ByEdward Horan, writer at

Okay. This is my first post ever other than entries for the origin story contest, so be lenient, please. Anyway, Father Ted is probably the best Irish sitcom of all time. It followed 3 priests and a tea-obsessed housekeeper that had been exiled to an island literally called Craggy Island, and their adventures there,

Anyway, I'm pretty sure Craggy Island is Hell.

Look: nothing Fathers Ted, Dougal, and Jack do ever works out for them. They don't ever succeed at anything, and the worst possible situation invariably happens to them. They even forget to put cards in the envelope when they play Clue. The only things they accomplish are avoiding being sent to worse places (like in the episode "The Passion of St. Tibulus", where they narrowly escape being separated and sent to even more remote corners of the world), which is clearly designed to keep them on the island, and to instill in them a fear that they could go to a worse place. When they do get off the island, they suffer crushing embarrassment, and head back with their tails between their legs (like when they participate in a parody of Eurovision in the episode "A Song for Europe"). Besides that, they're all practically tailored specifically to annoy each other: Ted, the sanest character, is a buzzkill to "designated moron" Dougal, and both of their lives are made miserable by senile, psychotic Father Jack. Nanny Doyle annoys everyone with her constant hampering to drink her tea, but she's stuck with 3 people who almost never drink any. It's a suspiciously perfect life-wrecking mechanism-like in No Exit, the sinners are left to torture themselves, but the torturers get to ruin things from the outside without entering in.

But so what, you say. All sitcoms are like that. It's how they make them funny (or... not, in some cases). But often, the last episode disrupts the infinite status quo of cringe (Ross and Rachel stop going on-and-off; Ted meets your mother, whatever, I didn't watch that show; the park is finished)-but on Father Ted, the last episode has that almost happen, but they wind up staying. In fact, it was going to end with Ted committing suicide-had the actor not died the day after filming was complete. Besides-and this is the kicker-unlike most episodes, the characters all expressly committed major sins to be sent here. Father Jack did something at a wedding (not known), Ted stole money that was supposed to go to a child in Lourdes and blew it all in Las Vegas, and Dougal did something known as the "Blackrock Incident" which left some nuns traumatized, but that's all we know. We don't know about Mrs. Doyle, but even the supporting cast have all committed sins to have been sent here. Bishop Brennan, their boss and the one who ostensibly sent them to the island in the first place, fathered an illegitimate son, and now has to deal with these three, incredibly annoying priests who at one point show up in his room, Father Jack in the nude, with armfuls of rabbits (he's scared of rabbits). A couple who live on the island, John and Mary O'Leary, are constantly abusing and trying to murder each other-and have to live with each other forever. Tom, the village idiot, is a homicidal maniac. That all leads me to believe that Craggy Island is a bitterly ironic vision of Hell. Let me know if you disagree!


Is Craggy Island Hell?


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