Pappa is, for some reason mostly likely tied to a compulsive need to watch TV constantly, is watching the series premiere of Saving Grace. I had planned to ignore the existence of the show despite the massive advertising that’s been going on for it. (When they’re advertising it heavily enough that it gets through to me, she of the not watching TV with commercials, you know they’ve really pushed it. Or that I’ve been using Law and Order as a coping mechanism far too much…)

So Grace is having an affair with a married man who wants to break it off because he feels guilty. She laughs him off because she knows he won’t do anything about it. Then, when a guy on the news says that he’s sure that with God, the local police department, and the support of the local community, they’re sure to recover some missing child, and she makes a comment along the lines of, “And then he’ll end world hunger.” Clearly she is a very, very bad person, the low of the low, verily like unto the whores and tax collectors Jesus used to hang out with back in the day. Because, you know, some other guy has trouble keeping promises and she asks pretty valid questions of an allegedly omniscient and omnipotent being, clearly a red neck angel needs to show up and tell her that she’s going to hell, like lots of people, so would she just look at the badly greenscreened grand canyon view and ignore occam’s razor.

So they throw around potentially interesting, if overused theological questions, write them off as unimportant, recast classical divine imagery into redneckery, and sneak trite preaching in as ham-handed character development. Oh, and liking sex, getting drunk, telling lies, and cussing are signs of your toasty destiny in the afterlife. Oh, and kids who listen to German metal are deranged.

There is some wit, and I kinda like Grace’s approach to dealing with sexual harassment. She hits like a girl, but I think that’s a problem with the actress, not the character.

Now, if the show would drop some hints that this alleged angel called Earl might not actually be who he claims to be, that perhaps this is some sort of conspiracy by higher powers to manipulate humans for their own ends, or a departure from standard conceptions of Christianity beyond asserting that the Catholic church is not the final voice of Christianity (WTF, in Oklahoma? Aren’t they all Baptists and Methodists out there anyway?) Instead, they seem to be layering cliches Touched by an Angel wore out for network TV on top of renegade cop tropes that have been tired for ages, even the whole chick female cop angle that the Closer used.

Writing this as I watch it, so now we’re to the part where she cries, gets melodramatic because the deranged German metal listening kid jumped off a building, and decides that if god wants to “bring her to her knees” then this particular tragic sex scene just needs to get more gratuitous and unnecessary.

Actually, I can’t quite take this show anymore. I’m going to play glob 2, a very cool Age of Empires style Linux game I’m nursing a small addiction to.

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