CBS has a great show on Sundays after 60 minutes called God Friended Me. The show is created by Greg Berlanti, best know for producing all of the DC Comics TV shows on WB. Since it just got renewed for another season, I’ll give my thoughts on it so far.
First of all, let’s look at the premise. Our protagonist is Miles Fine, a podcaster out of NYC with a show called “The Millennial Prophet”. Despite the title, Miles is actually an atheist. His father, Rev. Andrew Finer, is an Episcopalian priest, and they’ve had an estranged relationship ever since his mother died when he was very young. One day, he receives a friend request from an anonymous source claiming to be God. He thinks it’s a prank at first, but decides to check it out and meets a journalist named Cara, who’s begging for a big break. He decides to help her out, and this starts the show’s mystery. Every week, the anonymous account sends Miles a new person, and he and Cara help that person with whatever crisis he/she is facing. Another character he meets later on is Rakesh Singh, a hacker who tries to discover the account and helps them get past firewalls and such.
What I think is great is how the show handles Christianity. Because this is a secular program, and I’ve seen Berlanti’s other programs, I was initially concerned. He tends to get kind of preachy about his pet causes, and that made me think that it might take a few jabs at Christianity. To my surprise, the exact opposite is happening. While Miles has yet to convert, he is actually respectful of Christianity. He’s not a believer, but he’s not out to find out the account to prove God doesn’t exist. He wants to solve the mystery and expose this person, but not out of hatred. I was worried Berlanti would use this show as a vehicle to show why Christians are “wrong” and “hateful”, but that doesn’t happen much. In fact, his father is actually shown to be a kind and patient person who genuinely wants Miles to return to the fold again. Throughout the first season, Miles and his father continue to grow closer, and I like the arc that Mike is going towards. We also learn that Miles has a sister named Ali, and she too has problems with their father, although she is somewhat closer than Miles is.
The cast is great. For me the best role goes to Joe Morton as Rev. Fine. I recognized him right away, mostly from his role as auto mechanic Henry Morgan on Eureka. He’s a great actor, and I’m glad to see him getting more work. Brandon Michael Hall plays Miles with the right amount of skepticism, but not to the point of annoyance. This is not a strawman atheist. We’re supposed to like him, so he’s not taking annoying jabs.
I’m glad to see this is getting another season. I think this is definitely a show that should be watched.