TV Series Review: Grantchester

by Brad Nelson6/14/18
A vicar regularly helps a police inspector with his cases while drinking too much and being chronically undecided about the girl he loves…or maybe likes…or maybe they’re just friends. What could go wrong?

First off, we can give credit to this series for not being as politically correct as most modern British series. The glaring exception is the vicar’s curate, Leonard Finch, who is a closet homosexual and the model nice guy. There’s just no escaping gender-bending issues in almost any TV series these days. Finch is certainly the kind of character very effective at mainstreaming homosexuality.

Oddly, as the series progresses, all of the primarily players except for Leonard Finch become less admirable. Agree or disagree with his orientation, Finch is in a tight spot as he struggles to reconcile his faith with his feelings. Al Weaver plays Finch and is heads-and-tails above every other actor in fleshing out a realistic and nuanced character. You care about Finch. The rest of them be damned. (This is surely be design.)

On the other hand, James Norton as Sidney Chambers is mediocre in his role as the vicar. His end-of-show sermons are particularly cringe-worthy as he gives them with all the charm of molded plastic. It doesn’t help that by the middle of season three he has turned from an admirable, if often stressed and confused, character to one who you downright begin to dislike. Commandments fall away right and left. This is not a vicar I would take advice from for how to live my life. How he has anyone in his flock is a bit of a mystery.

The series revolves around the vicar Chambers and the more talented Robson Green as Inspector Geordie Keating. The gist of the show is that these two become friends (after an adversarial start) and Chambers is basically an unpaid and unofficial junior officer in the local police force. He somehow finds a way to be involved in every murder, rape, or theft that comes along — including being there in the interview room with the suspects. I don’t know what planet would allow this. But you have to suspend disbelief on this point. A lot.

And as the core, this formula works okay. Chambers has some background as a traumatized soldier with some scars, but this storyline never goes anywhere and his character (despite the big words he says) increasingly lacks depth. With Green anchoring a somewhat interesting and believable Inspector Keating, the so-so crime plots that turn up are at least mildly entertaining.

However, then we come to the vicar’s love life where they try to shoehorn in the truly awful character of Amanda Huggenkiss (as I call her….the only way I can stay sane while watching this series). It’s difficult to care about this relationship. You just want it to go away. Besides, the vicar had two gorgeous women who wanted him — a German and then Geordie’s secretary who I have nicknamed “Jackie Kennedy” because that’s basically her look. (And she looks very good indeed.)

Anyway, it’s a quandary why I keep watching this show even those it has me regularly yelling at the screen. Maybe there’s something to be said for primal scream therapy. There’s certainly something about the series that is above the mediocrity of the typical modern series despite its flaws. Maybe I’m just sticking around hoping Mrs. Maguire (the vicar’s prickly, old-fashioned, outspoken housekeeper) will verbally assault the vicar and/or Amanda Huggenkiss and finally deal them a real knock-out blow. She does issue some good barbs from time to time.

Mr. Kung will no doubt fill in the many points I’ve missed. I hope he does. No doubt he will tell you more about Amanda Huggenkiss because I just can’t bring myself to do so.

Brad is editor and chief disorganizer of StubbornThings.
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Brad Nelson

About Brad Nelson

I like books, nature, politics, old movies, Ronald Reagan (you get sort of a three-fer with that one), and the founding ideals of this country. We are the Shining City on the Hill — or ought to be. However, our land has been poisoned by Utopian aspirations and feel-good bromides. Both have replaced wisdom and facts.
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32 Responses to TV Series Review: Grantchester

  1. Kung Fu Zu Kung Fu Zu says:

    Oddly, as the series progresses, all of the primarily players except for Leonard Finch become less admirable. Agree or disagree with his orientation, Finch is in a tight spot as he struggles to reconcile his faith with his feelings. Al Weaver plays Finch and is heads-and-tails above every other actor in fleshing out a realistic and nuanced character. You care about Finch. The rest of them be damned. (This is surely be design.)

