Wednesday, December 14, 2005

Value Entertainment

Several pundits are pontificating on the problems of the film industry. Ticket sales are down. Why? Tammy Bruce says it's because the movies suck and Stephen Green concurs. Furthermore they both think there is an essential values disconnect here. From Tammy:
They had better start considering the fact that filmmakers are so disconnected, so nihilistic, that the hopelessness and hostility they feel toward the world now permeates their work. Americans will no longer go see movies which are nothing more than the manifestation of the backwash of malignant narcissists.
From Stephen:
Most of Hollywood's tragedies can't sell tickets even on opening weekend because in the stories they tell, the people are still flawed -– but only because the entire world is crap, too.

Shakespeare taught us that the wicked would get their just desserts. Hollywood wants us to think that we're all wicked, and deserve whatever we get.
Which brings me to my point: Why aren't Christian or other conservative media groups filling the gaps?

Sadly one of the problems is that Christian media is preoccupied with wholesome family fare. I have no problem with good family films and television that I can sit down to watch with my cousin's kids. I have written on bad family fare in the past. So I do care.

But family fare isn't everything. How do you tackle a serious spiritual issue like lust, in a wholesome family program? How do you send the proper message that adults need to solve their own problems without undermining the concept that children should seek help from an adult? Michael Spencer has bemoaned the fact that at some point this childrens mandate becomes a hindrance to tackling serious issues in a Christian medium.

And the sad thing is that there is a real audience out there for this stuff. John Mark Reynolds has lamented that Buffy the Vampire Slayer is well written TV devoid of healthy moral underpinnings. I share the same lament. That genre, the teenage supernatural/paranormal action drama, has been prominent across several networks in recent years. We have shows like Buffy, Angel, Dark Angel, Supernatural, and Smallville. These are shows that touch on spiritual issues, but are essentially visions of a Godless supernatural universe.

I would love to see someone try a teenage Christian supernatural action drama. Make it a show where the power of the hero/heroine is not their strength but their their faith. Use the demons that show up every week as a means of addressing prominent sins like lust. Tackle issues like redemption and forgiveness when our hero fails. (A really hot succubbus comes to town, will our hero be seduced?) It would work. It would make for interesting TV. It would have values. But it will never be made, because it wouldn't always be suitable for children.

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