I have long been of the opinion that the world can get along quite well without
Hollywood. Downton Abby and other quality British programming have only
confirmed my view.
In our TV watching time at our house we have long missed Michael Landon's
family-oriented and productions.
I think another big reason why the media doesn't try to produce religious
themed TV shows is because they don't have a clue on how to do them
successfully. Most of these producers and writers aren't religious and so
they don't have enough understanding of the topic to make it work. Also,
our society seems to be on a trend of putting all trust and faith in science and
the material world to the neglect of spirituality and religious philosophy, and
that is getting reflected in the media.
Religion is a cliche'd villain in most shows today. The most
"sophisticated" heroes are agnostic/atheistic sorts that preach up their
own smarts. Unfortunately noen of us as quite as smart as them, and honestly I
believe it sort of abuses people to subject them to a constant barrage of this
tripe. Perhaps the most prevalent is in Science Fiction, which has
long had a tradition of seeing religion as obsolete or the subject of derision
by authors who projected utopias into the future that didn't involve any
sort of spiritual side.
I have ordered "THE BIBLE" and have been told that it is on it's
way to me. Am REALLY looking forward to seeing it.Will compare it with
other Bible DVD's which I have. Bob J. (LDS)
I agree that Hollywood often disrespects religion. However, it is not as
one-sided as this article asserts. Yes, Hollywood can be disrespectful towards
religion out of sheer arrogance. But, religion is also highly disrespectful,
harsh, and self-righteous towards secular humanists, agnostics, atheists, gays,
lesbians, liberals, non-religious people, etc. So when secular humanists,
agnostics, atheists, gays, lesbians, liberals, and non-religious people (who are
all abundant in Hollywood) get hammered by religion, well, what goes around
Don't you all believe in capitalism without restrictions? Sow what ye
TV must be respected in religion...or else.
Not necessarily related to the article, but as a convert who has always had very
little tolerance for the negative aspects of the LDS Church-which really boil
down to the negative aspects of any religion-I am pleasantly surprised to see
honest yet blunt criticism being allowed in the comments here.
I thought the Joan of Arcadia show was more or less respectful too.
I would like to remind the author of the article that the Simpson family also
attend church every Sunday on The Simpsons. It's a great example that
church is for imperfect people who at least try to be better. That family
attends church because Marge expects that of them. I think we all know families
Today there are a number television channels devoted exclusively or at least in
part to religious programming including BYUtv. Perhaps your time would be better
spent encouraging people to watch those channels rather than suggesting there
aren't enough of them.
Re: BCADN will let you criticize religion and or the LDS Church.
Just watch the language and you can get your point accross. If necessary, we
can read between the lines.
@John DoeI agree totally with your post.When so-called
"christians" cry, "Disrespect!" and "You're trying to
take away my religious freedom!" to those who are trying to secure the
rights these "christians" would deny them, I always say it's like a
big bully beating up a little guy--and then, when the cops arrive, the bully
whines, "He was picking on me!"
Remember this - respect is earned not given. Asking for respect without showing
what you did to earn it make no sense whatsoever.
Ideological belief systems that target groups they do not agree with for
systematic civil and human rights discrimination are going to have a hard time
getting sympathy from anyone not indoctrinated into that belief system. Further,
if "christian" groups are so hard up for their own programming, why
don't they make their own movies/t.v. shows? I will never cease to be
amazed at those who openly denigrate and despise others simply because they are
different, and then cry about not getting respect. Respect and disrespect are
two sides of the same coin and each on must be earned. The self-proclaimed
"christians" of this country have long earned the disrespect they cry
about, but the reality is that they are given far more respect than they have
earned. It's like a criminal complaining about getting parole when what he
really earned was life in prison.
There's nothing "miraculous" about the success of the TV series
"The Bible" or about "Passion of the Christ"--or about "The
Simpsons," for that matter.If you can come up with what the
masses think is entertaining, it will be successful. That's why
there's a plethora of violent movies, escape movies, raunchy comic movies
and now, religious movies too.Does it mean that the public is
becoming more "spiritual?" Hardly. It just means they have different
entertainment tastes--tastes which often converge, depending upon the
"production values."The fact is, you don't get a sense
of God or of spirituality from a screen. You get it from within, if at all.As someone once said, "If Cecil B. DeMille could have made a movie
out of it, it isn't God. Not even close."
Funny how this article ripping those who work in Hollywood is in the newspaper
and yet if I were to write what I really think about religion it wouldn't
get posted here. Where is the honesty?
Re: evalWell put!!If Hollywood did not learn the lesson
from Mel Gibsons "The Passion of the Christ" movie, which actually made
around a billion dollars worldwide, then they never will. Truth is, rich
Hollywood people want acceptance from themselves more than money. And, with a
few exceptions, anything or anybody that goes against the PC world they live in
is in danger of being blacklisted.
Only here in the world of enhanced and percieved religious persecution is
'hollywood' surprised at the success of the bible series. Out past the
curtain, if the demand was so pent up, as the article suggests, there'd be
way more of this stuff made. If it weren't made by a major studio, someone
else would do it, if a buck can be made doing it. Not everybody's out to
get you. Besides, how much can you make out of one book? One hour? Maybe a
miniseries? There's not much to work with here.