    Well done! The purpose of this series is to show the viewer how benighted was early 1950’s Britain. In order to do this, the writers threw all subtly overboard and the only characters who are not caricatures are Finch and Mrs. Maguire, and even she is something of a stereotype.

    Amanda Huggenkiss is a women who plays with the vicar’s heart, but is from a better class and too materialistic and not to pass up marriage to a very wealthy upper-class gentleman. Of course, after her marriage, she still plays with the poor vicar’s heart. Naturally, she is not happy in the marriage, leaves her husband and falls back on the dumb prelate for support. I suppose the writers want us all to understand that this state of affairs is due to the sorry state of British society. The poor woman simply had no other choice. If she were born only 20-30 years later she could have had it all.

    The detective is reasonably good, although he drinks too much. Naturally, he cheats on his wife. He is, after all, a man and simply predates the #metoo phenomenon by about seventy years.

    The vicar is a smuck. He drinks like a fish and is constantly haunted by his feelings for Miss. Huggenkiss. He acts in a very un-vicar-like manner, but he is after all, a WASP, that breed responsible for the sorry state of British society. What else can one expect from such vile racist, sexist, superstitious filth.

    And then there is that warm and cuddly queer Leonard Finch. Dear Leonard, who is pure of heart and full of love. He is the only person, besides Mr. Maguire, who stays true to his values. After all, if you love someone it must be good, right?

    “Grantchester” is, like many contemporary British series, obnoxiously p.c. and aimed at the feminine market. While I watched the first episode, it was clear to me that the writer had to be a woman and I checked to see if I was correct. I was. Only a feminist or poof could create a cast of such spineless, wavering, shallow, but very feeling stereotypical characters.

    I have to admit, I got bored with the series pretty quickly and haven’t seen any recent episodes. It has little or no redeeming social value.

    Go back and watch reruns of “Vera.”

    • Timothy Lane says:

      This sounds much like the movie Starman. A fine movie at times (such as the alien’s method of learning how to drive a car), it also has a set of purely PC characters — without exception. Hispanics — good. Young iconoclastic scientist — good. Hunter — bad. Police — bad. Bureaucratic supervisor for scientist — bad (which might seem ironic given leftist state-worship).

      And if they wanted to show 50s Britain as homophobic, they could have done a biopic of Alan Turing. It might even have made a better story, if only because Turing was a World War II hero of sorts. (But then, maybe that’s why they didn’t like the story.)

    • Brad Nelson Brad Nelson says:

      Mr. Kung, I had been under the general impression that you liked this more than I did. I think it may be the reverse by a little bit.

      Season 3 is where they really begin to hit rock bottom. Geordie, who was otherwise a commendable character, was dragged down into a plot of infidelity even though there were zero issues between him and his wife. Not that men can’t engage in an affair at the drop of the hat. But the last bastion of white British decency had to be crashed onto the rocks.

      The show then became unmoored. The elder Geordie — although an atheist for all practical purposes — was like an elder brother or father figure to the emotionally struggling vicar. Both had some aspect of themselves that could guide the other. But when this idiot chick writer drug them both into the gutter, there really was no story left but throwing on extra layers of mud as they went.

      Only the innocent Finch, who merely pines to love who he wants to love, is as pure as the new-driven snow. Poor baby. And I agree with your point that most of the characters are one-dimensional.

      However, it’s only fair to say that people such as Finch surely exist and in his time would have found themselves in a similar situation. His dilemma is realistically and sensitively played, and particularly well-acted as well. Oh well. That’s probably the theme the chick writer really cared about, and it shows.

      • Kung Fu Zu Kung Fu Zu says:

        Mr. Kung, I had been under the general impression that you liked this more than I did. I think it may be the reverse by a little bit.

        For the first season and possibly part of the second season, I probably did like Grantchester more than you do.

