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6 Degrees Entertainment

'Father Ted - The Definitive Collection'
(Dermot Morgan (de.), et al / 5-Disc DVD / NR / 2008 / BBC Home Video)

Overview: Craggy Island, located somewhere off the coast of Ireland, is the setting for this critically acclaimed, award-winning comedy series. Father Ted, the responsible one of the bunch, is challenged with the difficult task of overseeing the simple-minded Father Dougal and the cranky, alcoholic Father Jack. Father Ted has his work cut out for him keeping himself and his colleagues out of trouble and rectifying the ridiculous situations they find themselves in, all-the-while avoiding the scornful eye of Bishop Brennan.

DVD Verdict: Let's get straight to the point here ... 'Father Ted' is a well written feckin' comedy series that has anyone from Ireland still quoting the show even today! Brilliant acting, comic genius, and a theme song that is great to sing when in a pub with friends ... although it is only music and no words, watch it, and you will understand!

You can't help but sympathize with Father Ted's plight. That being said, this is not for the Catholic viewer that can't laugh about the historical and current problems within the church. I am Catholic, and sometimes I cringe at the jokes, but overall, it's a good natured ribbing at our all too public problems. The bottom line is, I find myself laughing, but sometimes feeling a bit guilty after watching the show. The characters are very well developed, and their actions are always in line with their personalities, something I find lacking in most of today's American "sit coms." If you're a fan of Monte Python and have the stomach for religious jokes, this is an excellent series.

If you only watch one episode of this series it must be the one in which Father Dougal becomes a milkman. Father Ted outs the islands original milkman for being a ladies man when there is a baby boom of babies looking exactly like the "Chewbacca" looking fellow. The milkman seeks revenge in the form of placing a bomb on Dougal's milk truck a la "Speed" and the truck must stay above 4 miles per hour. Yet, the saddest thing about this series is that Dermot Morgan, the actor who played Ted, actually died of a heart attack just as the third series was wrapped. I don't think another actor could play this part as well as he did.

But, and please do pay attention here, if you already have the 'Father Ted - The Holy Trinity Collection' DVD box set you may not want (or even need) this one. As listed below, there is only an additional 10 minutes of footage from the first set to this, "The Definitive Collection" of "Father Ted". Indeed, here is a list of the bonus material:

Commentary with Graham Linehan, Arthur Matthews, Ardal O'Hanlon, Tim Shuttlewoode & Chris Claycee
Interview with Writers
A Christmassy Ted
Tedfest 2007 - A Very Ted Weekend
Tedfest 2007 - Two Tribes Go To War
Comedy Connections
Comic Relief with Ted & Dougal
Craggy Island Memories
Dougal's Sound Effects Gallery
Photo Gallery

The additions to the previous "Holy Trilogy" are:

The 2 "Tedfest" featurettes (from a 2007 Father Ted convention)
A 30-minute episode of the BBC program "Comedy Connections" from 2004 detailing the former and subsequent careers of the cast and writers Craggy Island Memories
Commentary tracks on the series 3 episodes (of which there were none on the original "The Holy Trilogy" - Series 1 and 2 already had commentary tracks by writer Graham Linehan who is joined on the 2nd half of series 2 by actor Ardal O'Hanlon.)
Dougal's Sound Effects Gallery

While there is nothing left off the original release and the additions add only "10 minutes" to the running time (even though they add up to more), these additional features seem to make a double dip unnecessary unless you are a "Father Ted" completist. But, and all that said, if you ae such a 'Father Ted completist,' well ... I guess you'll need this set also! Just remember that if you are easily offended you should probably look elsewhere ("The Vicar of Dibley" is much "safer" while still being funny). If you enjoy irreverent British humor you should give 'Father Ted' a go. OK, so what else is there to say? This is Irish humor at it's most irreverent and cheekiest pinnacle. All the comedic archetypes are here in the four principle characters. This show works because of the cast and brilliant writing. If ever there was a case in TV comedy of right time and right place this is it. This show will live on for many years to come as more and more people discover it. Thank you Ireland and RIP Dermot Morgan. Brilliant! This is a Widescreen Presentation (1.78:1) enhanced for 16x9 TVs.