I often find that the depiction of clergy in television and film leaves a lot to be desired. I’ve recently been watching the British show “Rev.” and I’ve been happily surprised. To be sure the main character, The Rev. Adam Smallbone, is a bit of a screw up, and he finds himself in awkward situations (think uncomfortable humor similar to “The Office,” but applied to the Church). That said, he’s not completely inept, corrupt or foolish. He cares for his people and his conversations with them, as well as his prayer life, while oversized for TV, are actually quite realistic in many aspects.
I’ve seen the first three episodes, available on Hulu, and have thoroughly enjoyed them. I believe the writers must be consulting with real-life clergy to get some of their ideas, because so many events and characters are just too good for them to have come up with without some reference to actual experience.
Here’s a clip from a recent episode that cracked me up:
[Note: there is occasionally coarse language in the show, and, in one instance, a construction worker is seen to moon the Vicar. Take that under advisement.]