Skip to main content

Research Repository

Advanced Search

Losers, food, and sex: clerical masculinity in the BBC sitcom Rev

Ornella, Alexander


Profile Image

Dr Alexander Ornella
Senior Lecturer in Religion, Director for Education and Student Experience


Clerical masculinities, much like their lay/secular counterparts, often appear unchanging because they are the products of naturalization processes. Clerical masculinities, however, are far from being stable but the live and breathe the dynamics of both their socio-religious context and their secular ‘others’. The BBC sitcom Rev. (2010-2011) is a refreshing take on the everyday life and problems of a vicar in the Church of England trying to avoid stereotypes that often come with clerical roles. Rev. can be interpreted as an attempt to explore the negotiation processes of masculinity within an institution that is involved in the “production” of religion and gender roles. It shows that being a man in an institutional setting is as much a performance as it is a more or less successful negotiation of other people’s expectations and one’s own world view. In particular, the main male clerical characters in Rev. inhabit a position of power but all have their flaws. They can best be understood as losers who clash with masculine systems rendering them more human.


Ornella, A. (2016). Losers, food, and sex: clerical masculinity in the BBC sitcom Rev. Journal for Religion, Film and Media, 99-122.

Journal Article Type Article
Acceptance Date Oct 5, 2016
Publication Date Nov 15, 2016
Deposit Date Oct 7, 2016
Publicly Available Date Nov 15, 2016
Journal Journal for religion film and media
Print ISSN 2414-0201
Peer Reviewed Peer Reviewed
Issue 2
Pages 99-122
Keywords British Broadcasting Corporation, Masculinities, Clerical, Television, Gender, Religion, Church of England, Rev (Television programme)
Public URL
Publisher URL
Additional Information Copy of article first published in: Journal for religion film and media, 2016, issue 2


Article.pdf (688 Kb)

Copyright Statement
This work is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial 4.0 International License.

You might also like

Downloadable Citations