Wednesday, October 12, 2005

I Love Jesus

…Was filmed before a live studio audience.

Yes, the Christians, unhappy with just boring the hell out of everybody (literally) on Sundays, have taken to boring the hell out of everybody on primetime Television.

There’s a new sitcom on television these days. And this time it’s biblical.

It’s called Pastor Greg and airs on Thursday nights at 8 on the Cornerstone Television Network (call your cable provider to request Cornerstone Television, and while you’re at it, ask them to come over and paint your house so you can sit and watch it dry).

It’s being touted as the “first Christian sitcom.”

What exactly makes a sitcom “Christian?” Well, GMA this morning asked the very same question of the show’s creator and star Greg Robbins.

It’s a good question. I watch a lot of TV and was under the delusional assumption that just about every one of the characters in them is Christian. Sure, most of them don’t go to church or talk about God, per se, but some of them do. Especially those new “home spun,” “working class family” crappy ones that are polluting my screen these days.

And what about the Simpsons? They go to church just about every episode! A Christian church no less. There’s more religion on that show in one episode than there was the entire series of Highway to Heaven (which is not a sitcom. Neither is Touched by an Angel).

And was I the only one who ever watched the late, great Sherman Hemsley’s post-Jeffersons masterpiece Amen? I loved that show. I took place in a freaking church!

So I guess a “Christian Sitcom” is something completely different.

I hope it’s cool. I would love to see a sitcom with more Jesus in it. He is perhaps the greatest figure in literary history (don’t get upset, whether or not you believe that he actually lived, they still wrote a book about him which makes him a literary figure in my…uh…book). Why shouldn’t he have his own sitcom?

I’m not a Christian, but even I would tune in to watch Jesus try to weasel his way onto the stage at Club Babalu or hock Vitameatavegamin.

But I don’t think that’s what they had in mind. Too bad that it would be so sacrilegious, otherwise it might make for a fine Christian show premise.

Maybe a Christian sitcom is a lot like a regular sitcom? Except that at the end of every episode someone goes all “Linus Van Pelt” on everybody and reads from the bible?

No, turns out that to Greg Robbins, the idea of a Christian sitcom is something completely different. When GMA asked him what it meant to make a Christian sitcom, Robbins’ explanation was that all of the cast and crew “accept Christ as their savior.”

Finally! Christians in Hollywood! How about that, huh? Personally, I never thought that I’d live to see the day. Unprecedented.

Oh, and the main character is a pastor. And they pray and stuff.

I’m sorry if I seem to be getting down on this show. Personally, I could care less if a show’s Christian or not. You’re talking to a dude who watched Amen for Pete’s sake (and the entire series of Highway to Heaven, I truly loved that stupid show). But from the clips that they showed of this show on GMA this morning, and they showed a lot of clips, the show is really…really…awful.

Greg Robbins lamented the long hard road it took to get his show on TV. He bewailed the countless rejections from network suits. He even hinted that the constant dismissal was due to the shows Christian bend.

Maybe the suits saw that you actually scripted a freaking pie fight into the show?! Maybe that’s what killed it. Well, that and the complete lack of funny. Sitcom. Situation comedy.

I’m getting down on it again. But it’s because the show will probably actually do well. Christians are so starved for churchie things that they’ll buy anything that talks about Jesus being the lord and savior. Even the really bad stuff (any Jim Neighbors fans in the house?).

Why can’t they make something good?!

Christians, really, stop buying the crappy Christian stuff! Really. If you’re going to market your religion through merchandising, at least make a quality product. This stuff represents your faith! Have a little self-respect! Make good Christian TV shows. Don’t tell me you can’t find the cash. Pray for it or something. Do it for Jesus. Do it for God. Do it for yourselves.

And do it quick because if this country keeps going like it is, pretty soon we’ll all be living in a Puritan Commonwealth again and I’ll have no choice but to watch this garbage.

Fun Fact: The term “sitcom” was coined in 1951 and makes “I Love Lucy” the first television show to be called a sitcom.

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