I totally missed the boat whenÂ Hatching Matching and Dispatching came around back in 2006 on the CBC. The sitcom, starring Mary Walsh as Mamie Lou Furey, matriarch of the Cats Gut Cove, Newfoundland, family who ran an ambulance, wedding and funeral business was cancelled after just one season.
Now all old is new again as Walsh and the rest of the original cast inÂ Mark McKinney, Susan Kent, Shaun Majumder, Jonny Harris, Sherry White, Joel Thomas Hynes, Adrianna Maggs and Rick Boland reunite for a follow-up TV movie calledÂ A Christmas Fury. I couldn’t find any of the original episodes online, but there is an extended trailer from 2006 worth checking out for no other reason than to see the baby-faced Jonny Harris even more baby-faced.
Since I didn’t see the original series, I went into A Christmas Furyâ€”airing Sunday, Dec. 3, at 8 p.m. on CBCâ€”with no preconceived notions or expectations other than being impressed by the all-star cast and looking forward to what I surmised would be a riot of sight gags and salty language. I was not disappointed. And I did not, as I feared, have to have seen Hatching Matching and Dispatching to know what was going on inÂ A Christmas Fury.
When we catch up with the Furey family on Sunday they’re in the midst of assembling for a nativity scene with Troy (Harris) as the “baby Jeebus.” He’s surrounded by Nick Crocker (Hynes), Phonse Furey (Boland), Darlene Furey (Kent), Cyril Pippy (Majumder), Todd Meaney (McKinney), Mamie Lou (Walsh) and Myrna Furey-Meaney (White), who argue who should be playing the Chosen One. As the scene devolves into a all-out donnybrook, Mamie Lou reflects on her spoiled children and holidays past and plans to leave her stunned family (literally and figuratively) for good. The wrench in Mamie Lou’s plan? Troy announces he and his gal pal Alma (Maggs) have got a baby on the way.
Written by Walsh and Ed Macdonald, A Christmas Fury is full of laughs. No surprise, really, since much of the cast can be seen on 22 Minutes. Myrna, sure that Troy and his baby will inherit the family business, is determined to get pregnant or undermine Troy’s plot. Darlene, meanwhile, plans to win the prize for best yard decorations and Nick wants to fornicate in the manger. There’s a lot of heart too. Sprinkled amongst the insults are some truly touching moments like when Cyril delivers a present to Mamie Lou and the family connects with a troubled young girl. (AndÂ A Christmas Fury has a killer soundtrack.)
If you’re looking for a truly offbeatâ€”and entertainingâ€”holiday special to add alongside Rudolph, Frosty and Charlie Brown, add A Christmas Fury to your list.
A Christmas Fury airs Sunday, Dec. 3, at 8 p.m. on CBC.
Image courtesy of CBC.