Above: Tom Hollander from "Rev." 8.5 x 11.5 inch Japanese Lined Journal. Pentel Brush Pen (ColorBrush) with Pigmented ink, shaded with a Colorbrush with dye-based, fugitive ink and a Niji Waterbrush. Color is all from Montana Markers (15mm tips), and there's some patterning with Staedtler Pigment Liners. Click on the image to view an enlargement.
When I looked up Tom Hollander on IMDb to tell you something besides the Kiera Knightly "Pride and Prejudice" that he's been in (I've seen him in other stuff but that's what popped right into my brain—he does a marvelous version of Mr. Collins the clergyman cousin who proposes to Elizabeth and then marries Charlotte Lucas), I read that he played Witwoud in "The Way of the World" for which he won an award in 1992. It just seemed so right when I read that.
I'll leave you to explore his IMDb Filmography and learn that he's been doing voices for characters you probably watch all the time too.
But today I just want to write a moment about "Rev." This series evidently ran from 2010 to 2014. I'm just watching it now because my local PBS station is showing it late at night in the spot where endless loops of "As Time Goes By" run. (I love "As Time Goes By," so I am not complaining at all, just making a statement of fact—I have seen those scant episodes so many times I know the dialog off by heart and enjoy it still, in part because anytime you can look at Judi Dench working it's really a thrill—and if you want more of a thrill, watch "Playing Shakespeare," which I've written about before [but can't find a link to as it's a post within a post] in which you'll see a young Judi Dench change gears without so much as a shrug at the request of her director; oh and there's a brilliant bit of Ian McKellen doing a speech of Antonio's from "Merchant of Venice" that is just bold-faced showing off and there should be a half hour of this every night for all of us to enjoy…)
But I digress.
Hollander plays Rev. Adam Smallbone, a Church of England inner city (London) vicar who has talks with God and tries to get through life while tripping over his own all too human feet—all in the warmest and funniest way possible. And supported by an excellent cast.
I don't know what to say about my fascination with shows about Church of England vicars. I'm totally in love with "Grantchester"—not a funny show but a murder mystery show with some angst—the episode in which a closeted gay man is murdered captured the claustrophobic horror of laws too long upheld in a way I'd not seen before. And blog readers will know how I feel about Dawn French and "The Vicar of Dibley" (which I also know pretty much off by heart).
I really don't know how to explain this fascination, except to say that perhaps if you take a young girl, deposit her in a new country, and send her off to a Church of England school where there's a bit of wholesome religion every morning which isn't preachy, and is pretty-down-to-earth-nuts-and-bolts-be-your-best-self-and-help-others-to-be-so-too, that you might end up finding it a totally palatable platform for comedy of the best sort, which is really just about being human and making your way through the world in whatever whacky way you can. (Which, now that I've written that out, is actually how I try to live my life, with little success, except for the whacky bit. Go figure.)
And I have to go on record that it is well known I don't care for, or have much patience with, organized religion of any sort as a general rule in my life (in fact perhaps the number one rule in my life)—and then every once in awhile this insistence hits those childhood experiences.
Whatever the reason for my affection for a religion I do not follow, this show is a gem that everyone should watch. The first episode I saw was not the first in the series. There is a cameo by Ralph Fiennes as the Bishop of London. This is not to be missed. Fiennes' character "leads" Hollander's to a "moral decision" with pretty much a look and a silence. The same look and silence treatment was used on me when I was young, by a certain canon, after I had behaved rather badly. (Regular blog readers will recall that I was quite a "lippy" child.)
In the same episode Hugh Bonneville (who is excellent in Downton Abbey, but really should be required to produce a larger quantity of comedy for the rest of us) plays one of the Rev. Smallbone's friends from his school days. (Evidently this is a recurring role that I've not been able to enjoy as I've just found the series. Why isn't all of this STREAMING on ACORN!!!???)
OK, I also have to mention that I just saw an episode with Richard E. Grant who also is incredibly funny without, it seems, having to try. (Go watch "Posh Nosh" if you don't believe me. And why isn't that STREAMING on ACORN!!???) He played an alcoholic business man who didn't feel he got enough "love" from the hoi polloi at St. Savior's AA meeting.
I think you get the idea. Find this show and watch it.
"Grantchester" and "The Vicar of Dibley" are available online. PBS is still streaming the first and "Dibley" shows up on Netflix, Amazon, and Acorn in constant rotation. I believe it is a series that must be watched in order so that the full import of the Easter Bunny and the many recurring themes such as Jim's vast sexual expertise and experience to list just one of many themes, can be fully savored.