Check out Mrs. Brown's Boys


#1

Originally published at: https://boingboing.net/2017/11/21/check-out-mrs-browns-boys.html


#2

I’ll go along with that part.


#3

Maybe it’s the translation of “humour” to “humor” but yukking it up at jokes about a man dressed as a woman seems outdated by about 20 years at least and has that uncomfortable whiff of transphobia.


#4

Do they have any jokes about paying taxes?


#5

It depends if it’s a case of keeping the best jokes to the men (the Monty Python team admit to doing this) or if the joke is that it’s a man dressed as a woman.

There is a long tradition of crossdressing in British comedy.


I never noticed anything transphobic about British pantomime, and I usually have a heightened awareness of transphobia.


#6

The jokes are not about that. You should watch an episode before you judge. It’s really good.


#7

they’ve got some jokes about taxes:
https://youtu.be/cAcjntGQuCU?t=1m1s


#8

The fact that this show is so popular here in the UK makes me cringe.


#9

Those clips cracked me up. That’s some high quality ribald sitcomming.


#10

It doesn’t make jokes about that (edit: just seen that someone else has said the same thing.)
It’s basically just a revisiting of a fairly standard family sitcom setup (here in the UK, at least) with a strong woman ruling the roost (cf. Carla Lane’s Bread) and a bunch of associated idiots. It’s remarkably LBGT friendly, in fact, and I’m pretty sure it went a long way towards helping change Irish minds on the subject.

For the record, I reckon that everyone should watch one episode. Then you either don’t need to watch any more ever again (because every episode is identical), or you will watch it forever (because every episode is identical.) I’m in the former camp, but I don’t especially worry that there are others in the latter camp, because everyone is allowed to have their own fandom.


#11

http://ai.eecs.umich.edu/people/conway/TS/Rogue%20Theories/Greer/Exorcism%20of%20the%20mother.html
Excerpts from �PANTOMIME DAMES�

[A chapter in the book The Whole Woman (1999, 2000), by Germaine Greer]

"The only way a man can get rid of healthy genitals is to say that he is convinced that he is a woman. Then another man will remove them and gladly. In order to justify sex-change surgery a new disorder called gender dysphoria has come into being. The disease has no biological marker; its presence is discerned by a history of inappropriately gendered behaviour, social disability and affective disorder. . . .

Governments that consist of very few women have hurried to recognize as women men who believe that they are women and have had themselves castrated to prove it, because they see women not as another sex but as a non-sex. No so-called sex-change has ever begged for a uterus-and-ovaries transplant; if uterus-and-ovaries transplants were made mandatory for wannabe women they would disappear overnight. The insistence that manmade women be accepted as women is the institutional expression of the mistaken conviction that women are defective males. The biological truth is the opposite; all biologists know that males are defective females. Though external genitalia are the expression of the chromosomal defect, their removal will not alter the chromosomal fact, any more than removal of the tails of puppies will produce a tailless breed. “Sex-change operations” can only be carried out in Swift’s Laputa. As Dwight D. Billings and Robert Urban argued in 1982:


We're not just talking human males here
#12

Yeah - the premise often seems to be that gender variance is by an in of itself humorous.


#13

Speaking in my official capacity as a Brit: everyone I know thinks it is awful, and the little I have managed to not avoid seeing only reinforces that.


#14

This is clearly not a show written to laugh at or make fun of a gender bender cross dressing character. It is definitely in the Brit semi-crass humor sit com mold. It just happens that its a male actor playing the female lead. This is not Mrs. Doubtfire…we aren’t even to know that its a man.

This definitely fits the Coupling, The Office, Vicar of Dilby, Fawlty Towers mold and those two clips were genuinely funny.

Please stop judging without watching.


#15

Yeah, if someone here in the UK told me that they like the show, I would find it hard to not also make many assumptions about their character…


#16

Perhaps one day we will see cross dressing in comedy shows the same way we see black face today.


#17

But isn’t that just Germain Greer being transphobic (natch) by comparing trans women to pantomime dames, rather than the role of pantomime dame being intrinsically transphobic?

Likewise the Barry Humphries quote only shows that he is transphobic, not the acting tradition he became famous from.

This is not to say that a pantomime dame cannot be transphobic (just like with any cross-gender role), but that is an issue with writing, not the tradition.

To be honest, I would have a far bigger problem if the dame/principal boy role was filled by an openly trans person of the roles gender. That feels more like a clear case of transphobia (one that is only hypothetical, as far as I know.)


#18

I feel the same way about Stage Irish.


#19

You are comparing to entirely different things and it is a ridiculous thought process. Have a nice day.


#20

I will just disagree there. And no, that’s not about the cross-dressing (that seems to be entirely incidental to the show). I just didn’t find any of what I’ve seen of the show funny in any way.

Agreed. Although I will say that for the people I know who like the show, the cross-dressing is part of what makes it “hilarious”.

Semi-crass? :wink:

Oh, I’ve watched it. That’s why I’m judging :slight_smile:

Yup, I think that sums it up nicely. If you like it, you’ll like all of it. If it’s not your thing, it really won’t be your thing.