July 8th, 2010


Rev is a charming, Curtisy sitcom about a London vicar, starring the cute Tom Hollander and the cute Olivia Coleman as the Rev and Mrs Adam Smallbone.  The half-mad, homeless people they have to deal with are a lot sweeter than any of the half-mad, homeless people who came knocking on my vicarage door- and they see a lot more of their Archdeacon than I ever did (poor things - because Archdeacons always spell trouble) but otherwise everything is spot on-  the lack of privacy, the anxieties about money and church attendance, the doleful hymn singing, the embarrassment that comes with being the community's licensed fool for God. In the old days- when religion was still hot and had to be handled with tongs- ecclesiastical sit-coms (I'm thinking All Gas and Gaiters) skirted round the central business of a priest's life, but now that no-one gives a stuff the comedy vicar is allowed to be a man of faith and talk about Jesus and scatter gospel texts around without giggles or irony. This isn't a pious show - last night's episode made mincemeat of a power-hungry charismatic-  but it does treat Christianity as something to be taken seriously- which is unusual, refreshing- and even- perhaps- a little subversive.