"He was born with a gift of laughter and a sense that the world was mad" ---- Rafael Sabatini
Friday, August 21, 2015
The Vicar of Dibley (1994-2007)
Starring: (regular cast) Dawn French, James Fleet, Trevor Peacock, Gary Waldhorn, Roger Lloyd Pack, Emma Chambers, John Bluthal, and guest spots from Richard Armitage, Peter Capaldi, Johnny Depp, Richard Griffiths, Miranda Hart, Sting, Sarah Ferguson, Sean Bean, Kylie Minogue, Jennifer Saunders and Emma Watson
Plot: A boisterous female minister comes to serve in an eccentrically conservative small town's church.
My rating: 8/10
Will I watch it again? Probably.
I don't think I've covered a TV series on this blog. Despite the staggering number of films I see annually, I also watch a lot of TV shows (usually after they've finished their broadcast runs). There's no reason not to talk about them when I finish a series so here we go.
It's damn ridiculous that Netflix has most every episode (you'll have to go to YouTube to find the Comic Relief episodes) except for the first one which sets up the show. WTF? I know, right? Anyway, I tried to watch this years ago and didn't laugh at all which surprised me as I dig French and I love British comedy TV. Well, I finally gave it another go and I'm glad I stuck with it. Dawn French needs to have my babies. She's hilarious and touching as are the actors and characters that surround her in this series. The people behind this show made this small village feel very much like a place that you'd want to either live or at least spend some time there. There were some surprises like when one of the elder in the main cast comes out of the closet. It was very touching how that was handled as almost a throwaway without dwelling on it. It's hilarious how, during the series, every male regular proposes to her. It's always funny but there's a lot of heart behind their intentions. It's a series that made me laugh an awful lot and also tear up. I couldn't have done either without everything in the show coming together with wonderful performances to pull me into it. I cared about all of these characters and I'm glad I got to spend some time with them.
Each series/season has an overall story arc with lots of B-stories. They naturally all tidy up nicely by the end and the series finale was very satisfying and very well played. Some of the characters do ridiculously stupid things but it's all for laughs, of course, so the low brow humor that sneaks in doesn't ruin the show. It plays nicely in the context of the situtaion.
The entire DVD set recently dropped to $30 on Amazon and I had to pass. I binge-watched everything in a couple of weeks and I couldn't think of pulling the trigger just yet. It's like you just finished eating a hearty meal when someone asks what you want for lunch tomorrow. Too soon.