Rev - In The Press

This potentially final series has been brilliant. The last two episodes in particular, featuring Tom Hollander's Adam Smallborne's crisis of faith, have been truly spectacular. With Adam's resignation at the end of episode five, St Saviour's was demolished and the former vicar was now left looking for a new job.

James Wood's brilliant script perfectly demonstrated Adam's breakdown as he started to stay in bed all day and ignore the cries of his own daughter. In a lovely narrative twist we heard the thoughts of Alex (Olivia Coleman), Nigel (Miles Jupp) and Archdeacon Robert (Simon McBurney) as they all spoke to God; which is a plot device usually only saved for Adam.

Rev is one of those programmes that I wasn't instantly entranced by but I've grown to love over the years. This last series has been particularly brilliant and is a testament to all involved particularly Hollander, Wood and director Peter Cattaneo.

The Custard TV, 3rd May 2014

This phenomenally darker, third (and possibly final) series ended, as was mete, on a hanging note of cochineal bittersweet. Tom Hollander's Adam has pretty much lost the parish but regained a few friendships: friendships he didn't particularly want in the first place - archdeacon Rob, and lovely archfiend Colin (Steve Evets), than whom few supporting characters in a "sitcom" have ever been more subtly drawn or well portrayed. But their dogged belief in him, now reciprocated with genuine warmth, has been one of the many lessons on our journey through Rev, and at times it's been a gruelling one. Crucially, of course, he's regained the forgiving friendship of his wife, Alex: Olivia Colman, of course, with that trainstopping smile. "You just stopped being a vicar for Lent."

Never twee, always in surgeon-skilled hands, and it would be a crime greater than all those above [cop shows previously mentioned in the review] not to have someone thinking furiously about the machinations required to get Adam back to our screens for a fourth series.

Euan Ferguson, The Observer, 3rd May 2014

A free Church of Scotland minister has claimed popular BBC comedy Rev reveals the corporation's "anti-Christian agenda".

Written by Craig Brown. The Scotsman, 2nd May 2014

Why does a religious sitcom work so well for atheists? Rev is most definitely a sitcom about a vicar, and isn't afraid to get into matters of prayer and the Bible. Somehow, it presents a nuanced view of faith while still being funny.

Written by Jenny Landreth. New Statesman, 30th April 2014

Let us pray that that's not it, for ever and ever, for Rev. It may not be the most original, or roll-in-the-aisle-laughing hilarious (I was closer to tears in this one). But it's touching and smart, very human and immensely likable. Amen.

Sam Wollaston, The Guardian, 28th April 2014

Rev devotees don't want this; we watch Rev because of its kindness and its imperfect view of an imperfect world. We don't watch to feel despair and helplessness.

Written by Alison Graham. The Radio Times, 28th April 2014

St Leonard's Church, in Shoreditch, is the real life location used in the comedy but the desperate state of its finances caused by a dwindling congregation could mean closing its doors for good.

Written by Ben Morgan. The Evening Standard, 28th April 2014

If you thought tormented vicar Adam Smallbone couldn't fall any lower than he did in the last upsetting episode, think again. Adam (Tom Hollander) is debased to the point of hopelessness. He's listless and depressed, and pretends that he doesn't mind being suspended. Who wants to be a vicar anyway, he asks his forbearing wife, Alex, unconvincingly.

Adam feels cut off and alone. Even decrepit Colin has turned on him in the most vituperative way, and his verger, Nigel, the cause of all the trouble, is angry and unrepentant.

As Adam frantically gardens at night, it is clear, in the final episode of the series, that nothing can ever be the same again. It's too, too sad. Much too sad.

Alison Graham, Radio Times, 28th April 2014

Dark days for the remaining St Saviour in the Marshes parishioners as the church doors close for the final time, leaving Adam without a job. Despite his slipshod attempts to keep the balance sheets in check, he sets his sights on a career in managerial consulting. With his hardy band of congregants left without a vicar and a place of worship, it remains to be seen whether Adam can really discard his vocation and parishioners like a dirty cassock. Does this spell the end for the endlessly comforting comedy series?

Mark Jones, The Guardian, 28th April 2014

The hit comedy about an Anglican vicar is a secular take on the sacred, and fails to say anything about belief.

Written by Jason Mumford. The Guardian, 28th April 2014

Speaking with BBC Radio 5 Live's Richard Bacon, Holland admitted that he is unsure about the prospect of a fourth run any time soon.

Written by Morgan Jeffery. Digital Spy, 24th April 2014

Oh my! Watching Rev. week after week is increasingly traumatic, as Adam Smallbone, buffeted by the vicissitudes of life and his own weaknesses (namely, comely head teacher Ellie) begins to unravel.

He's sent to see the Bishop of London (Ralph Fiennes) who subjects him to a draconian punishment after the kiss-in-the-vestry incident. Soon Adam's world is shredded as he loses all grip on his beloved and doomed St Saviour's Church. He's even let down by the decrepit Colin (the marvellous Steve Evets) whose faithlessness puts Adam at the centre of a parish-wide scandal.

But in the midst of a meltdown, he meets a kindly stranger on a green hill far away...

Alison Graham, Radio Times, 21st April 2014

How the Reverend Adam Smallbone and his parishioners will celebrate Easter in the parish of St Saviour in the Marshes has not yet been revealed by the writers of the BBC hit comedy Rev but I can be sure of one thing: Easter will not be portrayed simply as the happy ending to a sad story.

Written by Reverend Alan Gyle. The Sunday Express, 20th April 2014

The Archbishop of Canterbury Justin Welby has sung the praises of BBC sitcom Rev., about the day-to-day challenges of a vicar in a struggling inner-city parish.

