Give My Head Peace (1998– )

TV Series   |    |  Comedy

Episode Guide
Give My Head Peace (1998) Poster

During a standard police raid on the headquarters of the Lower Falls Rd battalion of the IRA a young RUC officer falls in love with the daughter of the leader of the battalion. However he ... See full summary »


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6 October 2006 | mulhollandman
| Not the best sitcom in the world but you could do a lot worse
Had you asked me in 1998 would this show been still running in 2006 I would have said definitely not. I would have said that the critic's constant criticism of the script and the acting would have been enough for Damon Quinn, Tim McGarry and Michael McDowell to fold their tents. But to my surprise the three writers who make up half of the Hole in the wall gang are still going strong.

Set in Belfast it documents the lives of two northern Irish families each representing the loyalist and republican sides. The republican family consists of Sinn Fein members Da & Cal, the long-suffering Ma and voluptuous daughters Dymphna & Emer. The loyalist side is made up of the P.S.N.I Officer (formerly R.U.C) Billy and his loyalist mad uncle called Andy. One day the police raid the republican household and Protestant policeman Billy falls in love with Roman Catholic Emer and they marry. This sets the scene for one of Northern Irelands most dysfunctional mixed marriages ever.

I will first point out that I do not go out of my way to watch this show but when I do sit down and watch I find it quite enjoyable and at times very funny. But I also find certain areas of this show very tedious which has lead to me developing a love hate relationship with the show. The loyalist characters like Uncle Andy, Big Mervyn and Red Hand Luke make me laugh till my sides are sore, simply because there is extra thought incorporated into all their characterizations. From how they speak right down to what they wear and how they walk has me stitches. The walk in particular is my favorite. It is a combination of a strut and a march. This is the side of the show I like and it is always a delight too watch. This is because they rarely need to name check politicians or continuously remind us that they are loyalists. When we see them we know outright where their political beliefs lie. But seldom do they ever play the political angle and their main comedy source is their ignorance to what is different. This invariably leads to them having better story lines and when they do get a great story line none of the actors involved of making the plot work.

The side I hate of the show manifests itself with the republican characters whose antics are just simply annoying. The scripts never change. The actors who play the characters, with the exception of Ma, are terrible and their characterizations when compared to their loyalist counterparts I consider to be very lazy. They constantly sell the nationalist/republican side and although I am catholic and from Ireland I find it really annoying because it is nothing we haven't heard or spoofed before. There is very little entertainment in it for me. Some would argue that the loyalist characters suffer from the same problems. Yes they are stereotypical but it is evident that they do it better.

Yes it is stereotypical and two dimensional but this show still has a large fan base throughout Ireland. It's inoffensive and full of daft story lines to keep the fans entertained. The critics hate it but the public can't get enough. I personally won't be making a note in my TV diary to watch it, but if push come to shove and there is nothing else on I could do a lot worse. 4 out of 10


Release Date:

16 January 1998



Country of Origin

UK, Ireland

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