsessed woman who stands up all night in the dark by the living room door, just in case anyone fancies a cuppa.

One afternoon, some other priests visit. In the evening, Dougal wants to watch the director's cut of Jurassic Park "with extra dinosaurs!" They switch on the television just as the announcer introduces an extra-long mass, "in Latin." Their faces drop but instantly but, to impress the other priests and to maintain a facade of religiosity, they feign enthusiasm: "Great! Mass!"

Father Ted is simply one of the best sitcoms ever made. Fantastic film parodies that wouldn't seem out of place in a Simpsons episode (the NYPD Blue parody does it for me, for some reason), excellently surreal supporting characters and sheer inventive Pythonesque looniness are combined in a warm-hearted sitcom unlike anything else. The cast embody the characters in a way that made them irreplaceable, hence the show finishing after the tragic death of the brilliant Dermot Morgan. The writing is peerless. The finished product: endless enjoyment.

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