According to the Pew Forum on Religion and Public Life, 39 percent of Americans say they attend religious services at least once a week, and 58 percent say they pray at least once a day. But we don't see a ton of religious practice on television; the most openly devout fictional family on prime time now is probably the Simpsons (or maybe the Henricksons). So color me excited for Revelation, Showtime's upcoming drama about an “unconventional minister” and his teenage kids, who relocate to Texas following his wife's death.
I'd be pumped for anything from David Janollari and Craig Wright – their mutual previous credit is Six Feet Under, so I trust them to create a thoughtful, unique family drama. But I'm particularly excited to see some religiosity play out on TV because I think it's underexplored – most religious people aren't 7th Heaven's Camden family, you know? I remember seeing the pilot for Friday Night Lights and being so struck by scene where the Panthers say a prayer with the pee wee kids. I can't remember seeing other characters pray on TV before, and it obviously stuck with me.
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I don't feel a huge need to have my beliefs reflected on television or held by my favorite characters, nor would I particularly seek out proselytizing. But drama comes from high stakes – hence all the cop and doctor shows – and faith, your position in a chaotic universe, an ultimate set of values or eternal choices, an idea of what comes before and what comes after? What's higher stakes than that?
Are you with me, PopWatchers? Do you wish more shows approached religion or had religious characters? And are you excited for Revelation?