Wednesday, 14 July 2010

It was a nightmare, more like an exorcism

The BBC's new comedy, Rev., shows a lot of sympathy for its main character, a struggling inner city vicar. He seems constantly tired, trying to remain a moral voice under the weight of a failing church. It's a modern sort of sitcom - no laughter track, real sets - but is a lot gentler than you'd expect. Its comedy doesn't come from entertaining swearing or one-liners, but from the strangeness of the acting and the intelligence of the satire.The highlight was in episode two, where a bunch of teenage evangelists invaded the vicar's church, filling it with smoothie bars and rapping preachers. There was something instantly funny and scary about it. The vicar, who only brought them in to increase congregation numbers, throws them and their bullying priest out of his building. It shows their peculiarity without commenting on it, and makes me sorry I didn't have fifty extras and an actual budget to make how to be god with. I was restricted to conversation, breaking the 'show don't tell' rule that this show strives to follow.

Elsewhere Rev. appears to be open to both sides. The vicar occasionally steps outside of his increasingly business-like job to talk about Christianity. He tells the often-drunk Colin that 'a snail's shell is perfect, but it doesn't have to be'. He's got ideas which are all deemed old-fashioned and 'rural' by the overbearing archdeacon. In the third episode he invites Muslims to use the church, to which the archdeacon cynically replies 'Oh how very exciting of you', before rushing off to a celebrity book launch. To be honest, on the whole the show isn't that funny, but each episode has had a few clever moments that made me smile. Nothing special then, but it'll do.

1 comment:

  1. Something weirdly anthropological about this, I'd probably watch it for that reason.