Father Ted and the IT Crowd
Given that this article is chiefly aimed at students, I’m guessing most of you are roughly my age (nineteen-ish) and grew up watching great comedies like The IT Crowd, Peep Show, or The Office. However, I suspect not a great number of you have seen, or are fans of the comforting, ‘nice cup of tea’ that is Father Ted – essentially a comedy about three people who are trapped by circumstance on the dullest corner of the desolate bog that is Craggy Island.
But do not be put off by this bleak overview; if you are a fan of The IT Crowd you’ll like Father Ted, as they are written by the same man, Graham Linehan. Both programmes also share similar themes that are key factors to their comedy.
Firstly, there is juxtaposition between the characters despite their dissimilar careers: three totally unsuitable cranks in a wholly Catholic environment and three chaotic misfits responsible for the efficiency of a major organisation’s IT system. If we look closely, the characters are all trapped in their own world despite having huge responsibilities; one set being isolated on a forgotten island whilst the other is consigned to live in oblivion in the depths of a highly successful business. In particular, the characters Maurice Moss (The IT Crowd) and Dougal McGuire (Father Ted) live in their own voids of ineptness, whilst Father Ted and Roy (The IT Crowd) are the slightly more savvy characters.
The absurd interaction between the two main characters of Father Ted makes for a thrilling experience, so if you’re a fan of surreal comedy like The IT Crowd then give Father Ted a chance – you’ll never look back. Remember, even if you can’t quite get into the spirit of it from the start, bear in mind you can always turn it off then on again!
Buffy the Vampire Slayer
Watch this if you love…any show that contains one or all of the following: a strong female lead, impeccable banter, the supernatural.
To say Buffy the Vampire Slayer reinvented the landscape of writing television wouldn’t be a far cry from the truth. Joss Whedon, the writer, director, and creator behind Buffy The Vampire Slayer, is now known as the masterminds who conducted the hugely successful Avengers Assemble films. However, before his reign over Marvel, Wheedon had humble beginnings on the small screen.
Buffy was the first of its kind, and at its core, there was one defining element: an impeccably complex and strong female lead, who wasn’t bound by stereotypes, and yet wasn’t afraid to embrace her femininity. The show, in a nutshell, was centred on a group of misfits in California, led by valley girl turned vampire slayer Buffy Summers. In the show, Buffy learns to accept her pre-ordained supernatural fate whilst balancing the trials and tribulations of teen angst and high school.
More importantly, the show mastered the art of using supernatural metaphors in its foreground to deal with deeper subtext in its background. Buffy gave television a middle ground nuance fit for both impressionable teens and educated adults. It tackled themes in a way that had never been seen before on television (including third wave feminism, lesbianism, rape, etc.).
So, don’t be that person who hears Buffy’s initial synopsis of vampire and forbidden romance and brush it off as ‘another teen flick’. You’ll live to regret it. The show is regarded by critics as a landmark of 90s television, so why not join in and check out the cult-hit for yourself?