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Feeding your TiVo some Fall fodder

Entertainment Weekly (Sept. 8) came out with a its Fall Season preview of network programs (its cable preview must be coming, I guess). As I leafed through, I dog-eared the pages of a few to add to my TiVo. Most of them this blog’s already talked about, but some are new. They may not get a Season Pass, but I’m willing to give them a shot. And here they are:

The Game (Sundays, 8:30 EST, CW): This one probably won’t get a Season Pass, but I’m curious about this new sit-com, which focuses on the men and women who hover about the world of professional football. Now, I’m not a big sports fan and I don’t generally watch sit-coms, but this one got my attention because Tia Mowry (a self-confessed Christian of Sister Sister, in which she starred with twin Tamera) is one of the leads. According to an LA Times article, her character engages in pre-marital sex and uses not-so-Christian language. Mowry’s response? She “says that though she does not identify with her character's lifestyle, there is plenty she has in common with her. ‘She's independent, very smart and very supportive of her man,’ she said. She adds that she is not bothered by some of the more sexual aspects of the role. ‘I'm still a role model and this is not going too far off the deep end,’ she says. ‘I've turned down roles where they wanted me to take off my clothes. No way. I won't smoke weed. But in the Bible, there are many people who have fallen short in the glory of God. I don't see what this character does as a negative. Tamera and I were young Christian kids, and now we're young Christian women. There are temptations out there. We're not saints.’” Hmm. Well, I’m willing to take a swing at it before I pass (was that mixing sports metaphors?). (Debuts Oct. 1)

Heroes (Mondays, 9 EST, NBC): If you’re a regular reader of this blog, you know why comic-book TV shows and films are regular viewing here—and Heroes has been on this blog’s radar for awhile. According to EW, the show follows “a handful of humans” who are “super-evolving—suddenly able to fly, teleport, regenerate—and will thus ‘save the world [and] change it forever.’” EW says Heroes “has nifty comic-book visuals, a cool mythology and a strong ensemble,” which sounds promising. Also promising are the words of creator Tim Kring: “I wanted to do something that touched on the bigger global issues people are feeling these days. . . . The world feels crazy, like something is about to give. [This is] the wish fulfillment: Wouldn’t it be great if some among us were being chosen to actually do something about these big problems.” Oh, my. There’s God-talk written all over that. (Debuts Sept. 25)

Friday Night Lights (Tuesdays, 8 EST, NBC): What is it with all these football shows—and what are they doing on my blog?! Ack. Anyway, this one is based on the 2004 movie that was based on H.G. Bissinger’s book about a season of high school football in Texas. Why’s it on this blog’s give-it-a-shot list? Well, I live in the middle of the Deep South, where most towns—large or small—are infected with “pigskin fever” and religion (which, if the show remains true to its locale, has got to make an appearance). And I’m intrigued by what series co-star Connie Britton says in EW: “This show is about a community. It’s about something bigger than football.” Living out community is one thing this blog is interested in. (Debuts Oct. 3)

Jericho (Wednesdays, 8 EST, CBS): According to EW, “Prodigal son Jake Green (skeet Ulrich) returns home to Jericho, Kan.—just in time for the dawn of a nuclear holocaust.” Communication is cut off to the outside world, and the residents try to figure out what is going on. It’s the community and are-we-facing-the-end-of-the-world aspects (which often spawns God-talk) that have got me intrigued. (Debuts Sept. 20)

Shark (Thursdays, 10 EST, CBS): According to EW, James Woods plays “Sebastian Stark (aka Shark), a flashy and morally dubious celebrity defense lawyer who faces a crisis of conscience after helping a killer escape conviction. As a penance of sorts, he switches sides to work for L.A.’s hard driving district attorney.” That first episode has good potential for echoes of God-talk, but I’m not sure how the rest will play out. I’m willing to give it a shot, though. (Debuts September 21).

Survivor (Thursdays, 8 EST, CBS): I watched the first three seasons of this show, intrigued at the thought of Christians (and there’s been at least half-a-dozen) playing a game for a million bucks that also eventually gets down to a person's true stripes and values. (And I’m not the only one who finds that intriguing.) I was particularly impressed with first season’s Dirk Been and second season’s Roger Bingham, their lives beautifully reflecting God and their faith in him. But after the third season, I lost interest. This season, however, gave me a momentary jaw-drop when I read that the tribes are being divided along ethnic lines. Hooked, I once again began scrolling through the bios of the 13th season’s (ack) competitors for hints along faith lines. A few openly listed their faith: 35-year-old policewoman Cristina (who faced with “faith” two life-threatening situations and lists among her favorites the film Passion of the Christ and Gary Chapman’s book, Five Love Languages), 35-year-old nursing student and married-mom Stephanie (who lists Left Behind duo Jerry Jenkins-Tim Lahaye among her favorite authors and gospel as one of her favorite types of music), and 31-year-old actress and single-mom Sundra (who lists the Bible among her favorite books and Chronicles of Narnia among her favorite movies). There are probably others, but those were the ones who indicated a Christian faith fairly openly. Anyway, I’m willing to give this season a shot on my TiVo. (Returns Sept. 14)

Six Degrees (Thursdays, 10 EST, ABC): Lost creator J.J. Abrams produces this series, which follows six New Yorkers who lives intersect in unexpected ways. Promises Abrams in EW, “These characters are wrestling with deomons, some more literal than others.” I like Abrams, who is known for stories exploring the idea that something greater than what we are aware of is at play in the world around us. While he doesn’t often address God-talk directly, the echo is strong enough to ruminate on—as this blog has done before. (Debuts Sept. 21).

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