Faith, Media & Culture

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

Not the Kardashians. The family reality family series Bulloch Family Ranch debuts on tonight at 10:00 PM ET on UP TV. Like the Kardashians on E!, the Bullochs have thrown their open to TV cameras to chronicle their supposedly everyday lives. I must say I have a bit of a problem with the entire manufactured reality genre — believing that real personal life events are best kept within the confines of one’s personal life. That said, at least the Bullochs seem to be far less self-absorbed than the Kardashians  (though, I must admit, I haven’t spent too much time watching Kim and the gang) and their show is actually entertaining.

The premise — which would actually be pretty good as a warmhearted scripted series — follows Julie and Rusty Bulloch, a married couple with two grown kids (Amanda and Brodie) who  follow their faith by offering their Florida ranch as a haven to kids in need — generally about two at a time.

Tonight’s opener is about the arrival of two new troubled youths – high school football players Davin and Jordan. In Davin’s case, a local social worker asked the family to help him following some incidents with the law. In Jordan’s case, son Brodie invited Jordan to the Ranch because he saw that the teen was teetering on the brink.  When the  the Bullochs finds themselves having to erect a new roof on their barn, Davin and Jordan pitch in (along with some local townspeople) to help out.  What follows is an entertaining, humorous and kind story highlighting the value of faith, family and community.

The bottom line is that Bulloch Family Ranch is a kind show, TV certainly needs more of that. It’s also surprisingly captivating and among the classier entries in the whole reality genre. Like all such programs though, some of it feels bit staged.  But, especially after talking with them, I don’t doubt Julie and Rusty’s genuine heart for what they’re doing. They have, after all, been doing what they do for a long time before the cameras arrived. So, in that very real sense, Bulloch Family Ranch is about as real a reality show as you’re likely to come across.

So, my advice is, give the Bullochs a shot. But don’t take my word for it. They can speak for themselves.

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

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