Here’s the latest from the crossroads of faith, media & culture: 05/17/24

Vietnam: Footsteps Of My Father w/ Harris Faulkner: Season 1, Episode 3, "Episode 3: Healing The Wounds Of War" Watch Online - Fox Nation

With Memorial Day approaching, Fox Nation just dropped Vietnam: Footsteps of my Father with Harris Faulkner. The three-episode documentary series follows the anchor of The Faukner Focus and co-host of Outnumbered (weekdays at 11:00 AM and Noon ET, respectively, on Fox News) as she travels to Vietnam to retrace the experiences of her father, Lt. Col. Bobby Harris, who served two tours of duty as an Army Combat pilot during the war. In the course of the series, she shares the lessons of bravery, faith and perseverance he passed onto her.

Talking about her own experience working on the series, Faulkner says “The Vietnam War was such a pivotal moment in our nation’s history, and it is both an honor and privilege to view the war through the footsteps of my father. I am so grateful for the opportunity to journey to Vietnam and look forward to sharing this remarkable story with our viewers.”

You can read an earlier conversation I had with the Fox News anchor about her book Faith Still Moves Mountains: Miraculous Stories of the Healing Power of Prayer (Fox News Books) here.

A great television show sticks the landing – and provides a lesson on how broad-based faith and family television is done. After a stellar seven-season run, Young Sheldon (the prequel series to the also classic Big Bang Theory) finished up its Sheldon Cooper origin story with a remarkable hour that had fans mourning and literally crying over the funeral of George Cooper (perfectly portrayed by Lance Barber), my all-time favorite TV  dad whose quiet heroism reflected that of all the responsible husbands and fathers out there who routinely put their families first.

The fact that the show goes out at the top of its game and the top of both the broadcast and streaming ratings, proves that there’s a huge under-served audience for shows that accurately and respectfully reflect the real-lives of ordinary Americans – without preaching.

The networks, which over last week or so, have been holding their upfront presentations regarding the upcoming TV season, should take note. Don’t count on it though, considering this smug quip from Jimmy Kimmel at ABC‘s event: On Thursday, ‘Young Sheldon’ is coming to an end after seven seasons. I know I haven’t seen it either. Well, maybe that’s the problem.

Unfortunately, the cultural divide between the mainstream American audience and the so-called mainstream media has become a chasm. TBH though, the faith-based streamers often, IMHO, also often put too much emphasis on preaching when all most people are looking for is programming about characters they can relate to, who ring true and who, yes, inspire them.

Preaching tends to be the enemy of effective storytelling. The writers of Young Sheldon managed to present flawed yet admirable characters of varying degrees of religious faith. They were presented with fondness, understanding and without judgement. Imperfect doesn’t have to mean dark. These characters, despite their very human weaknesses and missteps, always seemed to be on the path toward the light.

The Bottom Line: Young Sheldon was a kind and, in the end, inspirational show. May there be more like it.

Anyway, for an example of masterful TV writing and acting that accurately reflects real life, check out this clip from last night’s final episode – followed by some of my favorite Young Sheldon moments.

Fortunately, that was not the last time Sheldon saw his father.

John W. Kennedy is a writer, producer and media development consultant specializing in television and movie projects that uphold positive timeless values, including trust in God.

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

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