3 Character-Driven TV Shows to Strengthen Your Faith
TV shows are not just for entertainment anymore. In fact, they can be viewed for something much deeper: stories to teach you something about your story with God.
And the best shows are driven by powerful characters. Ones that cause you to binge when you know you should go mow the lawn (possibly speaking from experience.)
Here are three great ones you can start watching now:
1. LOST (ABC Studios, 2004-2010, TV-14)
If you've been around the past 13 years or so, at some point, someone has probably told you to watch this show. I can't blame them. It has arguably been the model of modern TV storytelling and makes you care for every single character as if they were your children (even the dog that you barely see for all 6 seasons).
The story follows a group plane-wrecked people on an island who are-you guessed it-lost. However, that word and the island itself carry much more weight than anticipated. The main tropes of the story revolve around the characters wrestling with faith vs. proof, survival vs. living, and questions vs. answers. Good vs. Evil is also a central theme that (without ruining too much) might just make a viewer look deeper at their convictions.
A solid viewing that you won't regret. (Viewer's Note: if you make it to the final season and the series finale, just think of that deeper meaning that the show's title carries.)
2. DAREDEVIL (ABC Studios/Marvel Television, 2015-present, TV-MA)
As far as superhero stories go, Daredevil is a special one. Like the typical crime-fighting, mask-wearing tales, there is loads of action, which might be some of the best put on film for television ever (lots of it is bloody, though not too over the top).
However, what really brings this story together is the dynamic of a blind lawyer, Matt Murdock, coming to grips with where his downtrodden city of Hell's Kitchen is headed and how he copes with it. This leads to a central character that is confused, uncertain and often beat up, which allows him to attend to other people who are very similar. Together, they build each other up, and encourage one another to keep moving forward. Keep seeking justice. Keep fighting. Something as people of our Good, Good Father need to be reminded of every day in world that can be so so cruel.
(Viewer's Note: Surprisingly, some of the best moments come from the dialogue, like in season 1 whenever his priest, Father Lantom, opens his mouth. Unlike most superhero stories, this is a story you'll want to both hang on every word and watch every awesome action sequence.)
3. STRANGER THINGS (Netflix, 2016-present TV-14)
This show is one of the most original you'll ever find. With the feeling of a Spielberg/Touchstone 80's flick and the story of a slightly-tamed Stephen King nightmare, the 8 episode first season will have you as hooked as Barb's oversized glasses on her nose, (you'll understand soon if you start waching. Poor Barb). But what will really have you binging is watching a cast of main characters, (3 goonie-like friends, 1 new out of this world 'friend', a berserk Mom, and a grieving sheriff), grow through the mysterious disappearance of their friend and son Will.
The most powerful tales, the ones that move us and shape us, are the ones that deal with growth. And no matter how superbly strange the story might be (i.e. Balaam's donkey in Numbers 22) growth is where God continues to pull us ahead into the holy transformation He's always intended.
(Viewer's note: I don't advise watching the whole thing in the dark...alone...with the sound cranked up high. Just a kind warning for those who might be a little jumpier than most.)
I definitely recommend watching these in moderation but do what you can to absorb their truths. And don't forget the most important part.
Take in these stories, then seize your own.