Mrs Brown: why people love to hate TV's Marmite comedy creation

Friday, 18th May 2018, 11:52 am
Updated Friday, 18th May 2018, 14:42 pm

"I'd rather be stung by a thousand wasps."

"The worst thing I have ever seen. Actually makes me sick."

"I develop a facial tic every time I accidentally turn over to BBC and it's on."

Mrs Brown, the TV alter-ego of Irish comedian Brendan O'Carroll, might be the most polarizing presence on UK screens.

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Despite riding high in the ratings with millions of loyal viewers - and even being voted the best British sitcom of the 21st century in 2016 - Mrs Brown's Boys is also a magnet for imaginative insults and allegations of old-school attitudes from its many detractors.

The comments above were just some of things our Screen Babble members had to say when we asked them for their thoughts. Here, ahead of the return of spoof chat show All Round To Mrs Brown's this Saturday, is why people love to hate Mrs Brown.

'Like we've regressed 40 years'

"It's painful in its awfulness," says Steve Wilkins. "It's like we've regressed 40 years and we're all stuck in the 1970s with nothing to watch on three channels and so we 'laugh along' with Love Thy Neighbour or On The Buses, when deep down we know they are actually rubbish.

"Today we have the choice of a billion channels and yet people choose to watch this drivel. I simply don't get it."

The criticism that the show is 'dated' is one echoed by others, with Simon Webb suggesting Mrs Brown is "a poor attempt to copy Bread, Father Ted et al".

Sheila Mackie finds the character "intensely annoying" and the show "really heavy on the canned laughter".

"The worst thing is we can't even choose not to see it, as it's must be the most spammed programme during programme breaks."

"We watched two episodes and I don't think we laughed once"

"If someone told me they enjoyed Mrs Brown's Boys I'd remove them from my life instantly"

Another frequent complaint is that Mrs Brown's comedy panders to the "lowest common denominator", without "any nod to subtly clever dialogue or plot" in Colin Smith's view.

Simon Forsyth brands it "the absolute lowest grade of 'comedy'"; Ben Garnham notes it's "mainly toilet humour centred around cheap laughs".

"Probably the worst thing on TV," he adds.

'Daft never hurt anyone'

Still, there are those who sound a more cautious note.

"Not keen on the sitcom, quite like the chat show," says Stuart Chandler. "I think because it's the fish out of water thing for the celebs, especially if they're unfamiliar with the concept."

A fair statement, or not? (Photo: BBC)

Lee-Ann Gilligan meanwhile "used to think it was funny", but feels that "now it seems they are trying too hard".

"I don't mind Mrs Brown," adds Paul O'Donnell. "It is very old school in that you can see some of the jokes coming a long way off, but daft never hurt anyone."

As for Donald Grant, he damns it with faint praise.

"I'd rather binge watch the dreadful Mrs Brown and her woeful boys than suffer a nano second of Keith Lemon..."

All Round To Mrs Brown's Season 2 starts Saturday, 9.20pm on BBC One. 

'¢ Do you hate Mrs Brown with a burning passion? Or are you keen to defend it? Have your say by joining Screen Babble on Facebook

[Main image: BBC]