Wednesday, September 21, 2011

Vicar of Dibley - Post watch review #2

I absolutely LOVE Dawn French! And Vicar of Dibley is what introduced me to Richard Armitage! I started eating up every square inch of him I could find after this, then I found North and South and I was a gonner! I never even associated him with Guy of Gisbourne on Robin Hood even though I own the first series (I never bought the second series because, well, for those who have seen it, you know why - another review for another day!).

This is one of the first British sets I bought, and I bought it American. It cost me a small fortune!! Now there is a newer set and I've been considering getting the newer set and giving the older one (since it's region 1) to my Mother because I know she will love it too, if she would give it a chance.

The set contains the complete three series, plus all the specials and the Holy Wholly Happy Ending (which I watch all the time - I actually have it on my ipod!). The complete series spans about 10 or so years, they weren't filmed in seasonal order like American shows are (most British shows don't work that way...the actors do three or four different series at a time and they swap their time between them all and do a new series when they can all get together).

Richard Curtis (of Four Weddings and A Funeral, Bridget Jones, Love Actually, Notting Hill, Mr. Bean, and Blackadder fame) was the main writer for the series, so if that gives you any indication as to the quality of the writing or the level of the humor, then you would be spot on!

The series centers around Geraldine Granger, who is a Vicar sent to the tiny village of Dibley to a bunch of old codgers who are terrified at the thought of a woman vicar! One in particular, David Horton, does everything he can to get rid of her, but even he eventually succumbs to her charms and even eventually proposes to her! She's forced to deal with Owen, who loves his farm animals just a bit too much, if you get my meaning, Jim, who stutters "no" when he means "yes", and "Frank" who is too long winded for his own good. Her best friend and verger Alice is a complete nutter, but finds love of her own (in the useless son of David Horton, Hugo!). Geraldine has her ups in downs in love as well, getting rather serious at one point with David's brother. But Harry is the one that wins her heart in the end and what a fantastic ending it is! Look for an amazing performance by Hugh Bonneville (who I absolutely adore) as well in the finale ending.

And there is a Jane Austen tie-in for the ending for you Janeites out there as well! But you'll just have to watch and see to catch it!

Once you've seen the series, go on YouTube and find the comic relief special with Sting and Trudie Styler, it's about 10 minutes or so, but also, incredibly hilarious!

I do have to add, the show isn't all about humor though, there are serious moments, and there are important issues dealt with, but it's not shoved down your throat. This show was ground breaking in it's time. Woman vicars were rare and not looked kindly upon. This show changed things. And Dawn French knew that and she didn't take that role lightly, even if it was a comedic role. She rallied for the women vicars and still does to this day. There are plenty of behind the scenes features that go into detail about specific she wanted to be and how she sometimes had to fight for what she wanted. But being who she is, she got what she wanted, and that's why I love her so!

So I definitely recommend The Vicar of Dibley 110%! It's not as expensive as it once was, and the newest incarnation of the set is even cheaper!

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