by Cara Winter
In the BBC’s Rev., Tom Hollander and James Wood have created something wholly unique. And by wholly unique… I mean, I have no idea what I’m watching. Not only have I never seen anything like it, I was for a long time at a loss for words for even how to describe it. Except…I’m in love.
Rev. is a comedy, of that I am sure. Or, at least I think I am. I find it funny – but not CBS- sitcom-laughter-at-precise-intervals-funny. It’s more like a cold dish of awkwardness, smothered in general hesitancy, with a side of human suffering – which, as it turns out, is really, really funny.
Rev. is the story of a small town vicar (the Reverend Adam Smallbone) who’s all of a sudden at the helm of an inner city parish. In addition to co-creating and writing for Rev., Tom Hollander also plays the title character, and in this role he’s absolutely perfect. His characterization of the Rev. is completely original – wistful, earnest, prone to doubt (both of himself and his creator), fond of beer, and occasionally completely nuts. In short, he’s human. And unlike the caricatures we’re so used to when it comes to members of the clergy, the Rev. Adam Smallbone is painfully real; sweet, searching, and maybe a little F’d up. (Sorry, Reverend.)