Netflix: The light of grace in human stories

 When Netflix was launched by Reed Hastings and Marc Randolph in 1998 as a DVD rental service by mail, late fees applied and the company had fewer than 1,000 titles to loan.A year later, the company began a monthly subscription service and by early 2000 began its flat fee with unlimited rentals, without due dates, late fees or shipping costs. It was a completely new entertainment business model.The demise of Blockbuster and other brick-and-mortar video rental services was just a … [Read more...]

‘Room’ is a story of crime and survival but also of family and reconciliation

 It is Jack’s (Jacob Tremblay) 5th birthday and he wakes his mother, whom he calls “Ma” (Brie Larson), sleeping next to him. Ma has a present for him and they bake a cake together in a small one-room apartment where they live. Jack, however, is very unhappy that Ma doesn’t have any candles for the cake. The television, with fuzzy reception, plays in the background. Jack loves “Dora the Explorer.” There are a few books on a shelf that Ma reads to Jack and he knows Alice in Wonderland very … [Read more...]

“Ties that Bind” UP launches new cop & family drama

 The UP Network continues it's mission to "uplift" viewers with a new original dramatic series about cops and a family, "Ties that Bind."Kelli Williams ("The Practice") is Seattle detective Allison McLean who with her partner, Devin Stewart (Dion Johnstone), arrests her brother, played by Luke Perry, for aggravated assault. This means his two teenaged children will go into foster care. But Allison and her husband Matt (Jonathan Scarfe) decide to bring the kids into their home, … [Read more...]

‘The Messengers’ is like a Christian zombie movie for the small screen

 The rapture is coming -- again. A new television series, "The Messengers," premieres at 9 p.m./8 p.m. Central today, April 17, on The CW because "the wheels of Revelation have begun to turn." The end is near, and "angels" or Messengers, have appeared.The Messengers are five select people, men and women, unknown to the others, who are gifted with the ability to heal others. Then there is "The Man" (Diogo Morgado), who wields death and destruction even though he looks like a totally … [Read more...]

‘Broadchurch’ Season Two starts March 4

 I discovered the series BBC "Broadchurch" last year on Netflix. Then came the US version, "Gracepoint' still starring David Tennent as the detective with a past and most everything but the ending a copy of the BBC series. Truth to tell, I liked both series but "Broadchurch" paid attention to the details of the priest character that the US version mashed up completely. About the US version's ending I can only ask: why?There is a religious thread running throughout the first series - … [Read more...]

‘Call the Midwife’ is a celebration of life

  During the 1950s, the Anglican sisters of St. Raymond Nonnatus ran a midwifery service and clinic out of their convent in the Poplar section of London's East End. Working alongside them were young women who were trained nurses and qualified midwives. "Call the Midwife," a BBC dramatic series, is based on the stirring and candid memoirs of nurse Jennifer Lee Worth (1935-2011). When the first episodes of "Call the Midwife" aired in the United Kingdom, it was the only … [Read more...]

‘Orange Is the New Black’ star Michael Harney on playing ‘bad’ guys but keeping God close

From over at Fox411 (Fox News) on Facebook comes an encouraging interview with the actor Michael Harney:By Sasha BogurskyPublished September 24, 2014FoxNews.comActor Michael Harney plays prison counselor Sam Healy in "Orange Is the New Black." (Bryony Shermur)Michael Harney is best known for his roles on "Deadwood" as the drunkard Steve Fields and Det. Mike Roberts on "NYPD Blue." He now stars in "Orange Is the New Black" on Netflix as corrections officer Sam Healy.The veteran … [Read more...]

“Faith-based vs. faith-filled in Hollywood: Is there a difference?” Guest post by Fr. Eddie Siebert, SJ

This is a "guest post" x two actually because it is my friend and Catholic media colleague Jesuit Father Eddie Siebert's weekly column for the National Catholic Reporter online and I want to share it here.The article explores faith-based programming and people of faith working in TV and film. Eddie features an interview I had with writer/musician/producer and show creator of such favorites as "Judging Amy," "Joan of Arcadia." and now "Madam Secretary".Enjoy!______"Faith-based vs. … [Read more...]

Stephen Colbert to replace Letterman on ‘Late Show’

 CBS announced today that when David Letterman retires in 2015, Stephen Colbert will replace him.Colbert's "The Colbert Report" is one of Comedy Central's best shows, right up there with Jon Stewart's "The Daily Show." In fact, Colbert worked as a "correspondent" on Stewart's parody of a news show before getting his own political, ultraconservative, talking-head satire pulpit in 2005.Colbert has always shamelessly admitted he is a practicing Catholic and, as far as I know, … [Read more...]

“The Town Came A-Courtin” on the UP Network, Sunday Jan 19

 The UP Network = Uplifting Entertainment and their first offering this year is The Town Came A-Courtin' starring Lauren Holly, Valerie Harper, and Cameron Bancroft. The UP Network used to be GMC, the Gospel Music Channel.The Town Came A-Courtin' is predictable, sweet and uplifting romance story told in a Hallmark way. It says on the packaging that it is "inspired by a true story" but as far as I have been able to tell it's based on a 2005 novel by the Southern novelist Ronda Rich … [Read more...]


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