THE FATHER TED FIVE : 1. EUROVISION

So we have it, the greatest Father Ted episode ever.

It has everything that is the trademark of all Father Ted’s best moments : Ted’s competitive streak, Dougal being naive, Dougal being stupid, Popular Culture being parodied, Awkwardness, Jokes having the expected punchline, but not the expected victim.

We start off with Ted and Dougal bonding over their love of music. Dougal’s main passion is the Eurovision Song Contest, which plants the idea in Ted’s head that they should enter. The seed is sown when Ted learns of his arch rival Dick Byrne entering.

The best moment comes when Dougal and Ted are jamming, where Ted tells Dougal to stop being so serious. Fast forward a few hours, and a drunken Ted is furiously launching an X rated tirade at Dougal as they have what musicians call “Creative tensions”

After Dougal plays a part Eurovision song from his record collection (consisting of one record), he tells Ted of the tragic story of the band behind it, who all died in a plane crash alongside everyone at their record label, publishing company and all their families. Dougal, though having his suspicions that Ted is stealing the song, is duped into being reassured by Ted.

Ted then has a Eurovision dream, prompting another great moment, where you think you see the punchline, but get led astray, where Ted dreams an awful video and song, but wakes up thinking that all that needs to be done is to lose a Saxophone solo.

The night of the song selection arrives, and there is a great moment of awkward comedy where he speaks to the producer of the show, who refers to the presenter as “His partner”, and Ted mistaking comments that they are business partners, only to be told that hey are lovers. Ted doesn’t know how to react, providing some great awkward comedy.

As Ted and Dougal die on their arse, as they say, Dick and Cyril produce and epic Power Ballad, complete with smoke. Surprisingly, it’s the Craggy Island duo who win, prompting Dick Byrne to suggest that it was fixed, possibly because Ireland didn’t want the crippling hosting costs, causing some awkward dismissive laughter from the show’s Producer.

The show might have been over, but there was still time for one last joke in the end credits, as Ted and Dougal are backstage, sitting through what seems like a neverending succession of nil points. To add insult to injury, Jack deserts them to sip champagne with the victorious Belgian act.

Father Ted summed up there, even when he manages to achieve something, there always seems to be a crushing defeat just waiting to happen.

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