Game of Thrones is one of the biggest shows on TV. The epic medieval fantasy show has everyone talking. It’s popular and engaging, with story lines that have people flooding social media with their love of the show.
But is it an appropriate show for Christians to be watching?
2014 looks like it might be the year of the Rapture… at least on TV and movie screens. As well as the upcoming Nicholas Cage Left Behind movie, we have The Leftovers.
The Leftovers looks to focus on the lives of people living in a small American town after an event, presumed to be the Rapture, results in 140 million people vanishing. It’s based on a novel by Tom Perrotta and the first season has been set at 10 episodes. It will air on HBO in the US, which probably means it will be shown on Foxtel in Australia.
Here’s the first teaser trailer.
What do you think? Christopher Eccleston appears to be involved, which automatically has me interested.
While my initial introduction to Japanese superhero shows was Super Sentai, I soon discovered that the king of Tokusatsu is Kamen Rider. The karate bug-man on a motor cycle who fights for justice is on the same level as Superman when it comes to brand name recognition in Japan. First airing in 1973, Kamen Rider screened on TV in one shape or form until taking a break in 1989. Taking a break in the 90s, Kamen Rider returned with a bang in 2000 with Kamen Rider Kuuga. After the success of Kuuga, producers were left wondering how they were going to follow it up.
The answer was Kamen Rider Agito, a year long saga about an amnesiac hero fighting serial-killing monsters, the danger of emerging psychic powers, and the ultimate battle between good and evil. Only in Japan would you find a show this intense and dark and have it called a kids show.
One of the things that took some adjusting for me when watching Gokaiger was getting a handle on a world view that I was unfamiliar to me. Now I love exploring world views. I love to get my head around how different people understand the world and their place in it. People look at me like I’m a freak (a title that I’m happy to hold) when I spend more time pulling apart the different world views in a movie than I do enjoying the explosions. Which by the way, if your movie doesn’t have explosions in it, you better bring your A Game because you’re going to have to work hard for my attention. So here I am watching Gokaiger. And it’s the first time I’ve seriously sat down to watch a long form Japanese kids show that hasn’t been reworked for Western audiences. And I’m in love with the costumes. And I’m in love with the characters. And yes, I’m in love with the explosions. But I’m also experiencing a new (to me) world view.
And it’s all about protecting smiles.
Captain Marvelous is one of my all time favourite characters. I even considered buying a Captain Marvelous cosplay costume at one point. I’ll take this pirate captain over Johnny Depp any day. Here you have a reckless and brash young man who never backs down. Someone who will literally take a beating and respond with a cheeky smirk. There’s a scene in the first episode of Gokaiger where the team are standing in the middle of the street when the evil Zangyack attack. The other four Gokaigers duck for cover while explosions surround them. Not Captain Marvelous. He doesn’t even flinch. He stands there with his arms crossed and a look on his face that says “Is that the best you’ve got?” I love this man.
I’m not 100% sure what led me down this path. I think the first thing that started the niggling in the back of my brain was my favourite podcast – Major Spoilers. One of the hosts, Matthew, had mentioned a few times that he was watching Super Sentai, the Japanese show that provided the action scenes for Power Rangers. And if Major Spoilers talks about it, I usually file it in that part of my brain marked “worth checking out”. A bit later, a number of websites I check out were getting excited over something called the 199 Hero Great Battle, that had every Super Sentai team member simultaneously involved in a giant battle sequence. Hundreds of brightly coloured spandex suits involved in an epic martial arts fight sequence. I had to find out more. A quick Google search led me to English subtitled episodes of a show called Kaizoku Sentai Gokaiger. And it was glorious.
The Hard Times of RJ Berger focuses on the title character RJ, a scrawny highschool kid at the bottom of the highschool social ladder. He’s picked on by the jocks, in love/lust with the most popular girl at school who is dating his chief tormentor, and his parents seem well-meaning but are weird and out of touch. Pretty typical highschool drama formula right? Oh, I forgot to mention one other thing: he has an incredibly large penis. Yep, the title of the show is a pun. This could have been a really bad taste teen-sex comedy. Surprisingly, the show rises above this and delivers something more – heart.
I’m a big fan of Glee. I love the dark irony and the musical numbers that come out of nowhere. The show has faced some criticism from Christians because of a perceived anti-Christian agenda. Now it may be because I’m not part of the American Christian scene, but the examples I’ve seen quoted strike me as being more anti American conservatives than anti-Christian. Is there a difference in the USA? I’d hope so.
