The adult-oriented sitcom, starring a group of less-than-glamorous puppets, was a hit with audiences and generally well-received by critics when broadcast between June and August 2010. With other characters including well-meaning and foul-mouthed foxes Nelson and Vince (respectively), spiteful pigeon Kali, and the elegant (or so she believes) pooch Destiny, the show focuses on the animals and their lives in the back yard of a pub on London's Isle of Dogs (pun, no doubt, intended).
However, the show was hit with criticism and accusations of plagiarism from the producers of Channel 4's 2001 sitcom Pets. The late-night show also featured puppets of animals and also pushed the boundaries of taste at times. Mongrels largely shook off these claims, however, and continued to receive mixed - although generally with a positive inclination - reviews throughout its 8 week run.
Harry Venning of The Stage newspaper wrote:
Mongrels sets out to be offensive, but does so with an irresistible combination of wit, imagination and gleeful enthusiasm. I laughed out loud several times, I sniggered childishly throughout and on at least one occasion I felt sick, which counts as a ringing endorsement.
Marketed as a British take on American animated sitcom Family Guy, Mongrels was more than 3 years in production, and featured the kind of flashbacks, cutaways and to-camera asides that the US show is famous for. The first series also featured guest appearances including Clive Anderson, Chris Packham, Christopher Biggins and Eamonn Holmes.