Rev, BBC2 - TV review: Praise the Lord, Adam and Alex are back
Irreverent Rev inspires devotion with inter-faith jesting and social comment
Ellen E Jones
Ellen is The Independent's TV critic. She writes a daily review of Last Night's TV and a weekly 'Inside TV' column for the i paper, as well as a column on general topics for the main paper most Wednesdays. Ellen is a former Hollywood correspondent and a contributing editor to Little White Lies, she's written on TV, film, lifestyle, travel and politics for publications including the Guardian, The Times, The Sunday Times, Esquire and Total Film.
Tuesday 25 March 2014
Praise the Lord, Rev is back for a third series on BBC2 and Adam's wife, Alex (Olivia Colman), has just given birth to their first child. Alex did go into labour in the back seat of Archdeacon Robert's cab, but baby Katie still wasn't the most exciting new arrival in the clerical sitcom.
That honour goes instead to local imam, Yussef Hassan (Kayvan Novak) whose bone-dry sense of humour kept Adam on his toes.
The pair had teamed up to fundraise for renovations on a local children's play-park. It was an opportunity for some inter-faith jesting – "Why don't you get one of your three Gods to do it?" suggested Yussef – but also to touch boldly on the topical stuff.
During a tour of Yussef's mosque (filmed at the gigantic East London Mosque in Tower Hamlets), Adam looked enviously at the teeming congregation and prayed: "Lord...why is Islam so much more popular?"
Rev's willingness to get stuck in has always set it apart from the bucolic likes of The Vicar of Dibley but also the funnier, yet surrealist, Father Ted.
Most admirable is that it never scruples to offend the churchy set in the front pews in pursuit of a punchline.
This series, Colin (Steve Evets) is still lurking in his grubby duffel, clutching a tinny and spreading Christ's love in his own inimitable way. "So is this drug money?" asked Adam after receiving Colin's cash donation. "No, not really. There was hardly any crack in what I sold. Let's call it detergent money."
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