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"Moone Boy" The Bell-End of an Era (2012)

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Season 1: Not as hilarious as it could have been, but consistently amusing and entertaining

Author: bob the moo from United Kingdom
26 January 2013

I don't really watch Sky even though I have the channel and as such it was only the critics and the later comedy awards that brought Moone Boy to my attention and had me checking it out. Written by and starring Chris O'Dowd, the show is to be appreciated for him (and a few other stars) still making comedy in the UK for television despite their star very much being in ascendancy in the US and in films. This series seems quite personal to O'Dowd and I'm sure that at least some elements of this are drawn from his own childhood in Ireland, even if it rarely bares much connection to reality for very long.

Young Martin Moone is a cheerful lad who is bully at home and at school alike but remains hopeful and cheerful; his best friend is an imaginary man who has the unimaginative name of Sean Murphy (the single most common name in the entirety of Ireland). Together they enjoy many adventures - mostly small and normal ones though. This plot allows for the show to tell a fairly normal sitcom story but to do it with an element of surrealism and imagination that owes a debt to Father Ted, Black Books and other comedies of that ilk. Moone Boy manages to do this but does it in a way that is soft and accessible. The downside of this is that it rarely soars or comes over as hilarious as it could have done, with the first episode producing the biggest laughs for me but then not really ever getting that again. It is still consistently amusing though and I found it very entertaining and easy to watch.

The cast are pretty good. O'Dowd himself does his usual stuff but does it well but the key thing is that he has very good chemistry with Rawle. The young star manages pretty well and produces a character that is slightly not real in the way that benefits the approach of the writing. These two are the main source of laughs and they do very well but the remainder of the cast are equally good – just that some of them have to carry more traditional plot threads and thus don't have quite as much fun with it.

I am glad it is to return for a second season because Moone Boy is a show with potential, even if it didn't totally deliver on it here. It isn't as hilarious as it hints that it will be but it still manages to be consistently entertaining and amusing, so while not laughing I was still smiling for most of it.

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