The Walshes are going out to dinner at their local Thai restaurant, in a display of what has become a family tradition: an annual "celebration of spontaneity". Rory finds a suit and suffers an existential crisis, and Tony hears back from the hospital about his "anal companion". Much like The Royle Family, nothing ever really happens on The Walshes, but that - and a crackingly funny script - is exactly why the show works. As always, Carmel (Philippa Dunne) is the undisputed star. Let's hope it gets renewed.Bim Adewunmi, The Guardian, 27th March 2014
This domestic sitcom from Dublin comedy troupe Diet of Worms and Graham Linehan really hits its stride tonight, as meek, unassuming Graham (the excellent Shane Langan) is evicted from his bedsit in a hilariously absurd opening scene.
His only option is to fall upon the mercy of the Walshes, who hardly welcome their daughter's boyfriend with open arms. Tony (Niall Gaffney) tries desperately to prove he's as learned as the bookish Graham, while Carmel (Philippa Dunne) fixes a smile and insists "it's fine" that Ciara (Amy Stephenson) is sharing her bed with a man.
The set-up is standard but the finely crafted execution raises the comedy to great heights.Radio Times, 20th March 2014
The Walshes are a working-class Dublin family comprising cab driver Tony (Niall Gaffney), chatterbox Carmel (Philippa Dunne) and their two grown-up children, both unemployed, all living in a house too small to accommodate four adults, plus their neighbour, who is forever round fixing things.
It is this sense of claustrophobia that gives The Walshes its comic edge. Otherwise it would be a fairly standard family sitcom, albeit one with much better jokes, given the fact that Graham Linehan of Father Ted fame is one of the writers.Harry Venning, The Stage, 18th March 2014
An incredibly traditional comedy, the first episode of The Walshes introduces us to the titular family as they're about to meet the boyfriend of daughter Ciara (Amy Stephenson) for the first time. However the rest of the Walsh family believe that Graham (Shane Langan) is a doctor which leads to a rather fantastic comic misunderstanding between him and Walsh patriarch Tony (Niall Gaffney).
Elsewhere mother Carmel (Philippa Dunne) is busy making a roast dinner despite the fact that Ciara and Graham are going out for something to eat. All in all, nothing much happens in The Walshes but I don't feel that that's necessarily a negative element.
As always, Linehan has presented a group of incredibly weird characters who are brought together by similar circumstances and in this case all happen to be family members. The Walshes certainly doesn't have the usual surreal edge that Linehan's comedies possess, but what it lacks in creativity it makes up for with some really well-observed moments.
Carmel asking Ciara to taste her gravy while she was having a bath was comedy gold while I loved Graham getting more and more worried as he spent more time with the Walsh family.
Though not as funny as it should have been, I really believed that the Walshes were a real family and this made me enjoy the programme a lot more. It will be interesting to see if the sitcom can maintain the standard of this first episode, but I'm definitely willing to give it the benefit of the doubt.The Custard TV, 17th March 2014