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Prevalence Of The Web Show: Childhood and Adolescence Collide In Hulu's Moone Boy
2013 International Emmy for Best Comedy
2014 IFTA for Best Entertainment Programme
Hulu's online hit show, Moone Boy, follows the ruminations of Martin Moone, who is on the brink of adolescence. His best friend is Sean, a tall, goofy but self-aware product of Martin's imagination. Sean is played by Chris O'Dowd of Bridesmaids fame and who of recent is portraying Lenny on the broadway production of Mice and Men alongside James Franco. O'Dowd is also the co-creator and co-writer of the show, stating that he has "turned down movie roles" to see that Moone Boy continues its successful streak with audiences and critics.
Moone Boy is an intelligent, playful, coming-of-age show that can be enjoyed by everyone. The show is a gem in a genre that is overdone with the same uninspiring plots that depict childhood with multi-talented kids who can sing, dance, and act all under 30 minutes at the snap of two fingers (See every Disney channel and Nickelodeon show).
The portrayal of the young boy and his regular working class family in a small town in Ireland is so refreshing and so very relatable, even to a 20-something American female. The parents border between nonchalant acceptance of reality and forlorn ambition, and it perfectly balances the quirky, off-the-wall situations the family finds itself in.
Martin's ingenuous personality is delightful and far from pretentious. He guilelessly finds ways to escape bullies, hide marked sheets after experiencing his first wet dream, and breaks down the wall separating his backyard to his school so he can escape the morning hustle and bustle that comes with sharing a room with an older sister, and having only one bathroom in a household of six people.
In one of my favorite episodes of the first season, Martin finds himself "in" with the alter boys, who are the PG version of mobsters, taking portions of the daily monetary offerings and splitting it amongst themselves. Martin wants so badly to prove himself to the cool altar boys, but ends up getting excommunicated after deciding to stay loyal to his elder sister.
The show is replete with references to Ireland's history, politics, and geography, so some jokes are more of an inside joke for the Irish, but don't let that deter you! I am not of the Irish persuasion and my knowledge of Ireland is limited to some rudimentary facts, but I find that the reason I like it so much is because of its portrayal of a bucolic small town that for this city girl might as well be rural Tennessee.
Granted that the show is not a web show, it's actually a television show on Sky Networks in Ireland. However, luckily for us here in the U.S., HULU streams the show for free after it's aired in Ireland. The internet has provided us a way to watch an acclaimed series from overseas that otherwise may not have found its way to the U.S. You can catch a glimpse of the second season in the trailer below.