Ballykissangel: Complete Collection
DVD | Box Set
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Ballykissangel: Complete Collection (Repackage/DVD)
The complete collection of this beloved drama is finally here! Ballykissangel has become a huge international success since first hitting UK television screens in 1995, and continues to win over millions of fans from across the world. This collection includes every episode of this ever-popular BBC series, full of Irish charm, quirky characters, strange shenanigans and tales of friendship, rivalry and love.]]>
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This show though, like a brain, has two lobes of sorts, with the dividing line between the first 3 seasons (26 episodes) and the 2 seasons following them (24 episodes); with season 6 (an abbreviated season of 8 episodes) pretty much standing alone. (And whether you will enjoy season six comes down to the sort of person you are; whether you relish variety or prefer the TV shows, musical artists, actresses you like to be recognizably the same over their runs, careers. The answer to that will determine whether you easily accept the loss of 3 huge cast members---one of whom passed away in real life necessitating major changes---with 3 other supporting players moving on as well---that series six tries to recover from, and thus is not especially representative of the proceeding years of this still welcoming program to watch, but at one and the same time, just not the same anymore absent the fulcrum (raison d'être even) of the whole program.)
Season four, in this sense, is not just the fourth year of this program, but really is just the first of several attempts to digest huge cast changes. Bit players Liam & Donal who did their job well as hapless hired hands to the focal character of the show (Brian Quigley) have had their roles upped several fold during this year. Thus we see them dredge for gold balls in one of the water hazard's at Quigley's golf course. One of them mysteriously (with no explanation) becomes the guardian of a "pet" bear; a bear, who obviously then wreaks a bit of havoc. New faces are also introduced. The town has a new priest (who brings his sister), a new farmer (with his teenage daughter), and the old farmer's presence is complicated by the arrival of his nephew (also a young adult who predictably catches the eye of the new gal in town). In short, a lot is new herein & it takes a bit to absorb all of it since all 5 newcomers are introduced en masse. 3 of these, incidentally, are flat-out successful in the roles and add much to providing much needed ballast after the 3rd season lost the program's 2 central characters. Father Aidan, as the new understudy to Father Mac, helps to re-center the plot and his sister provides much needed liveliness. Change in series 5 is represented by the arrival of a new police Guard to town, and the character is a winning one---a woman this time, going by the name of Frankie, but she's attractive and capable in the role; but also rather more of a "tough guy" than Guard Egan (though also likable) ever was during the first 4 years. Ambrose Egan's widow, the aforementioned Niamh (who interestingly too, was Father Aidan actor Don Wycherley's real-life sister-in-law, providing an extra dose of natural emotion in this warm-hearted program & who can be seen in the fine Irish drama by the title of "The Hanging Gale" with the fabulous Michael Kitchen starring) is the star of this season. Tony Doyle, who plays her father Brian Quigley remains the character around whom the show really revolves; or his schemes, doings, etc. are responsible for many happenings in this series, as per the norm with previous seasons of BallyK.
After having viewed this series several times I am almost tempted to suggest newcomers to the series to start with season 4 and then "flashback," in effect, to the first 3 seasons so as to end with the most dramatic episodes of the entire series (which are the last 2 of season 3).
P.S. In case you're in the Dublin area one day, do take the time to visit the "set" of Ballykissangel, which isn't one at all actually; but rather is an one-street town (called Avoca) that was occasionally commandeered for filming. It's not that far from Dublin, where you can have a glass of stout in Fitzgerald's Bar ; and/or visit BallyK's church, as you walk into "the program," so to speak, that you have enjoyably watched from afar. (And, if you haven't seen it yet, do treat yourself to seeing Assumpta's Leo in the very Irish and funny film "Waking Ned Devine".) Cheers
I tried to watch the rest of the seasons, but I only got through season 4 before I gave the set away.
If you're tough and don't mind seeing your favorite character die or leave town, then you may still enjoy Ballykissangel. I'm not that tough.
The series goes along with relatively the same cast of actors who bring to the series a warmth and friendship and obvious talent to relate to each other. You almost feel like you're right there in the story. It gave you a good feeling. However, after series four the cast went through a lot of changes as did the story lines. Although, it lost much of what it had in the first four series, it still provided the warmth and wholesomeness that you don't see these days on American television. My wife and I viewed the entire series before we decided to purchase the complete set and we're glad we made the purchase decision. Now we can look at it over and over whenever we feel like going back to Ireland and enjoying the friendships again.
If you like a feel good series, Ballykissangel is just what you are looking for. There are solid performances in each episodes and a non sequential story. Each story is complete and not a continuation of the previous episode. Enjoy!