Getting press and any accompanying critical acclaim is not always the recipe for a successful British comedy series, but in the case of one of the newest in the BBC Two line-up, The Rev, it certainly doesn’t hurt when you can also count on the someone “higher up” amongst your fan base. Dr. Rowan Williams, the Archbishop of Canterbury, praises the series about the inner-city vicar in this recent article in the Telegraph saying it’s “really, rather good“.
The article goes on to cite additional praise from The Rt Rev Alan Wilson, the Bishop of Buckingham which he said showed that “At last the BBC has moved beyond the Vicar of Dibley“. It’s a noble enterprise. Those who wrote it know whereof they speak. Adam sits in his church trying to pray the office, wishing God would bloody do something, but secretly suspecting he won’t.” He then wrote, “On a personal and emotional level it brings back vividly for me memories of 10 years’ urban ministry.”
From the Book of Complaints, Chapter 3
Not everyone finds it as real or as funny. The Rt Rev Pete Broadbent, Bishop of Willesden, described the show as “utterly ghastly” and then tweeted, “It’s a load of wet liberals working out their angst about CofE and not being very funny. Sad & not Dibley league.”
Co-creator James Wood remarked recently in a Guardian interview that they had received numerous comments from vicars that found it too painful to watch. Kind of reminds me of Lenny Henry’s series, Chef!. A number of chef friends refused to watch because it was too real. If you can get both “high praise” and “too painful to watch” I’m thinking that means you have a hit on your hands.
What do you think?