        Even though it was clear from the start that the writer had created some pretty shallow and squishy characters, I found the series reasonably entertaining. You must remember, I expect less from TV and film than you do as I, so I am fairly easily pleased in this area. As long as the dialogue is not complete rubbish and the sets and costumes are reasonably good, and the content is not complete PC rot/propaganda, I am content to waste some time watching British product. But sometime during the second season Grantchester came out of the closet and I simply couldn’t stand the extremely overt way they superimposed 2015-17 leftist views over 1950’s England.

        That being said, it may surprise you that I still think Finch is the most sympathetic character in the series. But as you note, that was surely intended. We all know of the common tactic of making someone look good by making others look bad. I thing the writer used this tactic like a sledgehammer in Grantchester.

        • Timothy Lane says:

          I can see what you mean by tolerating a good bit of leftist politics. It’s hard to avoid, after all, without watching (which actually is happening, anyway — the last movie I saw in a theater was The Phantom Menace). I’ve enjoyed many movies that were solidly leftist, such as Starman (mentioned above) and Star Trek IV: The Voyage Home.

        • Brad Nelson Brad Nelson says:

          I agree about the sledgehammer. I think I just enjoy hating it. I’m a hater. I really have come to dislike the main character, the vicar. And Amanda Kissenhug was annoying from the get-go. I’m guessing the author (like so many other yutes) got their idea of romance from “The Princess Bride.” There is only wuv, twu wuv and no other kind or degree. No matter who and what they destroy, “wuv, twu wuv” will come through for the vicar and Amanda Kissenhug.

          Applied to a heterosexual couple, I think it has merit. Applied to Finch, I believe it’s more myth than fact. But “wuv, twu wuv” will certainly be driven home as a point after Finch finishes with his dalliance of trying to go straight (starting in season 3) which, by PC rules, we know must fail. We will learn that there is only “wuv, twu wuv” despite one’s sex. One must live “authentically.”

          Maybe this writer chick even sees Georgie’s affair as commendable, for if you have the feeling, you must follow it and be “authentic.”

          As for what we learn from the vicar and Amanda Kissenhug (and, by the way, they have finally done the dirty deed), I don’t know. I guess we learn how not to be from these two emotional children. The vicar should have gone with the Kraut. I really liked the Kraut. But I also like how she dumped him. She immediately recognized that he would be little more than a long series of waffles.

          My very favorite moment in this series is when Guy (Amanda Kissenhug’s husband) punches the vicar in the face for fooling around with his wife. He should have kicked him in the balls as well, if he has any. Nothing Guy has done deserves the infidelity (first mental, now physical) of his c-word wife. Amanda Kissenhug just comes off as a needy emotional basketcase. Maybe the vicar and her and meant for each other….at least so they don’t torture anyone else.

          • Kung Fu Zu Kung Fu Zu says:

            they have finally done the dirty deed

            I must have missed that, but it is par for the course.

            Maybe the vicar and her and meant for each other….at least so they don’t torture anyone else.

            A good thought.

            Don’t you love how the writer has inverted British society? The well-educated standard bearers of class and religion are the low-lifes, whereas the outsider and proli (Finch and Mrs. Maguire) are the people to look up to.

            The perfect leftist dream.

            • Brad Nelson Brad Nelson says:

              Good point about the inversion. Granted, in any dramatic TV series it’s par for the course to keep adding on faults, foibles, and f-ups to the main characters.

              It was almost shocking when Finch’s “friend” dumped him because this “friend” was so obviously chasing sex, not love. Finch showed up at his friend’s place and his friend’s new boy-toy answered the door. A hint of honesty showed through there.

              Mrs. Maguire bounces between being the stereotypical intolerant church lady to the patsy who, in the end, softens and thus consecrates whatever new bad behavior is crowned conventional. Her character (like most of the others) has been turned into a mess.

              Still, I live on in hopes that Amanda Kissenhug (or Huggenkiss…both variants are acceptable) will be the next case that Geordie and the vicar must investigate. A sad case of suicide. Or is it?

            • Timothy Lane says:

              It’s standard here as well as there, of course. The standard villain today is either a businessman or a cleric, or something similar. It won’t be a black mugger or a homosexual or a Hispanic rapist or a jihadist.

