Is NBC’s Afterlife Comedy “The Good Place” Heavenly Fun or a Devilish Dud?

(This review was based on a screener which was missing some special effects shots and a few scenes.) “Welcome. Everything is fine.” Most of us would likely be happy to be greeted by that message when we enter the afterlife. Eleanor Shellstrop sure is. But as time goes by, it turns out things are not [Read More…]

14-Year-Old Dedicates “Pie Jesu” Performance to Her Best Friend: Her Late Grandfather

(Photo via Laura Bretan on Twitter) Fourteen-year-old Laura Bretan was blessed to grow up in a multi-generational household. Her grandfather lived with her family, and they grew so close that she called him her best friend. When he got sick and passed away last year, she grieved his loss deeply. But at the same time, [Read More…]

Jeannie Gaffigan: Comedy Helps Lift People Out of Despair

Over at Verily magazine, Mary Rose Somarriba shares an insightful interview with Christopher Award winner Jeannie Gaffigan, who discusses her marriage to husband Jim, being a mom to five kids, comedy’s power to lift people out of despair, integrating real life into “The Jim Gaffigan Show,” her approach to being a successful and empowered woman, [Read More…]

Sounds of Harmony and Visions of Light Amidst Chicago’s Violence

The murder rate in Chicago has risen 72 percent in 2016. According to USA Today, “Police said the disturbing rise in violence is driven by gangs and mostly contained to a handful of pockets on the city’s South and West sides.” Still, there are glimmers of hope, of young people who resist the dark forces [Read More…]