Blog by Sumana Harihareswara, Changeset founder

29 Oct 2001, 13:04 p.m.

My two main TV-watching experiences this weekend belonged to "Touched…

Hi, reader. I wrote this in 2001 and it's now more than five years old. So it may be very out of date; the world, and I, have changed a lot since I wrote it! I'm keeping this up for historical archive purposes, but the me of today may 100% disagree with what I said then. I rarely edit posts after publishing them, but if I do, I usually leave a note in italics to mark the edit and the reason. If this post is particularly offensive or breaches someone's privacy, please contact me.

My two main TV-watching experiences this weekend belonged to "Touched by an Angel" and the TV-edited version of In & Out.

Touched by an Angel. This CBS prime-time drama/anthology (Saturday nights) has s very heavily (if implicitly) Christian point of view. Angels come to various parts of the USA and help people with their problems and losses of faith in the Lord. This episode focused on Jews, surprisingly. Then again, I imagine Christians and Jews are really the only groups the show can do before running into real difficulty reconciling its Christian mythos and point-of-view and the possible goodness of the human characters. (It's high time for Monica, Andrew, and the rest of the gang to run into some sympathetic Muslims, I think.)

I generally disagree with the arguments presented in this show, and Saturday night's episode confirmed the trend. For example, in earlier episodes the Internet has been portrayed as a family-dividing porn conveyor belt. Er, no. And this time, a Jewish cartoonist who mocked Jewish foibles (the plot of the show had it) encouraged skinheads to vandalize a synagogue. Not all culture-specific humor is offensive, I'd venture.

One interesting point in the show, to me, came when the angel claimed that a Jew had interpreted a bit in the Torah too strictly. At least the show got the text-based nature of Judaism right.

More on In & Out later.