Debra is ready to do anything it takes in an election campaign and Martin is feasting on friendship.
This second outing for the imaginative Martin Moone had me laughing uproariously as the young scamp was being friendly with new kid at school, Trevor, just because of the delicious food his mum served up. His own mum, Debra was busily working on the campaign for Mary Robinson to be President of Ireland and so Martin’s sister was cooking. After a seeing her anaemic looking broccoli (is that even possible???), rice and plastic concoction, Martin decided to find alternative ways of getting fed, seeing Trevor laying out a handkerchief on a table at school and tucking into a hearty sandwich with gravy, Martin decided very much to make his acquaintance. After being invited to Trevor’s home just once, Martin became a regular fixture, even bringing a bottle or two – well, blackcurrant juice and lemon juice.
Meanwhile, Debra was trying to get her husband Liam to provide free posters for Mary’s campaign as they only had one and they had to move it around by the cover of night. As he was doing the posters for he opposition and was being paid well, he had to say no so Debra and the ladies of the village got together at the hairdressers to come up with a plan. Their only hope to get funding for posters was to appeal to Francie Feely (Steve Coogan), a lecherous fishmonger who had a pretty penny but didn’t exactly give it out without something in return. When Debra and her friend went to visit him, he offered them a thousand pounds but on the condition that they do something for him. After attempting subliminal messaging to get people to vote for Mary, Debra and her friend made the decision to take one for the team and actually do what was asked of them by Feely but Liam was on the phone line too when the agreement was made and is he going to get his wife go through with the act Feely has in mind?
Eventually Martin’s welcome with Trevor’s family wore thin and he was told not to come back. The scenes with Martin being told that Tuesday night was no longer Pavlova Tuesday but now family Tuesday were actually quite heart wrenching as a hungry little boy is a sad little boy but he had started to turn up announced and it was bound to happen eventually.
Steve Coogan was just brilliant in his role as the greasy, smarmy fishmonger with a huge house and a penchant for cleaning ladies. His particular brand of cleaning was necessary on one hand but unsavoury on the other. Steve Coogan seemed to relish the role, even stripping down to little clothing for the show and his Irish accent seemed passable. The great thing about Steve Coogan is that he never seems afraid to look a fool, indeed he has made a career out of it, and I always hope that he is a really nice guy in real life. He truly is the star of this episode and while I thought that the campaign ladies were great, Coogan really stood out in episode two.
The scene at the beginning with a lady saying to Debra that she wouldn’t want to put Mary under all that stress and that maybe she didn’t really want the job as she herself was always signing up to things she didn’t want to do made me laugh out loud. The gentle comedy is a welcome distraction from the worries of the world and the additions of real history are great little touches to ground the show in reality. The fact that the stories are based on the real experiences of Chris O’Dowd give the show a sense of wholesome honesty and it is easy to like the characters in his world. A really outstanding, sweet comedy with lots of laughs and real heart. Thoroughly enjoyable.