18 January 2020 | allen_w24
The premise and promise of the show are sometimes fulfilled
Richard Briers is most familiar to US viewers as the husband from The Good Life, which shows an urban couple who determine to live a self-sufficient life without leaving their middle-class home. All in Good Faith is said to have been written for him and he plays a similar character.
At it's best, All in Good Faith provides plenty of the friendly, even affectionate banter between Vicar Lambe and the supporting characters that fans of Richard Briers' performance on The Good Life will remember, while neatly juxtaposing contemporary British problems with traditional English religion and culture. At its worst, it's nothing more than another chance for Richard Briers to be on television.
The show is always described as being about a vicar from a country parish who decides to move to a crime-ridden urban neighborhood, but that move doesn't happen until the second season, which makes the first season seem like a long, drawn-out exposition.
The second season is more or less what you expected at the beginning, with all the friendly banter and the clash between traditional culture and contemporary life (a long-running, global conflict that in its British setting has exploded into the Brexit battle), but then there is a jarring transition in the beginning of the third season.
In the third season, almost the entire cast is replaced, including the vicar's wife. Barbara Ferris is replaced by Susan Jameson. At the same time, T.P. McKenna is replaced by John Woodvine as the greedy supermarket chain tycoon Oscar Randolph and the kids simply vanish.
Other writers and producers might have dealt with the cast transition by sending the vicar's wife on long trip to another continent, giving him a secretary to bring him down to earth, bringing in a new business tycoon to act as his greedy conservative foil, and regularly describing the absent kids as living active teenage lives. Not All in Good Faith. The confidence of the writers and producers in their ability to make their choice work is impressive, but it's not exactly deserved.
The first two seasons of All in Good Faith are worth watching if you enjoy British sitcoms from the 70's and 80's and haven't seen this one. If not, there are better ways to pass the time.