Lately, I’ve been reading a lot of online reviews of TV shows. I like reviews. There are many awesome reviewers out there, but I’ve also read a lot of reviews that are very consternated because the show is not what they want it to be. I decided to take this a step further by forcing myself to review a show that never even existed. Enjoy!
Today I’ll be reviewing that classic BBC mystery show, The Vicar of Murder Village. As fans of the show know, it ran on the BBC from 1969 to 2002. It was broadcast in America on PBS for most of the 1980s and became a fan favorite for the kind of people who watch British murder mysteries at 3 pm on a Sunday afternoon.
This groundbreaking show about a nice lady investigating an endless serious of brutal yet quaint deaths just made its debut on Netflix so a whole new generation is learning that great catchphrase: “Tsk, tsk, don’t kill people.”
If you’re one of those weirdos who are so culturally challenged you’ve never even heard of The Vicar of Murder Village, the premise is pretty simple. The star of the show is Dame Margaret Heatherstone. She played the character of Heather Margaretstone; a feisty female Vicar who is appointed to a sleepy Yorkshire town called Murder Village.
It’s called Murder Village because a minimum of six people are murdered there every week and, of course, it’s up to our kind yet irreverent Vicar to figure out whodunit and still make it home in time to have a nice cup of tea and some mild sexual tension with her gardener, John Trowel. This is a very literal show.
I’ve been reviewing every single episode and today I’m tackling an episode called “Death Leaves A Stain Because It Doesn’t Put A Doily Under Its Tea Cup.”
That is the actual title.
It is the third episode of the twenty-seventh season and let me tell you it is a fucking stinker. This won’t even be a review, it’s going to be an execution so strap on your hate pants and buckle up, fuckos, because you are in for a kill ride.
I don’t even know what those words mean. Did I mention I’ve reviewed every single episode of this show up to this point?
Anyway, this episode was written by an absolute hack named Lawrence Thortonberry. Lawrence was a prolific BBC writer. He died just a few months after writing this episode, probably out of shame.
The characterization of the Vicar is inconsistent at best. He has her eating a chocolate biscuit BEFORE she solves the murder when every knows she ONLY eats a chocolate biscuit AFTER she solves the murder OR if she’s working extra hard to deny her desire to knock boots with John Trowel who isn’t even in this episode until Act Three and then he doesn’t even take his shirt off.
What bullshit! Screw you and every single one of your descendants, Lawrence Thortonberry!
To make matters worse, you have the Vicar’s friend, Constable Jenkins, remark on the fact that there’s been a lot of death lately in Murder Village.
That’s insane. INSANE!
The whole premise of the show is that no one in the town acknowledges the massive death rate of a place called Murder Village. The charm of this show is that it’s basically a village full of people who wouldn’t understand the concept of irony if you beat them over the head with a manual typewriter and then during the beating the typewriter spells out “mUrdEr!” (This actually did happen in Season Seven, Episode Twenty-Two AND NO ONE FUCKING COMMENTED ON IT!)
The point is: the good citizens of Murder Village have never even heard the word “meta” and yet you have Inspector Constable Dumb-ass practically bashing his giant forehead against the fourth wall!
If you’re not rolling in your grave, Lawrence Thortonberry, you should be. I’m tempted to have you exhumed so I can personally install your skeleton on a spit and make sure you are rolling over throughout eternity.
This episode is also jaw-droppingly derivative.
Here’s the plot: A jealous sheep farmer discovers his wife is cheating on him with the local cheesemaker and suffocates him by sticking a block of Wensleydale down his throat. The sheep farmer then goes insane and claims the sheep told him to do it.
HELLO? WHAT? ALL CAPS! RAGE! JESUS! WHAT?
This is the EXACT same plot as Season Fifteen’s masterful classic “Death Takes A Riding Lesson And Gets A Little Chafed” in which the jealous cheesemaker discovers his wife is cheating on him with the sheep farmer and chokes him to death with recently sheared wool. The cheesemaker then goes insane and claims the goats told him to do it.
I mean, what the actual ever living fuck, Lawrence Thortonberry? How could you do this to me? How could you not foresee that this quaint British murder mystery would eventually be streaming on Netflix? That your putrid shit fondue of an episode would be beamed through space to my laptop where I would write a review of it?
And to what end? I mean, why am I even writing this? What is the point of this critique? The episode can’t be changed. The show can’t be improved–it’s been off the air for over a decade. Everyone involved in its production is dead or trying to wipe the show from their IMDb page.
This was not a show that was meant to be reviewed. It’s like reviewing a light wind. It just passes by you. It’s a pleasant half hour of murder based treacle you were supposed to use to fill the time until your bladder could withstand another cup of tea.
It wasn’t meant for me. It wasn’t meant for some angry thirtysomething steeped in irony, student loans, and complex opinions about the shot composition of Reservoir Dogs. I’m offended by this show’s very existence!
And yet there are episodes that make me feel good. It takes me away from my problems and transports me to a lovely little village where all is right with the world because no death goes unpunished and even if it did it wouldn’t matter because all the characters are so emotionally repressed they can only express themselves through their biscuit choices.
And I like the show that way! But you had to fuck up even that small bit of bliss, didn’t you, Lawrence Thortonberry, you hack bastard? I hope you rot in hell with a constantly full bladder and never, ever have access to your preferred style of biscuit.
GOD, I JUST WANT TO KNOW WHAT IT WOULD BE LIKE TO NOT HAVE AN OPINION ABOUT SOMETHING FOR FIVE FUCKING MINUTES! IS THAT SO MUCH TO ASK? I AM OF THE OPINION THAT IT IS NOT!
In conclusion, I give this episode a B+.
Not the greatest episode, but it could be worse.
That’s it for this review. Tomorrow I’ll be reviewing another episode written by Lawrence Thortonberry. The review will be LONG so if you have kids get a fucking sitter before your start reading. I’ll see you tomorrow for a thoughtful analysis of “Death Fertilizes The Field Behind Mrs. Witherton’s Hydrangea Bush.”
Until then: “Tsk, tsk, don’t kill people.”
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