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Impious, irreverent, and irresistible, that lovable trinity-Fathers Ted, Dougal, and Jack-continues to cause unholy consternation on Craggy Island, the desolate hunk of rock to which the priests have been exiled. This time around, they grapple with a burping sheep, compete in the All Priests Over-70 Football Match, venture onto the mainland (always risky!), and inadvertently entertain singing sensation Eoin McLove. Overseeing-and sometimes inciting-these shenanigans is Mrs. Doyle, the devoted but daffy parish housekeeper. A delightful DVD bonus: Fathers Ted and Dougal host a Comic Relief special. 4 hours 10 min. on 2 DVDs.
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Equal parts Marx Brothers, Black Adder, and James Joyce, Father Ted is inspired lunacy with a rural Irish twist. This set contains the final season of the BBC series; Father Ted abruptly ended in 1998 with the death of its talented, comic star, Dermot Morgan. The eight episodes here are a little uneven, but the best stuff is classic, laugh-out-loud satire, including "Are You Right There, Father Ted," in which Morgan's titular Catholic priest is re-banished to Ireland's Craggy Island, a green rock replete with paranoid sheep, randy milkmen, Nazi memorabilia collectors, and an inexplicably large community of Chinese immigrants. Outstanding, too, is "Speed 3," in which Ted discovers that a number of babies recently born on Craggy all look like a self-made swinger named Pat Mustard. "Kicking Bishop Brennan Up the Arse" speaks for itself, and "The Mainland" gives supporting actor Ardol O'Hanlon (as idiotic fellow cleric Dougal) a great showcase. --Tom Keogh
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