First, there was “Desperate Housewives,” ABC’s popular chronicle of the bizarre, quirky and occasionally — OK, frequently — morally hazy if not bankrupt moral and ethical struggles of the women of the fictional Wisteria Lane.
But whether you love it, hate it, or are one of those watch-and-wince periodic viewers, you know it’s a comedy-drama.
Then came the inevitable “reality TV” spinoff, “The Real Housewives” on Bravo — actually a growing family of shows spreading the ill-kept entertainment mindscape of the American psyche, i.e. “The Real Housewives of Orange County . . . New York City, Atlanta, New Jersey, Beverly Hills, Miami.
You get the idea.
Bravo has hyped the series as “real-life ‘desperate’ housewives” and “compelling day-to-day drama.” Well, OK, if the unraveling of human frailties, displays of envy, hubris, failed marriages, fashion-fueled fights and quests ad nauseam for social status are compelling to you, God bless.
But wait, maybe there is some room for God’s blessing in this, however much a stretch that may seem . . . at first.
Enter Internet-based Detroit evangelist Ty Adams and her new, two-part DVD production, “The Real Housewives of the Bible.”
The cast Adams draws from the scriptures is hardly dull. The Bible is replete with stories about courageous women suffering through loss, betrayal, tragedy, loneliness, infertility and unrequited love. Between Genesis and Revelation, after all, there are the evil Jezebels and Delilahs and the persevering, faithful Ruths and Sarahs alike.
Adams seeks to find modern-day equivalents of those women, both villains and heroes on the real-world battlefield of faith.
Opportunistic evangelism? Sure. But that’s hardly a new trend. Consider one faith’s most enduring appropriations: “Amazing Grace,” perhaps the best-known hymn in the world. The tune that today carries the inspiring words originally is thought to have been a Celtic ballad that became known as “New Britain.”
In the ’70s, Simon and Garfunkel’s hit “Bridge Over Troubled Waters” was Christianized by substituting “Christ” for “I” . . . “Like a bridge over troubled water, Christ will ease your mind . . .”
And more recently, pretty much any popular music hit has ended up with a new set of “Christian” lyrics, sometimes more tongue-in-cheek than inspiring, at least to me.
Effective evangelism? What do you think?