Last Friday night, telly addicts and Chris O’Dowd enthusiasts sat down to watch the first two episodes of Moone Boy, the eagerly anticipated new series written by O’Dowd for Sky. A new Irish comedy show will generally be met with apprehension, because let’s face it, they’re having to live up to Father Ted. But I have to say, I absolutely loved Moone Boy. The fact that the theme tune is the excellent early 90s classic “Where’s Me Jumper?” by the Sultans of Ping was a surefire way to win me over straight away.
The show follows the adventures of Martin Moone, a well intentioned but slightly odd twelve year old living in Roscommon in 1989 and Seán, his imaginary grown-up friend who gives him terrible advice. The humour is absolutely spot on, sweet in some parts and downright hilarious in others and the depiction of Ireland in the late Eighties is brilliantly done and a total nostalgia-fest. Details like Martin’s mother Deb answering the phone by saying the phone number cracked me up, because I’d forgotten that that’s exactly what everyone did back then.
Martin’s stroppy older sisters are great fun to watch, particularly the very cranky Trisha, in her plaid braces and baggy Cure t-shirts, and hearing words like “deadly” and “shifting” on one of the biggest English channels is just delightful altogether.
Another great thing about the show is that it features some of Ireland’s wonderfully funny female comedians, with Deirdre O’Kane in the role of Martin’s mother and Maeve Higgins and Tara Power popping up in the second episode (which had a fantastic feminist slant) as part of Deb’s campaign team for Mary Robinson, “the Joan of Arc of Connaught”. Steve Coogan also makes an appearance and pulls off a surprisingly decent culchie accent, in fairness to him.
So it looks like Chris O’Dowd can add brilliant comedy writing to his CV now, as well as coming in at number 10 in this year’s Fifty Fine Things. Go Chris!
So, were you watching? And will you be tuning in again for tomorrow night’s episode at 9.30?