Parents' Guide to

Father Ted

By Emily Ashby, Common Sense Media Reviewer

age 16+

Edgy Irish comedy is high entertainment for mature viewers.

TV Syndicated Comedy 1995
Father Ted Poster Image

A Lot or a Little?

What you will—and won't—find in this TV show.

Community Reviews

age 12+

Based on 2 parent reviews

age 12+

It's all in the satire

This it telly to watch with your kids. Lots to laugh about and lots to talk about. It's powerful comedy that most Irish people love. That it laughed at the clergy and traditional suppression of people's preferences is a kind of national (and maybe even international) therapy. The Common Sense Media review here has missed the nuance. Talking to young teens (and maybe even younger children) about why this is funny and how it comments on the changes to Irish Culture is a light way to discuss some sad and disturbing history and enable them to reflect on what healthy authority and healthy relationships might be. The message is in the sarcasm and the darkness of some of the humour. The message is that authoritarian religion leads to the distress and repression of Father Jack with the darker side cropping up regularly in his less controlled old age, the trapped Father Ted and the unaware and also supressed Father Dougal. Dougal's innocent questioning leads to some blunt conversation around things that weren't spoken about enough in Ireland. The episode of Father Ted being racist has probably helped many a racist uncle realise he was actually a racist and that that's not ok! I'm an Irish person living in the UK, this is old telly now but children of 12 or so watch this in the UK, they find it on you tube or their Irish parents or grandparents watch it with them. It makes them laugh, gives them jokes to share and it helps them to understand some of what was wrong with the generations that went before them.

This title has:

Educational value
Great messages
age 12+

One of the best Sitcoms of all time. This show is OK for anyone over the age of 12.

I don't get why people say its only for adults. This show is a must see for anyone over age 12+. I mean I know the show has moderate swearing but when compared to shows like Family Guy this show looks like Thomas and Friends in terms of adult content. Plus unlike modern comedy its actually funny. I would recommend this show to anyone older than 12. Under 12's should ask their parents before watching.

Is It Any Good?

Our review:
Parents say (2):
Kids say (12):

Sarcastic, satirical, and unapologetically irreverent, Father Ted continues to entertain audiences long after its brief three-season run in the '90s. Even with fair warning of the show's embrace of sexuality and personal vices among its ministerial characters, the edgy comedy is still a surprise in a series about religious (albeit flawed) men, leaving viewers never quite sure what will happen next.

Father Ted tramples on Catholic rituals and revered traditions on its quest for comic fame, and it pulls it off in a way that only surrealism can. At no point are the characters held to any realistic standards, creating a world in which drunken, conniving, lecherous priests become the protagonists, and audiences develop an affinity toward their quirky ways. Granted, you might have to set aside your own standards and be OK with this kind of behavior in its surreal context to fully appreciate the show, but the sharp comedy makes it all worthwhile.

TV Details

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