Mongrels is a comedy show which films animal puppets with live human actors in an urban London setting, but it's definitely not for kids (and probably not for grandparents either). The domestic, feral and wild animals are the undisputed stars of the show and they are refreshingly un-PC and (some of them) foul-mouthed, although the central character is Nelson, an inoffensive, middle-class, metrosexual fox. A few of the plots feature subjects or gags which will offend some people (like when Marion the deranged Persian cat falls in love with an underage kitten and the episode's song is "What a Difference a Day Makes", or when Nelson inadvertently marries his sister, or the episode with the self-abusing monkey) but the writing is good and done to maximise the comic, not shock, effect, and the characters are lovable, even Kali the evil pigeon. The swearing is mostly bleeped which makes it funnier, especially when Vince the tough urban fox is on screen. There's a song in each episode. Some of them are so-so but a few are side splittingly funny. Mongrels definitely won't appeal to everyone.
I loved both series of Mongrels and there were times when I cried with laughter while watching it. I thought series 2 was just as hilarious as series 1. Sadly there will be no Mongrels series 3 as the programme was axed by Zai Bennett as soon as he moved from ITV to take over the job of controller at BBC3. Apparently the viewing figures were poor and the production costs were unacceptably high, but the BBC gave it a late night slot and no trailers or repeats (that I saw). I only discovered it by accident because it happened to be on one night at the moment I switched on the telly. Most of my friends still haven't seen an episode. I'll miss Mongrels (and How Not To Live Your Life which also got the chop at the same time - not as immediately funny but it grew on me after a couple of series), but the one positive thing is that it was killed off while it was still fresh and it never went stale. There's not much on BBC3 at the moment for those like original, slightly twisted and subversive humour, apart from repeats of Family Guy and American Dad which have been looping endlessly now for over half a decade.
The BBC originally said it had no plans to release Mongrels series 2 on DVD but the demand was obviously there so they changed their mind. I hope they will reconsider the series 2 Blu-Ray release too. Maybe if Mongrels fans all email them and threaten to send Vince round...
I knocked one star off my rating because the DVD boxed set isn't as polished as it could be and I really wanted Blu-Rays. Mongrels itself gets five stars, obviously.