New ‘God Friended Me’ drama shows potential to be a hit

Catholics should 'look for the biblical moments' in the CBS program

"God Friended Me" stars Brandon Micheal Hall. Photo: Screengrab/CBS ©2018 CBS Broadcasting, Inc. All Rights Reserved

We live in the age of social media. And even those of us who grew up in the ’70s and ’80s and are certainly not millennials, are part of the lost kids of Generation X. We are the sons and daughters of the baby boomers and most of us are the parents or older siblings of the current millennial generation. Social media is what brings us together in a lot of ways, even those of us in ministry believe it or not!

That’s why when I received the email asking me to watch a new CBS drama called God Friended Me (it premieres Sept. 30) I was interested to say the least. The main character in the show is named Miles Finer and he’s an atheist podcaster trying to sway people away from God. The show revolves around the “friend request” he receives from God on social media.

The whole pilot sets up the premise of the quest to find God. It has a very biblical tone to it; I hope that’s what the shows producers were going for because we know the Bible has many quests for God. This show felt like that; it felt like a genuine quest.

The show is not particularly Catholic (it is vaguely Christian) but it is certainly monotheistic. This show has the typical generalized spirituality we see on television; large networks are usually afraid of religion because it can cause lots of phone calls and emails if they make a mistake or offend someone. In this pilot episode, I’d say they played it safe and maybe that will be the theme of the show; we won’t know until we see more episodes.

For the average viewer it will be fine. It has certainly caught my interest. I want to see more. I want to see where producers take these characters. The performances of the cast are wonderful, especially the star of the show, Brandon Micheal Hall who plays Miles Finer. Hall is very real and very likable as Miles, a young man whose life is turned upside down when he allows God into his life.

Joe Morton as Rev. Arthur Finer. Photo: Jonathan Wenk/CBS ©2018 CBS Broadcasting, Inc. All Rights Reserved

The rest of the cast revolves around him and in a way it’s like watching the old Buffy the Vampire Slayer show with its Scooby and the gang vibe minus the demons and vampires, of course. The rest of the cast is very likable, too, and young, and they seem to have the beginnings of a real chemistry together.

For Catholics, I think the best thing we can do with this program is to look for the biblical moments; it feels like the show will have those each week.

The other thing we can do is focus on the relationships because in the end this is a show about one young man’s relationship with God and how it will change his life. We may have to skip over some things that perhaps don’t fit our Catholic sensibilities but that’s what confident Catholics do. We look at the totality of the show and we use what we can to help our own lives.

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