              • Brad Nelson Brad Nelson says:

                My brother likes to note how every “home invasion” ad you see on TV or the internet has nothing but white guys crawling through the windows.

                Clearly even before feminism and Karl Marx polluted the cultural waters, white Europeans were doing all kinds of bad things on TV, in movies, and in plays. But, lest I’m short-sighted, I don’t think most of these people were used as icons for political or social crimes of a particular bloc. Shakespeare had Shylock, of course (perhaps not an altogether unfair stereotype of a type). But, generally speaking, it was the foibles of individual humans on display most of the time.

                But I do think the class-conscious British, in particular, have continued their class-conscious way of viewing things. Certainly the entire shtick of Cultural Marxism (and all the offshoots such as feminism, genderism, socialism, grievancism, etc.) is that sins never belong to the individual. They must always be judged within the social structure. And race, sex, and economic class remain the deciding factors when deciding guilt or innocence, not individual sins.

                I think it was the article that Mr. Kung presented recently wherein the fellow noted that many yutes just have no idea of the implications of their prejudices. Yes, I think this was the article about whether a gay cake shop should be forced to bake a cake for a Nazi organization (or a Muslim one, for that matter). The idea of “bad” being defined in any way but as the Left has done so is beyond their ken.

              • Timothy Lane says:

                Note that Shylock was treated with at least some sympathy. Note his defense of going after revenge against Antonio (Hath not a Jew . . . ?) and his earlier wonderment at why he should loan an anti-semite (Antonio) money on any basis. In fact, my sympathies are actually with Shylock there, though no doubt Elizabethans brought up to hate Jewish “Christ-killers” felt differently.

                By contrast, Marlowe’s Jew of Malta (Barabbas) is a stereotypical Jew (though the other Jews in the play come off better) who ends up killed in his own torturous murder trap.

  2. Brad Nelson Brad Nelson says:

    In fact, my sympathies are actually with Shylock there, though no doubt Elizabethans brought up to hate Jewish “Christ-killers” felt differently.

    Clearly Shylock has gotten an unfair reputation, Timothy.

    If memory serves, another interesting difference between Shakespeare and modern class/racists is that the poor in Shakespeare novels weren’t always victims. In his and other novels, sometimes “the poor” were rightly seen as deeply flawed. Even vulgar.

    And certainly any novelist or playwright worth his salt is going to have a few rich villains as well because — well — the world is full of rich villains as well as poor ones. In fact, human depravity, deceit, and criminality generally know no distinct class or race boundaries.

    British TV, books, and plays have been at the forefront of turning this on its head. Now the successful are routinely demonized and the lower classes romanticized. And thus death awaits them all in the demographic invasion known as “Islam,” if not also because of their own reproductive sterility.

    What I find interesting, and quite alarming, is how those in the West who have done well through hard work and following the basic virtues have abdicated their responsibility to pass on these virtues. Nature abhors a vacuum. And if no one will stand up for honesty, hard work, perseverance, abiding by the law, valuing education, and fair dealings then that vacuum will be filled by the opposite. That they’ve put a nice name on it is neither her nor there.

    I’m very disappointed in those who are my age or older who reflexively apologize in others for things they no doubt would not accept from a spouse or their own children. Caving to the mob generally does not bring good results.

    And that brings us back to “Grantchester.” Oh, what vacuous, fortune-cookie sermons by this vicar, usually at the end of each episode to “sum-up” what he and others have supposedly learned (physician heal thyself not being one of them). The chick author has done a great job of turning a preacher of the teachings of Jesus Christ into a purveyor of inane feel-good nostrums that could have come from a Magic Eight Ball. And yet these sermons likely represent what is not only typical in England but in America.

    I was somewhat shocked the other day when even a Jehovah Witness was apologetic for the legalization of pot.

