Tuesday, May 06, 2014

Rev - the Reviews roundup

An outpouring of articles and blogs has greeted the end of Rev., almost enough material for a new series? Here's a few I've read, if there are any good ones missing, please add them in the comments.

James Mumford in the Guardian, 'a secular take on the sacred' that undermines what the church is
really about

Al Barrett from inner city Birmingham, watched 'the Easter morning gathering of the cracked, the broken and the divided' and found it close to home.

Wildgoosechasing found the show affirmed what the church is about, a place where broken people can be honest about their failings

Sam Norton noted how Adam's quest to save the building loomed over the whole series: a question which looms over the whole CofE. It's not without significance that the church where the series was filmed is itself facing bankruptcy after spending £1/2m in the last 2 years simply on maintenance. (Just read about how king Hezekiah had to destroy the statue of a snake Moses had made in the desert. It was made to bring healing, but had become a snare as people had forgotten what it was originally there for, so it was best to break it to pieces. Made me wonder...)

David Robertson: safe to say he's not a fan, the vicar is a social worker 'if God did not exist then Rev would make perfect sense.' "Why is it that every BBC sitcom which features a church has to feature a dying church?" (good point)

Christian Research asked some questions of Christians who'd watched the programme, and found that 63% of viewers would attend a church led by Adam Smallbone

Great summary from Emma of the Easter episode, which truly was superb. 

Irene at eyebelieve on whether Rev was just 'nice' - or whether this is Christian sacrifice in action, going out of your way to welcome the sinner and build bridges. 

Robert Fairclough on the 'sensitivity and realism' of the series. 

Steve Holmes at Fulcrum, comparing and contrasting with Camerons 'Christian Britain'.

The Blog of Kevin has some good posts reflecting on previous series.

Update: Ian Paul has an excellent piece on what Rev says about clergy vulnerability, and notes that there's not much scope for comedy in a growing church. Several links there to other pieces, including Marcus Green's powerful reflections on his own breakdown and how that connected (and didn't) with how Adam was portrayed. 

For myself, I enjoyed it overall, thought the penultimate episode was brilliant, and wasn't quite sure about the final ending. 'You won't let me go apparently, is this what resurrection is?' Um, part of it perhaps, but the final show was more about vocation than resurrection. Whilst this sort of drama requires a small cast of characters in order to work (think Dibley, Father Ted), that means you'll never see a BBC drama on the church with a full building. Sadly, it doesn't look like they're able to give a fair portrayal of evangelicals either, both vignettes in the series (Roland in this one, and the youth church leader in the first series) were unsympathetic. 

Christian Research asked if people would have attended this church, I'd have been interested to know if it made people want to pray more. In the end, what we do as Revs is help people to draw closer to God: homeless, hung-up, paedophiles, pharisees, and all the other normal everyday sinners like ourselves. 

And if nothing else, there's now a great DVD resource available for clergy training.

1 comment:

  1. Ian Paul has a very interesting blog post on Rev:


    In particular, he considers the different ways stories can be presented, and therefore how interpreted. The ambiguity of Rev. in this respect can explain the different reactions.