TV viewers have complained about the return of Mrs Brown’s Boys in the New Year.
The divisive series stars Brendan O’Carroll as Agnes Brown, a mother to six children in Dublin. It is based on the popular theatre show and book series.
Following the “unwatchable” Christmas episode that aired on 25 December, Mrs Brown’s Boys returned for a second special, this time to celebrate New Years on 1 January.
Titled “In Mammy’s Hair Loom”, the story picks up where the Christmas episode left off with suspicion circling around Cathy’s (Jennifer Gibney) creepy boyfriend, Boris.
Unfortunately, viewers were as unhappy with the New Year’s special as they were with the Christmas episode – perhaps even more so considering its timing.
The special followed immediately after the much-anticipated return of Happy Valley.
The critically acclaimed and fan-favourite crime drama series, starring Sarah Lancashire and James Norton, returned for its third season on Sunday night (1 January).
Its return has been praised by viewers and critics. You can read The Independent’s four-star review here.
“Watching the thoroughly brilliant but depressing Happy Valley only for it to finish and Mrs Brown’s Boys start. Haven’t we suffered enough this evening?” said one person.
Another agreed, writing: “From the sublime to the ridiculous – Happy Valley followed by Mrs Brown’s Boys… HV is gripping while the latter is truly awful.”
“Happy Valley followed by Mrs Brown’s Boys,” said a third person. “I don’t know which one is most grim and depressing of the two.”
“Brilliant episode, so pleased it’s back,” wrote one person about Happy Valley. “And then BBC follows it with Mrs Brown’s Boys. Give me strength.”
“The BBC provides us with the brilliance of Sarah Lancashire for an hour then ruins it by putting Mrs Brown’s Boys on straight after. A show not fit to lace Catherine Cawood’s Dr Martens,” said another.
One person added: “Not even 24 hours into 2023 & already Mrs Brown’s Boys is on TV!!! That’s this year ruined! Thanks a lot BBC.”
Others, however, defended the show against the harsh criticism. “This’ll rile people but for no good reason: another good episode of Mrs Brown’s Boys. People are too snobbish and up themselves and yes I will say that!”
The BBC dominated the Christmas 2023 ratings, and you can find a list of the top 15 most-watched shows here.
Mrs Brown’s Boys and Happy Valley are available to watch on BBC iPlayer.