    • Kung Fu Zu Kung Fu Zu says:

      Clearly Shylock has gotten an unfair reputation

      I believe William gave a very accurate portrayal of the situation at that time with Shylock, a Jew who was wronged and full of understandable rage, wishing to revenge himself on those who represent a society which belittles and despises him.

      He thinks he has won through cleverness, yet loses again because of his anger and the fact that “you can’t fight city hall”, city hall in this case being the dominant Christian society reigning in the West, at that time.

  3. Timothy Lane says:

    Shakespeare didn’t like mobs. In Julius Caesar, he has a scene out of Plutarch in which the mob overrunning Rome after the title character’s assassination murders a poet named Cinna because he had the same name as a conspirator. And in Henry VI Part Two, Jack Cade’s rebels don’t come off too well, either. (Since one of them, Dick the Butcher, issued the famous admonition, “The first thing we do, let’s kill all the lawyers,” we have reason to doubt that Shakespeare agreed.)

    • Kung Fu Zu Kung Fu Zu says:

      I love Shakespeare’s term for the mob, the “vulgar.” That has stuck with me since 8th grade.

      • Timothy Lane says:

        I don’t think I read any Shakespeare play with a mob in it until after college. I had A Midsummer Night’s Dream sometime around them, The Merchant of Venice, Hamlet, and Othello in high school, and King Lear in college. I read a lot more later, I believe starting with Julius Caesar. After the game Kingmaker became popular in our group, I read (in no particular order), Henry VI Part One, Henry VI Part 2, and Richard III. I think the most recent that I read for the first time is Henry V.

        • Kung Fu Zu Kung Fu Zu says:

          As I recall, we studied “Julius Caesar” in junior high and “Hamlet” in high school.

          • Timothy Lane says:

            So that’s why you got Shakespeare’s idea of the mob so early. Incidentally, in reality there were 2 battles at Philippi. Shakespeare mainly uses the first, but then switches to the aftermath of the second, which is when Brutus committed suicide.

            Something even more extreme happens in the last of the Henry VI plays, which suddenly goes from after the First Battle of St. Albans (1455), though Richard at age 2 is unlikely to have killed the Duke of Somerset in single combat, to after the Battle of Northampton (1460) within the first scene.

            Time is compressed even further in Richard III, which just in the first act or so goes from 1471 (after the Lancastrian uprising, the battles of Barnet and Tewkesbury, and the killing of Henry VI) through 1478 (the execution of George of Clarence, possibly by drowning in a butt of malmsey and possibly not) to 1483 (the death of Edward IV and the usurpation of Richard III).

            Time compression was very common in Shakespeare, especially in his historical plays. Most of it was necessary.

            • Kung Fu Zu Kung Fu Zu says:

              I have long told people not to get their history from the movies or TV. Even Shakespeare bent history for political and artistic reasons.

              • Brad Nelson Brad Nelson says:

                History is so complex (I hear Mr. Kung nodding) that I think it’s hard to understand even in the best of circumstances. It’s like a sky with a thousand stars. You can highlight any of the stars and paint the picture you want.

                Biases, specific interests, and just plain political-academic fraudulence can give one a mistaken picture. But as is written in 1 Timothy StubbornThings, to be fair, even a good history book which does not mislead or defraud is ever only going to be a a few stars in the entire constellation. It takes a whole lot of reading before you even marginally fill in the big picture.

                Of course, nowadays history is obsolete. We are an enlightened people. People in the past often owned slaves and worse. The only wisdom we need can be gained from Jimmy Kimmel, Saturday Night Live, or the Academy Awards broadcast. And if those aren’t available, we can always trust our “feelings.”

              • Timothy Lane says:

                Fortunately, there are those who still write history for us reprobates. Of course, most fiction isn’t intended as straight fiction, though some writers of historical fiction (George MacDonald Fraser, Sharon Kay Penman) include notes which provide the actual history behind the fiction.

                Shakespeare, of course, wasn’t writing history in his historical plays, though he did make use of contemporary histories. But it’s worth noting that Poul Anderson, in A Midsummer Tempestm has an alternate history (set in the English Civil War, with Prince Rupert as protagonist, starting after Marston Moor) in which Shakespeare is known as the Great Historian from his plays. Among other things, this means technology is much more advanced.

