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Rev - Series 1-3 DVD

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Meet The Rev. Adam Smallbone. He's a Church of England vicar newly promoted from a sleepy rural parish to the busy inner city world of St Saviour's in Hackney East London. It's a world he has no experience of. And it shows. It really shows. He's derided and ignored by all except the intimidating Archdeacon and the demanding and irritating few who attend his church... Lay Reader Nigel who thinks he should be a vicar hard-drinking Colin on an eternal quest for enlightenment cassock-chasing Adoha and local crackhead Mick who isn't quite the sophisticated grifter he thinks he is. Added to the mix is Alex - Adam's long-suffering wife - who does her best to support him but she's got her own career as a solicitor to worry about. And life is about to get more complicated as Adam and Alex learn to adjust to parenthood.

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  • 05 May 2014
  • Tom Hollander
  • DVD
  • 2entertain
  • 15
  • 541 minutes
  • PAL

Please note this is a region 2 DVD and will require a region 2 or region free DVD player in order to play All three series of the critically acclaimed and award-winning BBC comedy Rev following the fortunes of the Reverend Adam Smallbone (Tom Hollander) as he navigates the inner city world of St Saviour’s in East London Joined along the way by his eccentric and irritating band of parishioners and with the overzealous and interfering input of fellow clergymen can Adam manage to keep the church both relevant and popular whilst also balancing his increasingly demanding family life? Join him and his wife Alex (Olivia Colman) as they progress through life at the coalface of modern and never mundane Christianity

The first three series of the BBC sitcom set in and around a struggling London church. Tom Hollander stars as Reverend Adam Smallbone, a Church of England vicar who is promoted from a sleepy rural parish to the failing inner-city church of St Saviour's in East London. As he struggles to contend with the complex moral conundrums of his urban parishioners as well as a dilapidated church and a dwindling congregation, his long-suffering wife Alex (Olivia Colman) does her best to support him - but, far from being a conventional vicar's wife, she has her own career as a solicitor to worry about.

  • Average Rating for Rev - Series 1-3 - 5 out of 5


    (based on 1 user reviews)
  • Rev - Series 1-3
    Dave Marshall

    How do you define a TV show that can be funny one moment and deeply dramatic the next; that can make you both think deeply about morality and spirituality, and laugh at a silly bit of slapstick within a couple of minutes of each other; and which features a cast of A-list British talent who are apparently content to be slumming it in a silly little BBC2 programme?

    "Sitcom" seems too simplistic a label for Rev, but it's really the only one that fits: after all, this is half-hour show with the primary goal of making us laugh, revolving around a likeable everyman character who is stuck in a rut and surrounded by a group of oddball supporting characters. But Rev is so much more than your average sitcom.

    On the surface, it has all the ingredients you'd expect. The role of the long-suffering central character is filled by Adam Smallbone (Tom Hollander), an inner-city Church of England vicar whose meagre congregation is made up of weird and wonderful personalities like local drunk Colin (Steve Evets) and overbearing busybody Adoha (Ellen Thomas). At the same time as helping them cope with their various problems, he has to deal with his immediate superior, Archdeacon Robert (Simon McBurney), and cope with the incompetence and irritation of his underling Nigel (Miles Jupp) - while also giving his marriage to Alex (Olivia Colman) the attention it deserves.

    And in some respects, all of these elements interact with each other in exactly the way you'd expect for a regular sitcom, with Adam's well-meaning schemes coming into conflict with the needs of his flock, or the requirements of his Archdeacon, or the expectations of his wife. There's a lot of gentle, warm humour - much of which comes from the performances, such as McBurney's supremely sneery and condescending manner, or Jupp's overly-officious and petty bickering, or Colman's incredibly loveable, frequently-drunk supportiveness (even when Adam doesn't really deserve it).

    But it's in the show's ability to deal with subjects that go beyond your average sitcom fare that Rev gets really interesting. In its most recent (third) series alone, the show has dealt with subjects as prickly and political as gay marriage; the conflict between Christianity and Islam; the rehabilitation of paedophiles; marital infidelity; homelessness; and depression. And earlier series include running storylines in which Archdeacon Robert is forced to acknowledge that his career ambitions will be forever thwarted by the fact that he is gay, as well as genuine heartache over Alex and Adam's apparent inability to conceive a child.

    All of this is woven into the comic fabric of the show in a way that feels perfectly natural, yet is still able to shock you - or at least make you stop to consider the subject matter on a serious level as well as a humorous one. In fact, it's within some of the funniest scenes that the show hides some of its most cutting and accurate observations about modern life, often dealing with subjects in a far more even-handed and thoughtful way than you'd see in even a 'straight', serious drama.

    By the third series - which features a multi-episode story involving Adam having a crisis of faith as he's investigated by the church for a perceived wrongdoing - you'll be finding yourself compelled to watch episode after episode as much out of concern for the outcome of the story as out of a desire for laughs. That shows the kind of investment that you inevitably end up building in these well-rounded, likeable characters: an attachment that is rare to feel for any programme, let alone a mere sitcom.

    Finally, it's worth mentioning that Rev is lucky enough to be blessed with guest-appearances from a host of fantastic British actors, who really elevate the episodes they appear in. Throughout the three series, we see appearances from Ralph Fiennes (more than once) as a local bishop; Richard E. Grant as a wealthy city banker who seeks help from Adam's church; Hugh Bonneville as a colleague and sometime rival of Adam's; and Liam Neeson in a fleeting and ambiguous role that's just too good to spoil here. Other comedy veterans such as Geoffrey Palmer and Dexter Fletcher fare equally well, spicing up the show with their well-conceived and interesting characters, even if it's just for an episode or two.

    It all helps to reinforce the notion that Rev is a high-quality television show, and one that can attract top-level talent due to its clever and insightful writing, great acting, and general thoughtfulness in its musings on life, the church and everything.

    Not bad for a silly little BBC2 sitcom.

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