Faith, Media & Culture

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

Mandy Patinkin, my hero. From RTI: Speaking to New York magazine he said “The biggest public mistake I ever made was that I chose to do Criminal Minds in the first place.” He added “I thought it was something very different. I never thought they were going to kill and rape all these women every night, every day, week after week, year after year. It was very destructive to my soul and my personality. After that, I didn’t think I would get to work in television again.”
Comment: Fortunately, the talented star is back at work on the small screen — currently starring in Showtime’s Homeland. Patinkin has been one of my favorite actors ever since his days as Dr. Jeffrey Geiger on Chicago Hope in the nineties. The character, a brilliant-but-arrogant doctor, was a lot like House except he actually cared about his patients. House was just mean. Anyway, I completely sympathize with the painful position he found himself in on Criminal Minds.  He was right to leave.

He was also right, earlier in his career, to leave Chicago Hope — though the medical drama was a faint shadow of its former self after his departure.  Here he is talking with the late Tom Snyder about that decision — and giving us all a real-life lesson about what’s really important in life. And it ain’t fame and fortune.

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About Dr. Jeffrey Geiger. He’s truly one of the great TV characters and he was brought brilliantly to life by Patinkin. Here he is in two scenes from a crossover episode with Picket Fences.  Together, they demonstrate that, with good reading, it is possible to balance edge with heart. Dr. Geiger is indeed an arrogant son of a you-know-what. But he’s also essentially kind.

BTW, I’m also pleased to learn that, growing up, Patinkin and I were both we’re influenced by The Fugitive — and for the same reason. It was about the quest for redemptive truth. More here.

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

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