              • Kung Fu Zu Kung Fu Zu says:

                It takes a whole lot of reading before you even marginally fill in the big picture.

                That is certainly true.

                I think it was Mark Twain who said something to the effect that history doesn’t repeat itself, but it certainly rhymes. I would agree and go further. There are a large number of Leitmotivs which are found throughout history. Time and circumstance may cause small permutations on these themes, but they are always there.

                some writers of historical fiction (George MacDonald Fraser, Sharon Kay Penman) include notes which provide the actual history behind the fiction.

                Bernard Cornwell includes a short historical afterword in all his “Sharpe” novels. I find these very interesting. But the thing I find most enjoyable about the “Sharpe” novels, besides the good story, is the feel Cornwell gives the reader for the small things. He lays out details on clothing, weapons, culture, etc. which let the reader have some idea of the basic differences between then and now. He shows some of the challenges which faced humanity in a time before electricity, the internal combustion engine and iPhones.

                I think these are lessons most of today’s yutes might learn from.

  4. Brad Nelson Brad Nelson says:

    In season 3, episode 4, Sidney jerks off his dog collar after a heated argument with the bishop. Sidney blames the church for making people’s lives worse. His argument goes like this: “It’s not sin that makes people miserable. It’s their feeling of failure when they don’t keep to the standards we preach.”

    And for better or worse (I would argue worse), that’s is about as concise a recitation of The New Christian Creed as I’ve ever heard on TV or anywhere else.

    Meanwhile, Leonard’s attempt to go straight and marry a women fails, of course. He later tries to kill himself and fails at that. Sidney tells him something like, “You have to be who you really are.” Euphemisms like this have confused and befuddled generations of people. If you want to come out and say, “There’s nothing wrong with homosexuality. And any biblical invocations against it are not to be taken literally,” that would be one thing. It would be reasonably honest (if perhaps not accurate).

    But Sidney plies Leonard with his fortune-cookie pop-psy nostrum of “You have to be who you are.” Would that also apply to child molesters, rapists, arsonists, and serial murderers?

    • Timothy Lane says:

      Sin is fun, of course; that’s why people commit it. But it’s not so much fun for others, a point the PC leftist Sidney would find irrelevant. But even a modern Christian should be aware of that. Even the Peron Pope wouldn’t go as far as Sidney does (he does seem to condemn abortion, and still hasn’t come out for homosexual marriage).

      As for “be who you are”, that’s suitable for minorities (such as blacks, Hispanics, women, homosexuals), but not the majority (white men). (Incidentally, this — which I suspect actually reflects leftist views — is an example of their poor grasp on reality.)

      • Brad Nelson Brad Nelson says:

        One review of this episode starts out with:

        This may have been the best of all the episodes I’ve seen. All the principle male characters are conflicted and being guided by their sexual urges.

        I still think the basic difference stems from the idea that gained traction in the 60’s: You shouldn’t repress anything. Then came the ascendency of a permissive, loosey-goosey, “I’m okay, you’re okay” ethic with adult moral authority acquiescing to the basic instincts of teenagers.

        Let’s by all means debate the merits (if any) of such a change. But that does seem to be the change, powered by Freud and the utopian psychology (especially amongst women) that wishes to punish others because their life is not a smooth dream of self-actualizing bliss.

        • Timothy Lane says:

          Judging from that super-libertinist review, this really doesn’t sound like the show for any of us. Brad, is there something you aren’t telling us? Oh, wait, I remember now. Glenn Back’s pie chart for how men react to porn (in An Inconvenient Book) basically divided them into those who like it, those who like it but pretend not to, and the comatose.

          • Brad Nelson Brad Nelson says:

            Judging from that super-libertinist review, this really doesn’t sound like the show for any of us. Brad, is there something you aren’t telling us?

            Yes. I think I’m a closet vicar. I know I could do a much better job than this guy.

