My mother read to us a lot when we were little. Most of us were girls. And she liked classic stuff, so I grew up with a strong working knowledge of Little House and Little Women. (I don't think we ever read Little Men, but let's be honest, who did? Also: It's still about Jo!)
But the house favorite was definitely Anne of Green Gables.
First of all, yes, if you're a linguistic traditionalist then the show should really be called The Rev., not Rev.
Second of all, it's disappointing that by the second episode, the British scripted series is relying heavily on the old binary of a small, old-fashioned, declining, liberal congregation vs. a large, hip, casual, thriving, conservative one. (The latter's hip-hop music leader goes by the name Ikon! Cute, but haven't the showrunners heard of Peter Rollins?)
“I’ve been telling everyone who’ll listen how great Downton Abbey is,” I said in a sermon that was technically about evangelism. I was illustrating St. Augustine’s point that when people love, say, a great actor they tell others about him—and so how much more should we tell others about the gospel. A week later I learned how (un)successful that point had been. “I’ve watched every episode,” a parishioner said. “Now what was it you were trying to say about that show?”
I've never liked show choir, but I love Glee. Not primarily for the singing or dancing, though each is sometimes great. I like the show because it gets a lot right about being a teenager—the weird mix of intense emotion and casual pettiness, the hairpin turns of identity creation in process—without getting bogged down by studious realism.
The 1950s and 1960s are often cited as the golden age of television. Those were the days when comedians such as Groucho Marx and writers such as Rod Serling worked in the business. That era produced many programs that still bear rewatching (The Dick Van Dyke Show, for one, and I say this not just because I had a boyhood crush on Mary Tyler Moore).
Earlier this year the Fox network, showing either the effects of the writers’ strike or the signs of social decay, offered a gem of televised exploitation—the kind that repulses you but you can’t help watching.
A. M. Stroud III, a former prosecutor in Louisiana, expresses regret for the role he played in sending Glenn Ford to death row in 1984. “I was 33 years old. I was arrogant, judgmental, narcissistic and very full of myself. I was not as interested in justice as I was in winning.” Stroud says he presented dubious evidence from a forensic pathologist, precluded black jurors from the trial (Ford, since exonerated, is black), and ignored the fact that the appointed defense attorney had never before tried a criminal or capital case. “I . . . hope that providence will have more mercy for me than I showed Glenn Ford,” Stroud said in a letter to the editor of the Times of Shreveport. “But, I’m also sobered by the realization that I certainly am not deserving of it” (ABA Journal, March 25).