Yahoo! TV UK, 15th April 2014

It's funny rather than preachy and the first sitcom since The Vicar of Dibley in which the protagonist is allowed to believe in God without cynicism. Praise be to Rev.

Written by Julia Raeside. The Guardian, 14th April 2014

This episode strikes a different note from that we've come to expect from Rev; it's not delightful at all, it's sad and there's a bleakness to vicar Adam's life now that hovers on the upsetting.

But that's probably because Tom Hollander does such a wonderful job of making us care about Adam, a man who is all too human and fallible. The fallout from his indiscretion is instant and powerful as he faces the unwavering and angry gaze of his beloved Alex (Olivia Colman). Just when everything seems hopeless and Adam's world is about to crumble, a new member of the congregation is fortuitously on hand to help out.

Alison Graham, Radio Times, 14th April 2014

Halfway through series three, Rev has again enfolded us in its warm embrace of gentle inner-city humour, barely perceptible suspense and mild Christianity. Laughs may be thinner on the ground this time but Hollander, Colman and McBurney are eternally watchable.

Gwilym Mumford & Simon Wardell, The Guardian, 12th April 2014

To complete the cliché bingo full house, Rev and the Guardian Angel are recast as exhausted parents.

Written by Caragh Little. Huffington Post, 11th April 2014

Rev's deceptively effortless combination of faith and frolics continues.

Written by Caroline Frost. Huffington Post, 8th April 2014

Rev star Tom Hollander gives chapter and verse on boozing in church, Dylan Thomas, suicide and the 'big society'.

Written by Adrian Lobb. The Big Issue, 7th April 2014

Hapless vicar Adam's hopes of rescuing the increasingly decrepit St Saviour's from imminent closure are given a boost when a Turner Prize-winning artist asks if he can unveil a new installation in the building. And he's prepared to make a substantial donation to the emergency fund...

It's good news, of course, but Adam being Adam (Tom Hollander, who also wrote the episode), he has to seek out new and inventive ways of sabotaging his professional and even his personal life, even when things seem to be going well.

He's adorable, of course, but sometimes you want to give him a jolly good shaking, particularly when he does something unforgivable and out of character, something that could jeopardise his relationship with wife Alex (Olivia Colman).

Alison Graham, Radio Times, 7th April 2014

Two episodes in, Rev has settled down nicely. And settling things down seems to be the purpose of Tom Hollander's perplexed vicar, who operates on the almost revolutionary principle that the world would be a nicer place if people were nicer to each other. He's more "almost" than revolutionary, of course, because Rev is a comedy of English manners, with all the emotional repression that implies.

Alastair McKay, Evening Standard, 4th April 2014

Does a sitcom actually need to make me laugh? That's the question I asked myself during the first episode of the third series of BBC Two's Rev. I certainly was glad to be given another opportunity to return to Saint Saviours and follow the exploits of the Reverend Adam Smallborne (Tom Hollander).

Once again Rev looks at the way that different people deal with faith by showing how many more people attend the local Mosque every week than come to Adam's church. James Wood's script is brilliant at combining this fairly deep subject matter with a light-handedness that makes it easy to like. Rev also excels due to its fantastically decent central characters Adam and Alex who are surrounded by a cavalcade of oddballs and mercenaries. Tom Hollander is brilliant in the lead role as he plays Adam as thoroughly down-to-Earth chap albeit one who constantly is worried about something or other. The brilliant Olivia Colman adds a bit of gravitas to her role of Alex whilst Simon McBurney and Miles Jupp continue to provide the laughs as Arch Deacon and Lay Preacher respectively.

As a fan of Getting On, I'm ecstatic that Scanlan and Pepperdine have joined the cast as a brilliant double act who may end up closing St. Saviour's. Even if the church does indeed close I hope that doesn't mean the end of what is brilliantly written and extremely well-acted series.

While it never makes me laugh out loud, Rev still provides plenty of good humour and that's sometimes all you need.

The Custard TV, 1st April 2014

Rev.'s timely approach to gay weddings made me giggle with its gentle mockery, says Neil Midgley.

Written by Neil Midgley. The Daily Telegraph, 1st April 2014

In Rev. (BBC Two), where Adam has been asked by two friends, Rob and Jeremy, to officiate at a "proper church wedding" in St Saviour. He can't, of course. It's against canon law, even if it's legal under proper law. His wife, Alex, thinks he should do it anyway. "As long as you don't get caught, it's just like parking on a double yellow," she says. Adam can't risk getting caught, because his church is threatened with closure as it is, for being insolvent and unpopular. To add to his woes, he's just come home without the baby, having left the pram in a shop, although he doesn't even realise this yet. I clocked it straight away, because I once left a baby in a shop. My vigilance now extends to babies from television programmes.

In Rev., Adam managed to recover his baby and offer his friends Rob and Jeremy a non-binding prayer service in church. The happy couple turned up from the register office in their wedding gear with a champagne-sipping, confetti-throwing congregation behind them and proceeded to make Reverend Smallbone's well-meant half-measure look like a very gay wedding indeed. The bishop, naturally, caught wind of it. Adam did his best to do the right thing, and he still got caught.

It was all played for laughs rather than tears - with Olivia Colman's drunk Alex a particular highlight - but at the end Adam got angry and married Rob and Jeremy for real, in the church, in secret. And I cried at that. Could secret gay weddings - and the pink pound - be the saviour of St Saviour?

Tim Dowling, The Guardian, 1st April 2014

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