Father Ted: This Catholic says, Amen!

Photo from Father Ted site at Channel 4; http://www.channel4.com/programmes/father-ted/articles/all/best-episode-ever-shortlist/434

If you haven’t seen Father Ted, it’s really time that you did. (And do it now, so you’re all ready to watch the holiday episode of the series, “A Christmassy Ted.”)

Father Ted is surreal British (or Irish, I should say) comedy at its very, very best. When you need something dark and enjoyably weird, let’s face it, no American comedy will do. How many weird, dark American comedies do you know–featuring priests, no less?

The premise is this: What does the church leadership do with one priest, who may or may not (well, he has, really) misappropriated church funds for a gambling trip; an aged, infirm, and alcoholic priest; and a third priest who’s not only charmingly simple, but who’s also pretty sure you’re not meant to take any of it (you know, “heaven and hell and everlasting life”) seriously? It dumps them together in a falling-down parochial house on remote and inhospitable Craggy Island. Add a housekeeper who wants nothing more than to serve endless cups of tea to the priests in her charge, and you have the setting for complete and very quotable Catholic ridiculousness, thanks to the brilliant (and, he must be, very strange) Graham Linehan.

The mister and I have had endless fun with this series, as he is not Catholic and thinks we’re all nutty-bar, and I am Catholic and think we’re all nutty-bar (although I mean it affectionately). It’s an important distinction. Still, Father Ted is responsible for a lot of shorthand in our relationship:

Here the fathers are protesting a racy film (only because they’ve been told to by their superior). We use this whenever getting a chuckle from other people getting over-excited over things we don’t think merit much shock. “Down with this sort of thing! Careful now.”

And of course, the standby:

DRINK! FECK! ARSE! GIRLS! It actually is a bit disturbing how much we find need to shout DRINK and FECK around here. Down with this sort of thing…careful now!

It’s surreal in the extreme, it may or may not offend you, it was made in the late 1990s so it looks kind of old-style…these are all cons, but you should disregard them. I do so love “Father Ted.” I hope you do too.

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