Raging Devil: DAREDEVIL and the Failure of Imagination


Posts have been sparse on Pop Theology over the last few months. Richard and I are working to correct that. Of course, with constant Netflix series either releasing or returning and the impending tidal wave of summer blockbusters, we have our work cut out for us. Over the weekend, I finished the new critically-acclaimed Netflix series, Daredevil. I loved it, even though it was a failure...of a sort. Warning: spoilers galore. … [Read more...]

Summer Silliness: Sharknado 2 & Black Jesus


I never thought I’d say this, but thank God for cable television. As a Basic Cable family, we hold on to the Box because it lets us watch Comedy Central, Rachel Maddow, and the occasional broadcast for my hometown sports teams, the Reds and the Bengals. Most of the rest is wall-to-wall reality TV – nothing but “Redneck Vacation” and “Pawn Stars” as far as the eye can see.But something about the summer makes Cable throw caution to the wind, and the result is some pretty ridiculously wonderful … [Read more...]

Dear 20″ Plastic Baby Jesus…


For the second week in a row, The Leftovers focuses squarely on religion in its fourth episode, "B.J. and the A.C.," while also revealing more about the ominous Guilty Remnant. As usual, there are spoilers throughout, so read at your own risk. … [Read more...]

This Is a Test


I "bought in" on The Leftovers even before the first episode aired. The pilot met all my expectations while the second episode left me feeling a bit disappointed. However, last night's episode, "Two Boats and a Helicopter," set a benchmark for the young series, taking it in a different narrative direction (focusing on only one character) that I hope subsequent episodes will follow. … [Read more...]

The Leftovers: Cynics, Fools, and Prophetic Hyperbole


Yesterday morning at church, we discussed Jacques Lacan's notions of the cynic and the fool and their application to the Jesus narrative. In some circles, this would be about as offensive as last night's HBO premier of The Leftovers, Damon Lindelof and Tom Perrotta's new post-rapture series based on the latter's book. Only a few minutes into the pilot episode, I found myself comparing the series (or at least its potential) to our discussions in church earlier that day. … [Read more...]

Cross-Watching ‘Looking’ and ‘Tales of the City’


Perhaps it’s fitting for a television show located in San Francisco that such a fault line should have formed through the HBO series Looking. As the first extended gay male drama on a mainstream channel since the early aughts’ Queer as Folk, the show was bound to be a lightning rod. But where QAF was controversial for its mere existence, not to mention its graphic portrayal of gay sex, Looking is creating a different kind of controversy. Perhaps, wonder viewers, the gay lives in the show are too … [Read more...]

The Grammy Wedding: ‘Same Love,’ Different Interpretations

The Wedding Party.

Last night, we were treated to one of the stranger spectacles in awards show history, even taking into account Miley Cyrus’ twerking on the MTV Video Music Awards last fall. This was a mass wedding of gay and straight couples, presided over by Queen Latifah, with music supplied by Macklemore and Ryan Lewis, Mary Lambert, and Madonna. It’s a strange commentary on equality when you can say same-sex couples are now “free” to participate in legally-binding rituals every bit as weird as the straight m … [Read more...]

How do I love my neighbor Phil?


 In a previous post outlining the homophobic comments of Phil Robertson, prior to the controversial GQ article that got him suspended from his show on A&E, I talked about painting people with a narrow brush: “This is not a call to abandon the cause of justice. But while we may paint justice broadly, we need to have pointillist personal relations. This is the true meaning of tolerance and liberality—not that you agree with me on all parts of my agenda, but that we see our agendas in … [Read more...]