"Bubba," a regular reader of this site, has sent us his thoughts on the new TNT TV program Saving Grace, in a comment on my article on that show and AMC-TV’s Mad Men. I think readers will benefit from Bubba’s analysis, so I append it here with gratitude to their thoughtful author.
Sam: I was wondering whether you would review Saving Grace and what your opinion would be.
I looked at the show from a few angles (from the couch, from the kitchen grabbing a snack, from the recliner)and generally liked what I saw. For what its worth, I offer a few of my observations.
a. I was pleasantly surprised at the manner in which Christianity and the professed believers in the show were depicted. Holly Hunter’s character has a brother who is a Roman Catholic priest. He was not depicted in the typical Robin Williams-like characterization, but was depicted as a sincere, honest person, who had been trying to push and drag his sister back onto the straight and narrow for a long time, and was therefore having a difficult time believing his sister’s tale about meeting an tobacco-chewing angel by the name of Earl.
Likewise, Laura San Giacomo’s character "Rhetta Rodriguez", another believer, was also not depicted as the usual whacked-out nut-job.
In addition, the awesome love of God and the incredible Gospel message that He wants to give us a second chance, that death and destruction is His "strange work, …His alien task" (Isaiah 28:21) was repeated in an understated, yet clearly unsubtle manner.
b. Holly Hunter’s "Grace" portrayed a life-like character who struggled with the desire to change her current lifestyle, which left her sad, depressed and unfulfilled, for one that was God-pleasing. When the angel Earl wrapped his wings around her and she felt the love of God, she seemed to really want that for her life, however, the old lifestyle was comfortable and had such a strong hold on her. Grace struggled when faced with the temptations of her old lifestyle, a fair dramatization of St. Paul’s lament in Romans 7:15 "…I do not understand what I do. For what I want to do I do not do, but what I hate I do…".
d. The plot of the show, unlike the most recent episodes of "Monk", had a few plot twists and turns. For example, the character of "Leon Cooley" the death row inmate, portrayed by Bokeem Woodbine, who was the man Grace ran down and killed with her car. Depending on the writing of future episodes, the possibility of a little mental stimulation while I am eating my snacks will bring me back at least for a few more shows.