I am writing to inform you of a new sitcom I have recently discovered which I think you may be interested in screening. I have watched the first episode of ‘The Vicar of Dibley’ and believe it has great potential to attract millions of viewers. This situation comedy is based around village life and the story of a woman vicar who has to settle into an extremely old fashioned community. Not only is it extremely funny but it also has a serious message about change and traditions.
The Vicar of Dibley is very well made and will meet the BBC’s standards as it is suitable for a wide audience and is finished to a very high standard. It is professionally produced and stars the very well known actress, Dawn French. It has humorous characters, lots of physical and verbal comedy and a unique storyline. The titles are very well thought out to make the audience feel like they’re part of the village community. The opening tune is a well-known childhood hymn and the camera shots make you feel like your coming towards the village.
Both these effects make the audience feel welcomed into the village of Dibley. Once you’re into the village the serious church settings make it hard for the audience to know what to expect. This is good as you don’t know what sort of humour is going to be involved and you can’t guess the storyline as nothing like this has been made before.
The first episode introduces the mismatched characters. Their hilarious characteristics and simplicity make it hard not to laugh but you also get a sense of their tight village community. After the vicar dies a new vicar comes to Dibley and this is where the story really begins, as the vicar is a woman. Dawn French is excellent for this part as she really gives the new vicar a really nice warm character. The idea of having a woman vicar is excellent as it is unexpected in the little traditional village. You can tell that the new woman vicar is going to break lots more of traditions throughout the series.
The Vicar of Dibley does contain some sensitive material but I think this is easily solved by the canned laughter. The material is not offensive in any way but some issues may not usually be things people laugh at such as death. This may make viewers feel awkward and confused, as they are not sure whether it’s a serious issue or not. The canned laughter shows viewer that it’s ok to laugh as it’s meant to be funny.
I think this program is very suitable for the BBC as there are no commercial breaks. If the program were to be cut because of commercial breaks I think it would be ruined, as it would not flow properly. I also believe that this program will be a great asset to the BBC as I think it is a very funny sitcom and viewers will love it. Not only is it superbly made and well thought out but also the serious message about change and traditions will stay with viewers forever.