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Exit ArchiveArchive for October 18th, 2005

Yes, it’s me again. You know, I posted a long-ass comment on Robb’s blog, where a highly-heated discussion is raging regarding his critique of a new, Christian-based sitcom. Because I worked long and hard writing it and actually like what I had to say (ain’t I modest?), I’m gonna post it here, too.

But first, you can see what caused all this by reading the first post, then reading the follow-up post.

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Having read these comments, but not having seen the Pastor Greg episodes (they require Windows Media, which I won’t allow on my work Mac (uh-oh, crazy Mac guy posting… look out!)), I have these things to say:

I believe Robb is allowed to say whatever he wants here, especially if a show is as mediocre… okay, crappy as this one sounds. It is true, despite what someone here said, that many shows start off mediocre and then grow into quality. I offer these examples as shows that were nearly unwatchable in their first episodes, but became amazing after one or two seasons: Seinfeld, Star Trek: The Next Generation, The One Show I Forgot the Name Of.

On the other end are shows that start off brilliant, but flame out rather quickly, or at least after three or four seasons: The X-Files, The West Wing, Wasn’t There One with Some Alum from That Show from the ’80s?

In the end, however, you simply can not generalize, and the world of TV is more littered with crappy shows that start off crappy and end up crappy all through their runs than either of my above examples. I can not offer my opinion on whether Pastor Greg is this kind of show until I get the thing up at home or on the PC here at work. Seinfeld, while rough and often unfunny at the start, had definite glimpses of quality and originality. Lost is damn fantastic from frame 1, but already shows signs of fatigue in season 2. There are signs in any show, and I’m sure Pastor Greg already contains clues to its future possibilities or lack thereof.

That the show is meant to be a positive Christian entertainment experience would make its lack of quality all that more unfortunate. I’m an atheist as well, though I hate using that term, and speaking outside the realm of religion, Christianity has a lot of public relations hurtles to overcome. The best pro-Christian show would be one that stays true to Christian values, but that also succeeds in being a GOOD SHOW, Christian or not. A good show comes first. The political/religious/fetishistic reasons for its creation come last.

I recently saw a gay-themed sitcom pilot some guy has been passing out on DVD to whoever will take it. The gay community has already had their breakout hit show that was, at least the first few seasons, hilarious and of high quality. That’d be Will & Grace, in case anyone cares to take umbrage with my summary of its qualities. The limitations imposed on Will & Grace—most glaringly the lack of any meaningful demonstration of gay romance and relationship—might stem from the desire to make the show palatable to a mainstream audience. It might also come from a desire to keep the focus of the show on the humor and characters. (I don’t buy this necessarily, since Grace has had her share of relationship subplots.)

The sitcom pilot I was handed was meant to be something more involved, more representative of a gay couple’s relationship. After watching, my first reaction was mental congratulations. The guy got it made. He took his passion for his project and got it friggin’ done. That’s an amazing accomplishment. All my other reactions after that were, “This sucks major ass.” The meaning of the show and its raison d’être do not give it license to be bad. The fact that the guy made his project out of love is not an excuse to lie about how bad the project turned out.

And so it is with Pastor Greg.

While I may be the audience for a gay-themed show and not the audience for a Christian-themed show, I could enjoy a Christian-themed show if it were a good one. (I wonder if a majority of Christians would say the same thing about a gay-themed show? The fact that I doubt it goes back to bad PR for the Christians and perhaps demonstrates the necessity for something like Pastor Greg, but good.)

I think Adam is brave for posting his comments here. Kudos. I am this close to posting this long response on my own site, but really, I think blogs are more fun with comments and dramatic dialogue! So I’ll leave this up here and hope that it doesn’t get split in two because it’s too verbose.

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My comment was split in two, and I did post here after all. So shoot me! (Which was a horrible show.)