Blessed are those whose strength is in you, who have set their hearts on pilgrimage . . . They go from strength to strength, till each appears before God in Zion.
~Psalm 84:5

Thursday, January 20, 2005

TV Corner2

Lately I've been glued to the tube watching reruns of Highway to Heaven, a Michael Landon drama that was originally on the air I believe 1984-1987. TV Land broadcast a marathon of the show last week, in promotion of the show's new time slot every night at 7:00 (CST). If you're not familiar with the show, it's about an angel (played by Michael Landon) and his human sidekick (played by Victor French) who drive across the country helping people who are in need. If you're familiar with Landon's production career (e.g., Little House on the Prairie), you know that he tends to keep his plots extremely melodramatic and his dialogue simple. Highway to Heaven is consistent with this style. Usually during each episode, at least one of the characters either makes a life-changing decision or becomes ill and dies. Or both. But it's done in such a way that the characters are encountering their life-changes with God's direction and help. Usually you're almost moved to tears while watching.

H to H isn't perfect. But I believe Landon's Jewish heritage contributed substantially to its content, and I think as you watch the show, you can detect overtones of what Landon's walk with God and heart for people were probably like. Personally, I find this to be an outstanding show, and I am astonished at how little I appreciated it when it was first on the air in the '80s.

My family and I think H to H probably inspired Touched by an Angel in some way, since TbyA is a show about angels helping people. Personally, I found the first 2 or 3 seasons of TbyA to be awe-inspiring in every way, with each episode trumpeting an overt "God loves you" message and its tightly-written scripts exemplifying what art-meets-Christianity ought to be. I felt that this glorified God. But as the show aged, I personally felt that it deteriorated considerably in quality, compromising its Christian message and artistry for popularity. Just a personal opinion. I have also heard that the show in general was excellent in that it drew viewers closer to God.

Angels and television. I know that the mass media in general is out of whack when it comes to portraying God and His ways, but ya gotta love that there's one more springboard for getting His message across to massive audiences.

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