Anyway, the second season of Glee is looking to add some new characters. And one of them has me interested, as she is a conservative Christian. This could either be really interesting or really, really bad. The show’s creators say that this character will “not be held up for derision.” (Quote from Fancast) If the character is treated fairly, they’ll provide an interesting contrast to a lot of the immorality that goes on amongst the Glee teens. If treated unfairly, then we’ll have a new punching bag for those who don’t like Christianity to launch into.
At the very least, I hope they cast someone who can sing real good.
Growing up, my family was mum, dad, me and my three younger brothers. Everyone’s family is different. There are a massive number of combinations. One parent. Two parents. Step parents. You might live with your grandparents. You might be adopted or live with foster parents. What makes the modern family? My experience is going to be different from your experience. But almost every family has one thing in common: they’re a goldmine for humour.
And that’s why Modern Family is a very funny show.
Why are you doing this to us Channel 9? Why are you holding back on showing V. You know I want to watch it. Is that the reason? Are you going to pull a Pushing Daisies and promise that you’ll show it and then bury it?
By the sounds of things, V is going to be very, very good.
The original had a great take on fascism. It looks like the new version will also be including some religious themes and characters which has, of course, grabbed my attention.
Birthdays can be a lot of fun. Presents, parties, people filling your Facebook page with happy messages. Sam, however, is not enjoying his 21st birthday. You wouldn’t either if you found out your parents sold your soul to the Devil. Now it’s time to pay up. Sam will have to juggle his day job working at a hardware store with his new job as the Devil’s bounty hunter, capturing super-powered souls escaped from hell. Life isn’t easy on Reaper.
I’m really looking forward to John Safran’s Race Relations tonight. Safran has a talent for bringing up issues in an insightful and funny way. Especially when it comes to matters of religion. From placing voodoo curses on his ex girlfriend, to door knocking dressed as Prince talking about the Jehovah’s Witness faith, to going on a date with a Roman Catholic Priest, Safran’s work is thought provoking, informative, and hilarious.
Make sure you check it out. The trailer is underneath the jump.
That’s how long it took to change everything. One moment, life is going along as normal. Two minutes and seventeen seconds later and nothing will ever be the same again.
Simultaneously across the globe, every single person on the planet blacks out and has a vision of what they will be doing in six months time. In the mean time, cars are crashing, surgery patients are flat-lining, and surfers are drowning. The world is plunged into chaos. No one knows what is happening or why. And even after all the fires are put out, how will people deal with what they have seen in the future? This is the premise of Flash Forward and I’m keen to find out where this is going.
I spent a long time trying to work out if I wanted to watch this show. Musicals can be very hit and miss with me. Set it in a highschool and the chances of me enjoying it drop dramatically. But throw in a level of self awareness, some black comedy and some quirky characters? Now things are looking better.
Glee is the story of a small town high school in the middle of nowhere. You have those at the top of the popularity spectrum – your cheerleaders and football players. And at the very bottom you have those who are in the glee club. Will these kids achieve against all odds? Will they find self esteem through performance? Is this their one and only opportunity to find satisfaction in life? Welcome to high school life Glee style.
Every child on the planet, at exactly the same time, stop in their tracks and say in unison “We are coming”. Every single child. And so begins the third season of British science fiction show Torchwood. In five episodes, shown over five consecutive days, a story of corruption, compromise and fear will unfold. Aliens are coming. What will those in power do to secure their future and keep their secrets safe?
Much has been made in the last couple of days of The Chaser’s recent satire on the Make A Wish Foundation. It’s not often the Prime Minister of Australia calls a press conference to condemn the actions of an ABC comedy show. The Chaser team have never been shy when it comes to controversy, but have they gone too far this time?
I’m not the biggest Family Guy fan. It was funny at first, but for me, every episode feels pretty much the same. So I’m not a regular viewer. But this episode, Not All Dogs Go To Heaven, got my attention because it had the entire cast of Star Trek: The Next Generation guest starring in the episode. So I thought I’d give it a shot. But it was the second story line, featuring Meg, that ended up being the most fascinating.
You’re standing in front of a blue door. In just a moment you will step through this door into an unknown situation. It could be anywhere from ancient Egypt to the local pub. Someone will say “Thank God You’re Here” and it will be up to you to keep up. You’ll need to stay alert and always have an answer ready. Are you ready to step through that door?
A few years ago I was going through a bit of a Sum 41 phase. As I was surfing the internet for Sum 41 related stuff, I came across the image to the left. Sum 41 had been on King of the Hill and it had some kind of God theme. Interest piqued.
After a bit of searching, I found the episode in question – Reborn To Be Wild. If you’re a youth leader, you really should get your hands on a copy of this episode. Watch it with other youth leaders. The discussions you’ll have afterward will be invaluable.