V for Vicar

I’m not embarrassed by what I watch, listen to or read, but if I had a covert comedy shame lately, it would be The Vicar of Dibley. It’s like a secret virgin treasure. It’s so damn cute and just the lamest sitcom ever. (And it’s easily available on DVD.)
The series follows the inhabitants of Dibley, a small Oxfordshire village whose vicar passed away in the middle of a service. When his replacement arrived, instead of another old man with a beard, a Bible and bad breath, they got Rev. Geraldine Granger (Dawn French), a self-described “babe with a bob-cut and a magnificent bosom.”
French is her stereotype of early-’90s sitcom ladies, replete with a lust for chocolate and the fact that basically everyone wants to fuck her at some point in the series, barring dippy verger Alice (Emma Chambers), and her dim boyfriend Hugo (James Fleet).
But somehow it all works. It’s just ridiculous and charming and fun. It’s like eating a bag of chocolate: you know it’s not going to give you something vital like potassium, but oh, it just tastes so right.
Just as on Coupling, I always like the weird pervy ones the best. The wacky characters are good, too, especially local farmer Owen, played by the brilliant Roger Lloyd Pack (example line: “Sorry I’m late—sheep exploded. Nasty business.”)
Other highlights include Jim “No no no no no, YES” (Trevor Peacock), and Pickle (John Bluthal), a man so boring that five people, including his parents, have died during his speeches.
If campy, weird, 1996 Britishy is your bag, the whole series is pretty good. Skip the weirdly preachy 2005 New Year’s special about children in need though, but the final episode where she get maybe-gets married is super cute.

58 comments to V for Vicar

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