O'Carroll's speech about bullying had me retrospectively wishing I hadn't loathed what had gone before. Yet the irony was that for the previous 30 minutes the viewer had been menaced with endless groaners.Ed Power, The Telegraph, 1st January 2017
I hate this. Let me be clear on that. I hate it but include it here because I know it's wildly popular. This episode is called Chez Mammy and the audience laughs at the first two or three seconds when a cast member is simply sitting at the kitchen table reading a newspaper. Maybe, then, it's the audience I hate; they're only encouraging this type of thing! Or maybe I simply don't get the joke. Mrs Brown is brought to the door by two strapping policemen who say they found her wandering the streets confused, so thought it best to bring her home.
Everyone in your household, even your snoozing dad, your deaf budgie and your leftover New Year steak pie, will see the punchline coming: she just wanted a lift home with her shopping. And Bono is being bullied at school so Mrs Brown steps in - and makes it all worse. Elsewhere, jokes abound with a stair lift and some marijuana.Julie McDowall, The National, 1st January 2017
I decided not to lazily write off Mrs Brown's Boys. It remains absurdly successful, despite critics having generally trashed Brendan O'Carroll's creation as demeaning, cheap, grotesque, simplistic to the point of catalepsy, savagely lacking in wit. So I watched it, and was surprised. It's all of these insults, yes, but the immersive experience is actually, shockingly, worse than expected. Sentimental to retching-point, homophobic, itch-lousy with single entendres, somehow managing to be both twee and vulgar, achingly unfunny, it made The Vicar of Dibley look like Father Ted.
I suspect those of us in our high ivory metropolitan-elite towers (translation: humans who paid even nugatory attention to at least one class in school) missed a trick in 2016: the popularity of this shameless excrescence (I can now write it off after due diligence), which was voted by Radio Times readers the best sitcom of the 21st century, should have given a huge clue to the Brexit vote.Euan Ferguson, The Observer, 1st January 2017
Can't fathom how Brendan O'Carroll's comedy became such a big hit at Christmas (and the rest of the year)? Sarah Doran investigates...Sarah Doran, Radio Times, 1st January 2017
In a second interminable festive instalment of Mrs Brown's Boys, Agnes's grandson Bono is being bullied, so, erm, she decides to threaten to stab the bully in question at the school gates. Unsurprisingly, that inflames the situation, so a mediation session with the boy's mother is called, prior to which Agnes gets stoned on Grandad Brown's medical marijuana. As ever, the best bits are when the cast - mercifully - forget their lines.Ben Arnold, The Guardian, 1st January 2017