Faith, Media & Culture

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

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Family TV staging a comeback on Hallmark Channel. The cable network launches a second season of Walden Family Theater with Dear Dumb Diary airing tonight (Friday 9/6) at 8:00 PM ET.

Synopsis: The film, adapted from the popular book series by Jim Benton, features Emily Alyn Lind (ABC’s Revenge) as Jamie, a bit of a proverbial square peg who keeps a diary focused chiefly on life at Mackerel Middle School and her secret quest to win the heart of Hudson Rivers (David Mazouz) — who just happens to be ranked as “the eighth-cutest boy in school.” Despite the ranking, he’s tops with Emily — as she explains in one of the films catchy tunes sprinkled throughout the movie. Her main nemesis at Mackerel is the annoyingly-pretty (least to Emily) Angeline (Sterling Griffith).

As the story progresses, Emily who sees herself as an advocate for so-called average-looking people everywhere, decides to battle planned cuts to the school’s art program through her participation in the districts first-ever Jump-A-Thon fundraiser. Her motives aren’t entirely altruistic though. She also sees the event as means to garner the attention of Hudson and show up Angeline.

Review:  Dear Diary,

I apologize for the relatively late 11:30 AM ET post. I intended this post to be up earlier and to be a bit longer but, as I write this, I am fighting a stomach bug that literally makes it difficult to sit upright.  I attempted to post earlier but was interrupted by a bodily function I’ll spare you the details of. I’d like to blame the food at Mackerel Middle School but I’m afraid the cause is something closer to home.  BTW, when you view the film tonight (and you should) that joke will make perfect sense to you.

Quickly, executive produced by Jerry Zucker (of Airplane! fame) and his wife Janet, as well as Jim Benton, the movie certainly recalls the visual and verbal wit of that comedy classic — while keeping things just a tad more real and putting forth a genuine message that, wrapped in comedy, goes down easy. I’d tell you what the message but that might qualify as a spoiler and, right now, I find it difficult to even type the word “spoil.”  In short the film has both laughs and wit to spare. Plus the soundtrack is really good. And, of course, as is every edition of this weekly franchise, it’s suitable for the entire family.

Finally, I can certainly see the concept being rolled out as a weekly half-hour comedy that would, no doubt, Hallmark’s demographic to include kids. Dare I say, they might even start to think of the channel as cool. Dear Dumb Diary is highly recommended.

I’ve really, really got to go now. 

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

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