TV review: Mrs Brown's Boys Christmas

Sub-standard festive frolics from Mrs Brown and her boys (and girls)

As the old Chekhov adage has it, if you introduce a revolving Christmas tree in act one, make sure you're prepared to have it spin out of control in act two. And just as this latest Mrs Brown's Boys festive special doesn't let Anton down in that regard, this turgid half hour goes about its regular business of sticking to all its own rules and having zero surprises up anyone's sleeve.

Manic applause and whooping à la Happy Days as each main 'character' makes their entrance? Check. At least one instance where someone will fluff their lines leading to corpsing in the cast and delirium in the 'live' audience? Check. The flimsiest of lines greeted by unfettered hilarity by the ever-willing crowd? Check.

Clearly this familiarity is a major appeal to its multitude of fans whoever they are (well, have you met one?). For those already dry-heaving at the prospect of being forcibly sat down in front of this, there is one nugget of amusement to be had when the granddad of the show discovers what may be a scary Egyptian-style mummy on his sofa (in actuality, it's Rory who is recovering from plastic surgery), just minutes after we are told that the old geezer's freshly-found taste for horror movies has been causing him nightmares. But even this is the opposite of humour coming from a character and instead is really just two things lumped together for the sake of a half-decent gag.

The story, such as it is, revolves around everyone worrying over Rory's operation and Cathy's blind date with Jake who turns out to be a rather short gentlemen (cue unbound amusement as she tries desperately to get out of this 'nightmare' scenario). Still, no shortage of catty reviews will ever stop millions of people from watching this or from Brendan Carroll writing further instalments of his wildly popular sitcom. Ah feck!

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