COMMENTARY – by Christopher Laurence
Before I morph into the Andy Rooney of the Crusade Channel (a prospect I’m not entirely adverse to) with my posts which are frequently bemoaning all that is negative in popular culture, I thought I would instead turn my focus to things which are positive.
As a matter of fact, it is revealed that both the protagonists are Catholic, even making use of the Sacrament of Penance when having fallen into sin.
It’s all well and good to exhort you to forgo all the satanist-produced pieces of entertainment, but then I’ve only left you wanting for something to fill your leisure hours. And, after all, as Josef Pieper said, “Repose, leisure, peace, belong among the elements of happiness.”
So, do I then become your enemy, since I rob you of entertainment and do nothing to replace what I have taken? Perhaps (even though it was for your own good). Nonetheless, here I endeavor to begin making things right. Below I shall give you the first several of many recommendations to come of pieces of entertainment media which you can temperately luxuriate in without having the feeling of a grimy residue on your spirit afterwards.
1) Sullivan’s Travels – Joel McCrea is successful film director John L. Sullivan, who gets it into his head to make a picture about the plight of the destitute American man, and so sets out on an Odyssean adventure to experience what it’s like to be one, in this 1941 classic film from genius director Preston Sturges (The Lady Eve, The Great McGinty). Through a series of misadventures, and a chance encounter with a poor, aspiring actress (Veronica Lake) he soon discovers he knows nothing about anything real, and that, after all, “There’s a lot to be said for making people laugh. Did you know that that’s all some people have? It isn’t much, but it’s better than nothing in this cockeyed caravan.”
2) Ticket to Ride – Spending convivial and conversational time with family is important – it’s not always advisable to be stagnant in front of a screen. Ticket to Ride is a train route-constructing board game for 2-5 players in which you link color-coded rail cars to vie for the best routes to connect iconic North American cities. Players earn additional points for owning the longest continuous pathway across the map, and for completing “Destination Tickets”, which task you to connect specific cites by utilizing any route possible. The game has an old-timey aesthetic with colorful train cars that seem to pop off the board. The rules are simple but the game will engage novice and experienced board-gamers alike. Most importantly, it will engage your family in some quality time spent together.
3) Psych – You may be shocked to see that I now recommend something to you which is not in black-and-white. In fact, Psych actually ran on television in the early 2000’s, airing its finale in 2014. And yet, Psych doesn’t exhibit the absolute moral depravity that most modern TV series seem to feel is necessary. In fact, I’d say anyone teen-aged and older, with even a semblance of a moral compass, can safely watch Psych in its entirety.
The show focuses on main protagonist Shawn Spencer, who is hired by the Santa Barbara police department after unwittingly leading them to believe he is a psychic. However, the true nature of Shawn’s ability is that he possesses unprecedented powers of observation and deduction, honed by his ex-police officer father from a young age. Shawn and his (slightly more sensible) best friend Gus are thereafter drafted into a series of misadventures and murder cases which they inevitably help the Santa Barbara PD to crack.
The two main characters are goofballs, but they aren’t the complete degenerates that have become commonplace for protagonists nowadays. As a matter of fact, it is revealed that both the protagonists are Catholic, even making use of the Sacrament of Penance when having fallen into sin. The appearance of a Catholic priest in several episodes had be primed for what I imagined would be the inevitable anti-Catholic bigotry that arises from priests being featured on basic-cable television, but to my very pleasant surprise, the character was treated with dignity and the respect due his vocation, not played for laughs or Catholic Church bashing. The wife and I watched through all eight seasons, (and the first movie) enjoyed every episode, and will likely revisit it in the future. Plus, it has an absolutely killer theme song, guaranteed to make a home in your head.
And, there we have it. The first of a selection of recommendations which may serve to replace either your (hopefully long ago) canceled Netflix subscription, or your empty hours spent doing nothing, wishing you might be entertained in a way which was not terribly spiritually damaging. Many more will follow, spanning all manner of medium. Until next time, I hope you enjoy. And, you’re welcome.
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Written by: Christopher L