Saturday, December 03, 2011

Rev 2 - BBC's Religious Fawlty Towers?

Resonating with    humourous situations or jokes sufficiently to laugh out loud almost uncontrollably sadly is an uncommon experience for me.  Some of BBC 2 TV's  episodes of Fawlty Towers  in the 1970s had that effect and even their  recent repeats  can be very risible. However much of modern humour passes me by.  Stand up comedians' jokes seem too contrived though I am often in a minority of one while others  laugh apparently  deeply spontaneously at them. Expletives the use of which seems to be an essential ingredient of  today's humourists I find tasteless if not boring and rarely   funny.

One can be too judgmental too soon of course and happening on BBC2's Rev series 1 in 2010 I stayed but a short while as it seemed to be that gaps in imaginative writing and plotting were simply being filled by the usual suspect of a mix of  inane situations and copious swearing. However earlier this week mrs maytrees and I chanced upon   Rev 2.

Rev 2  began very quickly to feel like a kind of religious Fawlty Towers. The   spontaneous deep laughing inspired by the show was very reminiscent of that  of  the Fawlty Towers' days.

The programme centres on a CoE Vicar of an inner London parish. His duties include that of being the chairman of governors of the local CoE primary school. The Diocesan  inspection of the school's religious ethos was about to take place and Bishops' House made plain that there could be dire consequences if his school became the first in the Diocese  to fail such an inspection.

The headteacher had a  flirtation going on with the school's PE teacher which made the Rev slightly jealous as the Head was quite attractive.  The PE teacher was a devoted fan of Dawkins and had recently led a school assembly on the topic of Dawkins 'Selfish Gene', which the Rev complained to the Head, would surely not please the CoE religious ethos inspector.

The were a number of funny subplots involving local characters and one with Mrs Rev partying with other vicars' wives many of whom were themselves revs was  funny not least because our hero Rev was desperately trying not to be a party pooper despite needing to sleep and rest to gather his strength   for a team game the following day.

 An inter-demoninational football competition  was organised for local mosque synagogue temple and churches. The Rev was in goal for CoE. The PE teacher turned out to have been born a Catholic and turned up for the match on his trendy bike accompanied by the head on hers. The Catholic football team called I think Vatican Casuals, with the PE teacher as centre forward, thrashed the others including the Rev's team. The shots of the Rev letting in goal after goal could be regarded as being cliches but were very funnily portrayed.

Tragic news came just before the bishop's man came to inspect, that the PE teacher had died in a bicycle accident and the Rev had to step in quickly to give an assembly on   death  and heaven.  .

Some unnecessary expletives and one or two contrived situations failed to spoil the enjoyment of the whole - Brilliantly done.

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