We tend to ridicule things that make us uncomfortable. Making fun of something
spares us from having to deal with it or understand it. Religion is ridiculed
because it makes non-religious people uncomfortable.Society today
tells us that we have an absolute RIGHT to not be made uncomfortable.... unless
we are religious, and then we should be uncomfortable so its okay to ridicule
I disagree with the author that no respectful religious themed television shows
have been produced by the major networks since "Touched by Angel" ceased
production in 2003. What about Joan of Arcadia, which ran from 2003 to 2005?
The entertainment world that Jim Bennett is exposing is anti-religiousRemember, it is only a moral people that can have the freedom as guaranteed in
the Constitution of the US. A society that has no personal moral restraint will
simply have to agree to give up freedoms in order to maintain security (order).
Red Corvette:[Does mythology really deserve "respect" on
television?]Game of Thrones and The Walking Dead both seem to be
doing fairly well with their respective mythologies.I approach
religious programming the same way, I don't have to believe it to enjoy it.
I don't believe in demonic possession, but that doesn't stop me from
enjoying The Exorcist (1973).I'm not entirely sure what the
DesNews means by respect in this case. If they mean respect for religious media
as a legitimate genre, I agree. If they mean respecting religion through media,
I don't know.Quality media requires complex and nuanced
conflicts/resolutions. If they just use vague, external enemies, like some
absolute evil force (the devil), they fail. If they prevent characters from
having contradictory motives and actions (all-good or all-evil), they fail. If
they rely on simplistic notions of punishing every sin and rewarding every
virtue (morality plays), they fail.Often the biggest problem with
religious fiction is that it cannot acknowledge that good people do bad things,
are not punished for it, but can still be redeemed without overt punishment. Or
that "bad people" can, conversely, have redeeming virtues as well.
Red Corvette, you're entitled to the opinion that we shouldn't respect
other people's beliefs. But that's a moral statement. Can you use
science to prove that it's correct? Can you do an experiment that will
scientifically demonstrate what constitutes moral behavior? No, of course not.
That's what religion and philosophy are for. And your beliefs about the
nature of reality, about being and existence, about purpose, about right and
wrong--those beliefs are just as nonscientific--just as "mythological,"
if you will, as any religion.
It is great to see a show about the Bible, but people might be better off if
they read the book.
I'm absolutely certain that Hollywood missed out on a couple hundred
dollars a year from me the last 20 years or so. I quit allowing them to
propagandize me rather than entertain me! I won't go to a movie that
offends my spirit, regardless of its popularity. It is not about throwing a
tidbit out there every once in awhile. It's called marketing. If you want
me to come back, I need a brand that will retain my loyal patronage. Hollywood
is leaving billions on the table because it indeed doesn't have any purpose
for delivering value driven content. Is there any producer out there listening?
No, Red Corvette. Only YOUR beliefs deserve respect. No one else's.
I agree that The Bible was not one of the better made-for-television
dramatazations of Biblical themes. That's all the more reason I find its
high ratings and audience share worth taking note of. That could mean TV viewers
are looking for more meaningful shows. Or maybe they're just burnt out on
the standard fare being presented. Last season's success of Downton Abbey
was also a surprise.
"The Nativity Story" is one example of a religious Hollywood film that
attempted to replicate the success of "The Passion of the Christ." It
made money, but just barely.
In general I agree with the premise of the article, but there are others
exceptions not mentioned here, namely Kings on NBC. Kings took the story of king
David and barely finished a single abbreviated season before being canceled. I'm also not a huge fan of the Bible miniseries. Obviously a
small budget but its really not that well done.
Despite being an atheist, I actually do enjoy quality, pro-religious media. Some
of my favorites include: Silence (1971) which deals with Catholic persecution in
Japan, The Name of the Rose (1986) which is probably Sean Connery's best
role, and recently Apparitions (2008) which is a BBC series about an exorcist.
All 3 have both good "religionists" and bad "religionists", but
so does the Bible (Jesus vs the Sanhedrin). All 3 of these happen to be Catholic
oriented, but, then again, they have a few centuries of extra material to work
with.However, "The Bible" (2013) on the History Channel was
absolute garbage. It was a slipshod "survey" of the Bible.The problem with producing religious media is the same with discussion of
religion in polite company, it's either going to be shallow and vacuous or
somebody is going to be offended. You need to approach it from a specific
perspective, whether its Catholic, Jewish, Mormon, etc for it to have any real
depth, and this is bound to ostracize other view points. The Bible (2013) was
made to be vague enough that it would be acceptable to most believers, but as
such was unappealing to non-believers.
Father Dowling did well because this padre solved murder mysteries. Not exactly
something they teach in the seminary. In other words, it wasn’t about
religion. Who wants to watch a weekly series about a priest being a priest?CBS didn’t think Touched by an Angel would work. But it did
because it was a fantasy with some well-written scripts. Surprise hits are
sometimes series that dare to take risks and religion is a topic that will
always be risky as popular entertainment.
This is a well formed article. I think that religion is a hard subject because
lots of people feel strongly about it in some way, whether for or against. I
remember watching Touched By an Angel though. What a quality show.
The Hollywood Elite preach to all of us to be tolerant, understanding and
respectful to the prostitute, the man that sleeps around, the people that sleep
with everyone in college, people that sleep around to get ahead at their job,
those that recreation sleep around.....you get the idea.But, when it
comes to religion and faith, they are very intolerant, unless they find some far
East Asian religion or practice then that is revered. Most likely so their show
will be allowed to be aired on tv in China and other countries. Why would they
object to shows that depict everyone in the US as idiots.