Listen to Judith Lucy talk to Matt Smith in a Crikey podcast.

Australian comedian Judith Lucy has never been one to hold back. Frank and upfront, she has a style of humour that tends to polarise her audience – you either love her for her brutal honesty, or she sets your teeth on edge.

Many people will come into her new show Judith Lucy’s Spiritual Journey with a preconception they should prepared to be challenged – much like the beliefs of Lucy herself in this show. Part confessional and part religious exploration, it would wrong to assume this program is a straight comedy, although it is very funny. Much like any show that deals with religion, it’s going to divide viewers and offend some people.

Interviewing believers and non-believers alike, Lucy explores what it means to be a part of different religions and spiritualities, and learns what other people believe. In some ways she treats these with a lot of respect – delving into this subject for a television show is a potential mine field – but Lucy isn’t beyond calling the people out that she interviews, and at times is fearless in this, especially with people connected with the Catholic faith of her childhood.

Speaking of her childhood, expect to learn a lot of Lucy’s past. Judith Lucy’s Spiritual Journey is as much an inward journey as an outward one. At one point a believer intent on becoming a nun, Lucy is now a proud atheist. Her show is interspersed with reenactments from her own past, or at least, how she chooses to interpret them. While not serving as the smoothest of segues, these scenes are as hilarious as they are ridiculous. She seemed to particularly enjoy pashing the hot young priest in the beach surf.

The first episode sees Lucy learning how a nun lives her life, the second has her experiencing a faith healing. Future episodes will see her experiencing a rebirth, Aboriginal  rituals, and journeying to India.

I can’t say that I fully appreciate Lucy’s comedy, but I found her spiritual journey to be insightful, thoughtful, and I’m definitely interested in seeing where it’s going. Those who don’t find her hilarious will hopefully find a new appreciation for her style, if not her bluntness and frank attitude.

Don’t watch this show thinking that Lucy is going to be bashing religions, or criticise her for leaving certain religions out. This is Judith Lucy’s Spiritual Journey, not that of anyone else. Let her experience the journey, take it with her, and laugh.

With the final episode of Angry Boys acting as a lead in (and The Gruen Transfer starting again next week), Judith Lucy’s Spiritual Journey will hopefully retain a chunk of the audience. It’s a risky, different comedy that is worth the audience’s attention.

Judith Lucy’s Spiritual Journey airs on ABC1,  Wednesday nights at 9:30pm from July 27.

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