Community, are you god?
Community does things to me; it takes story arcs that I think are overplayed and reinvents them, it’s the first fictional group I want to be part of since Animorphs, and it changes the damn face of television. I know that’s a lot to say about something where a character is a monkey named Annie’s Boobs, but let me ask you this:
When was the last time a character was devoted to their religion and not purely a punching bag?The second season’s episode, “Messianic Myths and Ancient Peoples”, was a giant bag of controversy for fans. Religion does that to people. It makes people angry.
As Jeff said, “no religious talk”. I will try to keep theological debate out of this.
Religious leaders are outdated, mostly because you usually need to be old to be a religious leader. 15-year-old priests would A small intimate group of church goers seems obsolete in every way when presented to these young whippersnappers and their Flickrs. If religious views were a fashion, the young would be rocking atheism like so many flannel scarves.
Blame Catholic middle school or any of the other ways faith was shoved down the throats of young Americans. To a cynical person, you cannot present them absolutes. Unless your religion comes with a little wiggle room for debate or comfort (the sweatpants of religion rather than the tight leather trousers), you’ve already lost a large amount of potential followers.
Shirley digs this security. Jesus and God were pretty cool, and that is the truth. Unfortunately for her, Christianity is as faux pas as still being into Fall Out Boy (dig up their older catalogue, they were very consistent in creating good harmonies). When she mentions a Christian YouTube video in class, she is booed.
If you spend as much time on the internet as me, you’ll find most discussion boards to be heavily atheist. You don’t mention your religious affiliations or that you are a Mac user.
Perhaps Shirley’s church just needs a good PR man. There is really nothing that can seem appealing to a 10-year-old, except for maybe the promise of eternal salvation. Kids don’t care about that though, because CHILDREN LIVE FOREVER! YAHOO! It doesn’t help that most attempts to reach to the youth are like this:
Take Christian music; it’s repetitive and artistically dead, but that’s not it fault. The repetition is used for worshipers to focus on the lyrics, pray and reflect.
So religious people are seen as wet blankets, especially Christians. That’s a reflection on the country, not the religion ourselves. As the primary soul force in America, it’s going to be up for critique the most. Some writers stay away from Muslims out of fear of being insensitive and Jewish people are exempt because of the five jew bankers that run everything.
This leads to every character on TV who is religious being dulled down to “Doho, isn’t this person dumb for believing in this? What a stupid idiot”.
Bill Maher has made his career these past few year on bashing fundamentalists. It’s not hard to do. Attacking people who think global warming is fake is about as easy as the SNL writers had it during the Bush administration. But there are good, decent people who have faith. And there is no one that can represent them in good media. Even from an executive’s standpoint, that’s just bad business sense.
Granted, character extremes work well for comedy, but there has to be some sympathy. We have a show whose principal character kills people to satisfy his bloodlust that’s more likable than the cast of Seventh Heaven.
So Shirley stands out on the tv schedule. She has her quirks and she’s unfamiliar with people outside her community (heh heh). But Shirley means no one else harm, and she’s likable. As every other comedy show has their own sacrificial lamb for jokes…
- Family Guy – Meg
- American Dad – Klaus
- Parks and Recreation – Jerry
- 30 Rock – Lutz
- The Office – Toby
- The Simpsons – Milhouse
Rarely do they show the human side. Thanks, Community. You are my lord.