I have a little man crush…
…on Aaron Sorkin. I mean, that guy can craft a story like no one working in Television today. I hope you got a chance to see the new shows tonight. I have to say that tonight on NBC was one of the best nights for honest Christian dialog that I have ever seen on Television.
*minor spoiler alert* (if you haven’t watched these shows yet and are planning on watching them you may want to stop reading. If you just don’t care about my general excitement about the new fall line then you can stop reading too.)
Let’s start with Heroes: there whole premise is a Christian allegory waiting to happen. I loved the last scene where "jess" (I always call people by the first roll that I remember them from i.e. I call the womanizer on How I Met Your Mother "Doogie" and the bald guy from West Wing and now Studio 60 "Shrug") was about to jump off the roof. What you have here is a guy who believes in something so much that he is willing to risk everything to know if it is true or not. Isn’t that what we want our students to do. I’m not saying we want them jumping off of buildings, but we do want them to take risks and do things that might equal social suicide. The really great thing wasn’t that he just got this idea in his head. There were signs that were supporting his idea (like his foot hovering when he got out of bed). Of course I don’t know about how that works with how the scene resolved, but we will work on that later.
Aside from the great Christian stuff (and by the way it is replaying tomorrow night if you want to tape it to use later). It was an interesting show. It felt to me like there were trying too hard to be LOST, but that didn’t make it a bad show. I did keep wondering if they were going to get sued by Stan Lee for stealing the idea of the X-men, but at least they did throw out an X-man comic book reference–and from the coming scenes thing it looks like comics are going to play a major role down the road. Over all it was a good opening show. Those first shows are always hard because they are trying to introduce so many characters. There were a couple of twists that shocked me and a couple of things that I thought were cool. But it all felt very heavy to me. We started in the middle of the beginning of this story and now everything has serious music and deep brooding faces. I don’t think anyone smiled in a way that was a real smile in the whole show.
Alright, enough about Heroes. It was good, but coming before Studio 60 wasn’t a good thing. It just didn’t hold up. Heroes tries to create a mood with music and lighting and serious acting. Sorkin manages to draw you into the story with dialog and characters. In the end that is what makes his stuff good. There is a larger story going on, but it takes a back seat to the characters.
Now, about Studio 60. Again, Amanda Peet is playing one of the best characters on TV right now. On top of that I really think they are getting the Christian stuff right so far. It isn’t perfect, but it is darn close. They are showing both sets of Christians in America. They are showing those who can think for themselves and those who are right-wing patsies of the Republican party. (alright if you are one of the later then you probably don’t think they are doing such a good job of showing Christians. But then this show isn’t really for you) But I don’t think I have seen a more positive portrayal of a Christian on TV ever. Most Christians are either bigoted monsters or they are wimps. This lady is neither. She is simply trying to live out her faith. It is cool to watch.
In a TV landscape that makes everyone who goes to church a catholic (on the re-run of scrubs today Turk wanted to go to mass, not church, mass) it is good to see someone who understands there is more to following God than saying than boycotting things that we don’t agree with.
One more thing, the prayer that they prayed before they want out on stage was priceless. It was something that I would have prayed (oh yeah, and no one crossed themselves afterwards. I’m not saying that crossing yourself is bad, but it is cool to see some protestants for a change)
In case you can’t tell I am a little excited about new shows and about the fact that they have actual writers and are not reality shows. Huzzah modern fairy tales!