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Tuesday, October 19, 2010

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Fernando Umberto Garcia de Nicaragua, Prefectus Minimus: The Jacksonian Institute

That wretched tabloid known as L'Osservatore Romano has indeed declared that The Simpsons are Catholic. Even an executive producer of the show can hardly believe it. See:

http://news.yahoo.com/s/nm/20101019/en_nm/us_simpsons

Ahhhhhh.... isn't the "new springtime" wonderful?!

O age, thou art shamed.*
O shame, where is thy blush?**

-Shakespeare, Julius Caesar,* Hamlet**

Tony Rossi

In terms of actual Catholic moments on TV that weren't negative (though some were played for laughs but not in an offensive way)- There was an episode of "Happy Days" in which Fonzie was baptized. There was an episode of "Cheers" in which Sam promised God he would give up sex if God would get him out of trouble, then went to talk with a priest when he wanted to back out of the deal. "All in the Family" had an episode where Archie thought Edith was turning Catholic. I've seen some old episodes of the Steve McQueen series "Wanted: Dead or Alive" which involved priests and nuns with McQueen's character showing them a respect and deference that would be hard to find on TV today. Of course, these are all just episodic examples. The only show that could come close to being called Catholic is "Lost" which at least dealt with Catholic themes on occasion.

Carl E. Olson

A couple of "Catholic moments" on prime time television dramas come to mind. Perhaps the best I've seen was an episode of "House" titled, "Unfaithful", about a priest who is struggling with his faith and who is suspected by some of House's staff of having molested a young boy. Very well written and with a fabulous ending. "House", in fact, has had a number of rather thoughtful and surprising episodes re: God, faith, religion, science (alas, it also has many episodes that aren't nearly as redeeming). There was also an early episode of "X-Files" in which Scully goes to Confession; it portrayed the priest as a truly wise man of faith who sees beneath Scully's cool, scientifically-oriented persona and pushes her to recognize the limits of a skeptical mindset. "CSI" also had a decent episode involving a Catholic priest.

Mulder

If I recall correctly there were a couple of episodes that had Scully in a confessional. Of course one of the themes of the show was the (supposed) dichotomy between Scully's skepticism and her Catholic faith. I was annoyed with one of the episodes that had Mulder suddenly become the skeptic when it came to religious claims. It all seemed pretty contrived and out of character for Mulder, though I'm not arguing that his character need be overtly religious.

There was also an episode involving a church that practiced snake handling and a church with a liberal pastor. It was actually a really good episode, the villain turns out to be the one you don't suspect (though perhaps readers of this blog might).

And yes, the X-Files is where I've taken my 'online' name.

Maypo

The original Disney Zorro series was very Catholic - with many episodes including priests and church scenes. The priests were always very respectfully presented and actually said things like "God bless you my son" without irony or sarcasm! Thank you Steven Greydanus for recommending this series of DVD's - what a wonderful way to relax and watch TV!

Todd Newbold

I rarely watch TV, but I do like the show Two and Half Men.

Kanakaberaka

What, no mention of "Family Guy"? Seth MacFarlane has used many Catholic references in his cartoons.

Charles E Flynn

From http://www.imdb.com/title/tt0106179/quotes

Reverend Finley: Sometimes we must come full circle to find the truth. Why does that surprise you?
Scully: Mostly, it just makes me afraid.
Reverend Finley: Afraid?
Scully: Afraid that God is speaking... but that no one's listening.

nail art

This is ridiculous. The media is so shameful in actually assisting the hype of things as this article does by "working" the readers into thinking there is a mystery surrounding what the show will be. X FACTOR IS AN AMERICAN VERSION OF SIMON'S BRITISH SERIES THAT ALSO IS IN OTHER COUNTRIES. All you have to do is read up on the show.

nail art

Whatever happened to singers and bands getting started in pidly a$ bars and clubs before a talent scout found them? Why is evrything decided by tv these days? And I mean EVRYTHING. Talent, your self image...so much for actual talent and hard work I guess.

Joel

I shouldn't admit to enjoying "Two and a Half Men," but my wife and I watch it regularly. We refer to it as "The Pigs" for short.

I actually have noticed some Catholic themes in it. There are frequent references to God and to the sinfulness of (especially) Charlie Sheen's behavior. There was one episode that involved a funeral that surprised me in its religious imagery.

SDG

"'Seinfeld' was probably Catholic, if only because it was set in New York City and there are a lot of Catholics living in New York City. Also, the characters eat and talk alot, and most Catholic enjoy eating and talking. What? You're going to disagree? What are you, a George?"

Ah-h-h, but as Lenny Bruce put it, “Even if you're Catholic, if you live in New York, you're Jewish." And Jews have just as solid a claim on the eating a lot and talking a lot as the Catholics. So Seinfeld was Jewish.

Fernando Umberto Garcia de Nicaragua, Prefectus Minimus: The Jacksonian Institute

Seinfeld was neither Jewish nor Catholic, but nihilist. See:

Shows About Nothing: Nihilism in Popular Culture from The Exorcist to Seinfeld, by Thomas S. Hibbs

S_Cobbler

Fullmetal Alchemist. Alchemy was a medieval thing, and everyone knows that the Church reigned in the medieval ages and would take us back to them if she could. I've never watched it, but I'm pretty sure the alchemist(s) is/are not the villain(s), so it must be a pro-Church show.

Are You Smarter Than a Fifth Grader. The reversal between the grade school kid and the stupid adults is a play on the fact that Catholics know nothing about Catholicism. The Vatican probably developed it as a warning or something.

Brain-in-a-vat

I'm pretty sure that "Star Trek: the Next Generation" was essentially anti-religious. Catholicism, Judaism, Buddhism, Islam, Hinduism, etc. ALL disappeared from the future of humanity in the ST universe; all that remained of their presence was the conviction preached on several episodes that ALL religious belief and behavior was obnoxious and "un-evolved."

Therefore, since Catholicism was NOT singled out for criticism, ST:TNG must have been Catholic.

Chelsea

My favorite "Catholic moment" on TV: The Crossing episode of ER http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=TMr6jGtKi3w James Cromwell is Bishop Lionel Stewart who dies after giving absolution to Dr. Luka. Course, the whole thing's kinda ruined by the fact that Luka proceeds to betray his Catholic faith throughout the series with a string of sexually active pre-marital relationships with a few of the ER nurses. And then there was an episode in which he gave a young girl a prescription for the morning after pill or plan B or something after being "called out" for refusing to do so because of his faith... It definitely wasn't a perfect series, but I loved it!

Watch Fox Soccer Channel TV Live

I rarely watch TV shows but i like survivor whenever i get time to watch TV i use to watch it.

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