            And that last scene with the vicar arguing with his bishop was priceless. I wonder if the person who wrote the dialogue thought he was espousing deep philosophy when, in fact, the vicar was simply having a tantrum like a child.

            Mr. Kung eloquently expressed his modus operandi for watching TV series. Basically he could watch most things if they didn’t get too silly with political correctness. Our friend, Pat, has an even more liberal filter. He says he can watch just about anything. Both of them are quite sure my filter is a lot more persnickety.

            So why watch this one? Well, there’s a sort of endemic ridiculousness about it that is fun to…well…ridicule. Plus, all in all, it is well paced. And even if I sneer at some of the characters, this aspect of entertainment predates even Snidely Whiplash. We love to hurl catcalls at the villains.

            That odd thing is, it’s very likely that my villains are the libtard writers’ heroes and heroines. I guess one can just become comfortable with the predictable stupidity. At the end of the day, most of these types of series are about wanting to spend time with the people you see on the screen. Minus Amanda Kissenhug, most of them have redeemable features.

  5. Brad Nelson Brad Nelson says:

    In Episode 5, season 3, the series takes its first step out of its formula. And for the better. Lots of spoilers here.

    Ronnie (Mrs. McGuires’s husband who ran off over ten years ago) shows up in episode 4, season 3. And at the end of it, he had run off with Mrs. McGuire’s money.

    Sidney, having a crisis of faith (so-called), takes off his dog collar and hits the road to do some thinking at the start of episode 5. First stop (thanks to his police sources) is the Gypsy camp that Ronnie lives at where he has a second bigamist wife. Sidney wants to acquire the money that Ronnie stole and return it to Mrs. McGuire….and then he will lead onto wherever the wind blows him.

    There are many moments in this episode that resemble good drama. One of them (like I said, lots of spoilers) is when Ronnie’s second-wife widow (someone has to die in each episode) pleads for the vicar to read from the bible. She’s not religious but she knows that Ronnie was. The vicar resists….three times he resists. But the widow knows a broken soul when she sees one and eventually ropes the vicar somewhat back into his role as man instead of pouting child.

    Mrs. McGuire is shocked, of course, to learn that her husband married (illegally) again. She heads off to the Gypsy camp with Geordie. There is some resolution between the two wives when Mrs. McGuire 1 gives half the money that Ronnie stole from her to Mrs. McGuire 2 to help support the latter’s two children.

    The Gypsy camp mess resolved, they all head back to Grantchester where a bitchy Amanda Kissenhug is pissed off at Sidney for taking a few days off. (Run, vicar, run. Run as fast and as far as you can from this clinging harpy.)

    Amusing to me is that Amanda Kissenhug gives Sidney an ultimatum. The real Amanda Kissenhug (never hidden from my eyes) reveals herself as she demands that Sidney choose between the church and her. Role credits.

    He should have gone with the Kraut, Hildegard Staunton. Oh well. The next episode is the last episode of season 3. It should be enough time for Sidney to cave to Amanda Kissenhug. Or, if there is a God in heaven (if only television heaven), he will give her the heave-ho.

    • Timothy Lane says:

      “Run, vicar, run” reminds of an obscure (it didn’t last long) ’60s sitcom, Run, Buddy, Run, about a guy who overseers some mobsters plotting murder in a steam room (and narrated by the ganglord’s proud son). I recall seeing bits and pieces of a few episodes, though what I recall doesn’t match any of the episode descriptions in wikipedia.

      • Brad Nelson Brad Nelson says:

        Usually when I have the show running in the background at lunch, my “soundman” brother will put this song on for a second. Suits Leonard very well.

        You’ll be glad to hear that I’ve watched the final episode of season 3. If season four ever comes to Amazon Prime, I will be sure to miss it. But it has been fun watching this theatre of the absurd.

        This last episode is basically a public service announcement for homosexuality. I guess in case the show wasn’t renewed for a 4th season (and I have no idea of the status of a 4th season), the writers wanted to get in their Social Justice Warrior street cred. The pro-homo stuff is extremely thick.

