This show premiered last September in the UK, and I never heard of it until last week. It’s not airing on US TV, but is on Hulu. But I watched the entire first season in one day, and I feel robbed for not having known about it earlier! It’s the best thing I’ve watched in months. Good news: the second season/series starts in the UK next month, and a third series/season has already been ordered. More Martin Moone, yay!
The story revolves around young Martin Moone as he grows up in late ’80s Ireland. Chris O’Dowd plays Martin’s imaginary friend.
If you’re wondering why I’m talking about this Irish show with an Irish cast on my British blog, it’s complicated. He’s Irish, but he and the shows co-creator have lived in London for a long time. He’s an actor I’ve written about before, and I think it’s okay to talk about what he’s doing that’s not set in the UK. Plus, I love this show, and really want to talk about it.
If you’re not wondering why I’m talking about an Irish show on my British blog, let me remind you that they are separate countries. Yes, really separate. You need your passport, and different money, and everything.
Anyway, back to the show. In addition to Martin and his imaginary friend Sean Murphy, there is the rest of his truly awesome family:
Liam is a clueless, exhausted Dad who I now have a secret crush on. Mom Debra is a smartass. Daughters Fidelma, Sinead, and Trisha are the good one, the tomboy, and my newest hero. My hero is the one in The Cure t-shirt, if you couldn’t guess. She’s like a really snarky, Irish Gabby Hoffman.
Poor Liam. One of the daughters asks him if ‘Mam has any cotton pads’ and he awkwardly asks if she means feminine sanitary pads, and said daughter responds ‘Yes, Dad, I want to wash my face with a tampon.’ Eye roll and doorslam. Ah, teenage girls. I remember being one, and am so glad I didn’t have two others in the house with me.
Other gems include Sinead finding out about menstruation. “What do you mean the moon is going to make me bleed? I’ll make the moon bleed!”
What I found so interesting about this show is the idea of a totally sweet, innocent 12-year-old boy with a cynical world-weary imaginary best friend. on his birthday, Martin watches his dad roll out his (wrapped) present, which looks a lot like a bike. Sean Murphy’s response is to say: “No! Surely they haven’t gotten you something decent. It must be a bicycle-shaped sock”.
Later, in church, Sean Murphy says “Church is no place for imaginary friends.” It took me a few seconds to get the second meaning there. It’s a lot of snarky little lines like that, they all made me chuckle.
I was about two episodes into this show when I decided that I loved it. Also, when Martin Moone grows up, I want to marry him. Adorable.
Other great characters include Martin’s best friend Padraic (also adorable!) and his imaginary friend, Crunchie Danger Haystacks, played by Johnny Vegas.
Also, Steve Coogan makes an appearance as the single most disgusting human being that’s ever lived (outside of a Darren Aronofsky film)
In addition to hilariousness, the show is actually really poignant. It reminded me a bit of Freaks and Geeks meets Roseanne, but Irish. Lots of coming-of-age themes, humiliating for nearly everyone, but still with a hint of respect that comes from looking back on such a terrible time in everyone’s life. Also, the music is great. The theme song is called ‘Where’s Me Jumper’ and I need to have it on my iphone ASAP.
I have no idea how I’m going to get a hold of the second season, but I will. I need more of this show in my life.