Shows You Should Be Watching If You Aren’t Already: Moone Boy

As we’ve mentioned, summer is the perfect time to start up a new tv series, since you have plenty of time to catch up on episodes before the new season starts. I just wrapped up Orphan Black (watch it!) and Hulu was promo-ing the heck out of Moone Boy, so I figured why not?

If you’re not already, you should be watching this show. It’s the perfect light summer tv fare – like the sitcom version of strawberry shortcake, but made with more of a biscuit base so it’s not TOO sweet. Let’s review:

This show is about Martin (David Rawle), a 12-year-old boy growing up in Ireland with his parents, older sisters, and imaginary friend. Yes, an imaginary friend, who actually appears on screen and is an adult man. This sounds horribly twee, but it really isn’t. The reason? Kids having imaginary friends isn’t cute to begin with. It’s weird and kind of creepy. One of my nephews has a whole gaggle of imaginary friends. He can tell you their birth dates, the age they were at any given year, their eerily realistic-sounding life stories (Sara got married when she was 17, but got divorced in 1979). None of the details ever waver.

Guys, I think my nephew sees ghosts.

At any rate, the imaginary friend thing isn’t too cutesy, which was my main concern.

Imaginary man aside, this show is refreshingly realistic, and that’s what I like about it. If you watch a lot of shows from Ireland or the UK, you already know that the actors are a lot more … plausible-looking than they are in US television. The kid looks like a regular awkward kid and his sisters look like regular, awkward teens:

The family interactions are lifelike, too – thanks to a great cast and solid writing. Like, Martin’s dad Liam confronts the school bullies’ dad. In most shows, he’d this big hulking dude who would intimidate Liam. Instead, this man instantly agrees that his kids are the worst, and the dads commiserate about how they can’t stand their own children sometimes. When the local women campaign for Mary Robinson’s presidential race, they have feminist motives but also just really like her haircut.

If the Mary Robinson reference didn’t tip you off, Moone Boy is an early ’90s period piece. It’s odd that my childhood is now distant yesteryear in TV-land, but it’s pretty fun to see the fashions and home furnishings of the day. Granted, I’m American, so my main point of reference for the Ireland of 1990 is this kid Paul who used to stay with my cousins every summer. It was some kind of American family/ child of NRA prisoner exchange program. Nice kid.

The really embarrassing thing is it took until the second episode for me to realize that the show was set 23 years ago. With God as my witness, I just thought that maybe people abroad were still really into Dynasty. Sorry, Ireland — it’s not that I think that you’re permanently stuck in 1990. It’s that I am.

Maybe you still aren’t sold, so I’ll pull out the last big draw. The imaginary friend, Sean Murphy? He’s played by the wonderful Chris O’Dowd, who you’ll know from Bridesmaids, Friends With Kids, and Girls. Also apparently Monsters vs Aliens, but we don’t need to dwell on that.

But we CAN dwell on Chris O’Dowd, who is kind of oddly appealing.

If you’re looking for a funny but not too fluffy show to add to your summer schedule, this is it. New episodes are posted on every Wednesday, and the first two are up now, unless you have Hulu plus – you lucky folks can watch the whole series. However, like imaginary friends, Hulu Plus users may not actually exist, because I’ve never met one yet.


4 thoughts on “Shows You Should Be Watching If You Aren’t Already: Moone Boy

  1. Look no further. Hulu plus user right here. And the only reason I started watching Moone boy was for Chris O’Dowd. I watched all of the IT crowd, and needed more. Then bridesmaids came out, and me, being a guy, I was like, “nah…” That is, until I saw a preview and there he was, my favorite Irishman. I watched it, and loved every second of it. The funniest person in the movie wasn’t even Chris, It was Melissa Mccarthy. “just… just fuckin’ attack.” I was laughing like an insane person.


    • OK, this is the second positive IT Crowd reference I’ve heard this week, so I think that’s next up for me. I’ve heard the same thing from other people about Bridesmaids – they saw the poster with the ladies in bridesmaids dresses and figured it would be another one of those unfunny chick flicks. McCarthy is gold.


      • I’m telling you man, IT Crowd is amazing. You will dance to the intro song, then be subjected to one hilarious moment after another. Some moments you can relate to, others are so outlandish that they tear the fabric of time and space. Not literally, but you catch my drift.
        For the most part, bridesmaids was a chick flick, but it went to a place most wouldn’t even dream of going. Come on, that food poisoning scene was movie magic. A woman took a dump in the middle of the street in a wedding dress. If you don’t find that funny, then you are someone I don’t want to know.


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