10 January 2007

... entertain us

I'm glad that the next few DVDs in the Netflix line-up are comedies. Last night, watching Vicar of Dibley and Arrested Development, I laughed more within the span of a few hours than I usually do in a whole day.

The Vicar of Dibley - The 100-something vicar of the small English village of Dibley has passed on. A new vicar has been requested for a replacement. What they get is Geraldine Granger (Dawn French), a non-traditional, chocolate loving, rock n' roll playing vicar. That is not what gets the citizens of Dibley in an uproar though. It's because she is a woman. Still, that doesn't stop Geraldine from proving her worthiness to the village. After time, the villagers (with the exception of influential David Horton [Gary Waldhorn]) accept Geraldine as the vicar of Dibley.

I moved the first "season" to the top of my Netflix queue after watching the New Year's special on my laptop--"Vicar in White," stated as the final episode, and one in which Geraldine gets married.

Who's the lucky guy? Richard Armitage (who also happens to play Guy of Gisborne in the newer BBC television series Robin Hood). I have to say that I like him much better when he's playing a good guy--which is rare, since my preference tends to go the other way around. As Guy, Armitage is more than a little unhinged, and not in a sexy way, but in an he-might-really-be-crazy and he's-definitely-a-murderer way. I also don't approve of the eye-liner (or mascara or whatever else) they used on him; it adds no depth of color and just makes his eyes look beadier than they really are.

The final episode of the series is a cute one, chronicling the endeavors of the people of Dibley to take full responsibility for the vicar's wedding ceremony out of her hands. Bridal gown, bride's maid's dresses, music, flowers, etc. And, as you might expect, it's absolutely insane. And perfect. I think my favourite touch was Alice (Emma Chambers) dressing up as maid of honour, wearing a full replica of the Doctor Who suit--the David Tennant suit, of course--with all the bride's maids behind her dressed as Daleks.

Anyway, after I'd finished watching it, I remembered that the available seasons were sitting in my neverending queue--so I bumped them all to the top of the queue. I received "season" one yesterday afternoon; and I qualify "season" with quotation marks, because it only consists of nine episodes. And the other "seasons" are even shorter, so each one only takes up a single disc--which is, to a certain extent, economical, but it brings back my old complaint about the brevity of most television series produced in the United Kingdom.

I know. I've just been spoiled by the lengthiness of State-side productions. Oh, well.

Fully aware that actual vicars don't behave the way Dawn French portrays Geraldine, I still have to think that, had I been raised in the Anglican Church, I might have a better opinion of Christianity. Most sects of Christianity are not designed for change (*cough*Catholicism*cough*), but the Church of England seems fairly flexible.

It might just be a case of the grass seeming greener. I know that change hasn't come easily for them either, and that most other branches of Christianity consider Anglicans the wishy-washy cousin--but, for them, change does seem to happen. That sort of elasticity seems go along with survival of, well, everything, and religion is probably not the exception to the rule.

On the agenda for this evening? Well, the second disc of Arrested Development's second season is supposed to arrive; but I have other entertainment plans.

I'll be going to the Harvard AMC for a free preview of El Laberinto del Fauno (a.k.a. Pan's Labyrinth). I've already watched it without translation, so I'm looking forward to the more complete experience of viewing with subtitles--and on a much larger screen. Also being a big fan of the soundtrack by Javier Navarrete, I can't wait to hear it in surround sound.

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