Faith, Media & Culture

Here are today’s dispatches from the crossroads of faith, media and culture.

1. Heavy rain expected in March of 2014. From The Hollywood Reporter: Paramount and New Regency have settled on a release date for Noah, the Biblical movie to star Russell Crowe that Darren Aronofsky is directing. The new retelling of the Noah’s Ark story will hit theaters on March 28, 2014, on what is currently an open date on the developing schedule for that year.

2. Sarah Silverman apologizes for tweeted abortion joke. From PoliticoShe had posted a picture of herself with an inflated stomach, saying, “It’s a burrito!” only to later post another picture with a flat stomach with the caption, “Got a quickie aborsh in case R v W gets overturned.” In her apology, Silverman tweeted:”It wasn’t funny for me to talk so casually about abortion. But when they take our right to choose away it will be HILARIOUS!”
Comment: No matter your position on abortion, we should all agree that it’s not funny. And, while I believe in accepting apologies, it would have been a tad classier if Silverman had issued hers without the snarky tag.

3. Inspired by what? From TMZ: The people behind the “Real Housewives” franchise are poking around in Calabasas, CA … searching for Christian women to star in a new reality show inspired by “GCB”…TMZ has learned.
Comment: Of course, we all know what the “B” stands for. So it’s probably not a good sign that this proposed show is inspired by that show.

4. Jonathan Helfgot named executive veep of worldwide marketing at Walden Media. From TheWrap: In his new role, Helfgot will oversee the marketing of all Walden films, as well as assist with the company’s branding and cross-promotion strategy…Walden is best known for its “Chronicles of Narnia” films and has produced other family fare like  “Journey to the Center of the Earth” and “Charlotte’s Web.”

5. It turns out Laverne & Shirley were telling parables. From Big Hollywood: Cindy Williams says “Laverne & Shirley” was more than just the story of two best pals making their “dreams come true.” how creator Garry Marshall had something to say about that. “Garry always had a little moral to the story … our characters were too greedy, or not patient enough, or not kind enough, or we didn’t have enough faith,” Williams tells Big Hollywood. “He would always touch on that.”
Comment: From Ralph Kramden to Archie Bunker to Frasier, TV’s classic sitcom characters all would provide us with the sort of teachable moments that are now derided by the “edgy” as sentimental (as if sentiment is a bad thing) and manipulative (as if today’s snarky-is-cool sitcoms  aren’t themselves manipulative, just in a meaner way). It’s true that the so-called “special episodes” of, particularly, eighties-era television could get a bit too preachy sometimes but the era of shows about nothing has gotten old fast.

BTW, today’s TV programming doesn’t just lack the moral tone the medium once projected, it’s also less joyful and optimistic — even in their dull, virtually non-existent opening credits. Watching Laverne & Shirley, for instance, would literally leave you whistling a happy tune. We could use more of that now.

Encourage one another and build each other up – 1 Thessalonians 5:11

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