In an attempt to attract viewers of faith, a mass media corporation premiered a new comedy Monday night about a man who decides to live his every moment according to the Bible.
"Living Biblically" likely surprised most Christians who tuned in expecting to find another Hollywood satire of their faith. Instead, the sitcom treats the Bible and those who try to live by it respectfully. And it was actually funny.
The show is about a man who faces a crisis in life and comes across the Bible. He decides he needs to start living a better life and vows to live according to what he finds in The Good Book. Ted Baehr of Movieguide says the lead character is earnest, if naïve.
"That's a frightening thing," he comments. "We don't want everybody running out to try an obey all the Levitical laws, because a lot of those were ceremonial laws. He doesn't understand that. But at least he's a lapsed Catholic who's trying to go in the right direction."
Baehr believes CBS is making an honest attempt to tap into the audiences that have been flocking to movies like War Room and TV specials like "The Bible."
"The show is very positive about faith," he observes. "Networks, when they do faith, they try to treat it lightly. It's a funny show, never disrespectful of faith -- maybe a positive door opener."
And even if it is unintentional, the show could have an eternal payoff as well.
"Maybe it will get more people reading the Bible, which can't hurt, because according to Wycliffe, 60 percent of the people who come to Christ come through reading the Bible," the Movieguide CEO relays.
Baehr warns, though, that "Living Biblically" might not be for everyone, as there are some light content issues and mild satire. But he asserts it is not mean-spirited.