Saturday, November 5, 2016

Currently | The Vicar of Dibley

I first discovered this gem of a 90s sitcom as a young teen after finishing the BBC's Robin Hood, wherein Richard Armitage playing the villainous Guy of Gisborne had caught my interest and I wanted to see what else he had been up to. His character didn't appear in Vicar of Dibley until most of the way through the show though, and as I've never liked jumping into the middle of things I started at the beginning, not knowing quite what I was getting into.

The Vicar of Dibley, first created in 1994, is about the fictitious Geraldine Granger, the first female priest in the small country village of Dibley following the Church of England's landmark decision to allow women into the priesthood. The first episode shows Geraldine attempting to get acquainted with the villagers, who are none too sure about having a bubbly, witty female vicar. As the show goes on, Geraldine learns to push through some of the sexist complaints while winning over the elderly members of the village council.

As I'm not British nor did I grow up with a great understanding of 90s British pop culture, some of the humour remains over my head. However, it's one of the funniest shows I've ever seen. The villagers are mostly elderly, all with amusing quirks, such as Jim who begins every sentences with a series of "no's" and Frank who literally bored a man to death. The seasons are far too short but nearly half the episodes are holiday specials, which always bring something unique to a show - something I as an American particularly love, as Christmas specials simply aren't a thing here.

Every November I re-watch the show in its entirety, keeping the episodes with Richard Armitage - the holiday specials from 2006/07 - for the week of Christmas, when my sister and I will watch it together and laugh at Dawn French's Emma Thompson impression and the accountant jokes all over again. It's become a favourite autumn/winter tradition of mine, and I'm always ready to dive back into the small world of Dibley. 

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