        As one astute critic noted at IMDB:

        I like Grantchester for the period costumes and the Cambridgeshire setting, the plots are rather tame but what I do dislike about it is that the attitudes that it portrays are so anachronistic. The scriptwriters are becoming more determined to add in 21st century attitudes and to be politically correct, and this is completely out of place for a drama set in the 1950s. I had a rolling eyes moment when Chambers and Keating greeted each other with a hug – for heaven’s sake, British men didn’t even do that in the 1980s, let alone the 1950s! A handshake would have been a sign of affection but a hug – absolutely not.

        I know it’s easier to be a critic than to get out there, put yourself on the line, and produce something. But, good god, the general emotional and mental level behind this series is barely that of a teenager. It’s just not smart. I started watching another British show on Britbox called “Zen.” That’s probably an unfortunately-named series because it has nothing to do with touchy-feely Eastern religion or concepts. “Zen” is apparently a Venetian name and this show is about a straight (both ways….sexually and professionally) Italian cop.

        And it was a jolt to go from the adolescent-minded “Grantchester” to truly a more adult-minded “Zen.” And “adult” has nothing to do with nudity or language. There has been no nudity in “Zen” so far and I don’t think any bad language. It’s just the “vibe” of it not having the kind of tired, childish running notions that are typical of such series as “Grantchester.”

        I got another good belly laugh when Vicar Chambers met with the bishop again and tendered his resignation. You see, it wasn’t god who failed him. It was the church. And what did the church do? It put a barrier between him and messing around with a divorced woman. (Apparently God was okay with it because God was all about “love.”)

        The actual religious content of “Grantchurch” is on par with what you might find in a fortune cookie. But this might be how religion is typically understood in the increasingly denuded mental, spiritual, and intellectual environment of England.

        At the very start of this last episode, the vicar made his choice left over from the previous episode: He’s leaving the church and going with Amanda Kissenhug. They even go so far as to look for apartments together in London. But there is a kidnapping or murder of a child and Sidney is immediately drawn back into local events. This was probably the worst episode of them all, and not because of the pro-homosexuality agenda. It was just a terrible plot.

        Long story short, Sidney was somehow convinced that he was needed as vicar in Grantchester. I don’t see it. Anyone (including Leonard) could have stepped in and done twice the job. But he stays and Amanda Kissenhug is apparently out of the picture. But you just know if there is a season 4 that she will be back to make his life miserable. But not mine. I’ve taken as much as I will of this series.

        • Kung Fu Zu Kung Fu Zu says:

          Looks like I will have to continue missing Grantchester when it returns to PBS.

          As to Zen, I found it entertaining. I liked the main character and the actor who played him. That actor played Lord Melbourne (?) i.e. Victoria’s first prime minister in the recent series “Victoria.”

          Unfortunately, Zen lasted only 1 or 2 seasons.

          I have a theory about such things. As I do with regards to restaurants, I worry if I like a series as that means the vulgar generally won’t as they don’t even have taste in their mouths. Fast food in culture and dining is the norm here.

          • Brad Nelson Brad Nelson says:

            I worry if I like a series as that means the vulgar generally won’t as they don’t even have taste in their mouths.

            I’m two episodes into “Zen.” So far, so good. But there is no doubt that your rule is now binding. That a “Zen” can even be created and exist for a while is exceptional.

            I still regret that they ruined “Longmire.” The last couple of seasons have turned into a lawyer show. Just let Walt be Walt. But they won’t. It’s too bad. I’ve given up watching it, sort of wanting to keep the good memories of when the show was good. It’s painful to see hack writers turn it into something it was never meant to be.

            I still plan to cancel Netflix. I’m just trying to see if there’s anything good that I’ve missed. But, good god, I read on Drudge the other day that Netflix executives have issued a policy whereby it is prohibited to look at someone more than 15 seconds. Or something like this. We just have to stop financing these assholes.

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