The Fall television season sort of snuck up on me during my recent self-imposed downtime, so I’ve been wrestling with finding meaning in our pop culture. These two things have combined to create a body-shaped indentation in our couch. However, since my subscriptions to TV Guide and Entertainment Weekly ran out at the same time, I’ve been picking shows fairly blind. This has been good and bad, as I’ve been sampling shows at random, um, with a bent toward the boom in genre shows. So I have a slew of new reviews over at my Hollywood Jesus blog.

Some television executives think that there is a ground swell of interest in the inner workings of Washington D.C., thus I have reviews of Commander-In-Chief (reasonably compelling, if you buy the implausible premise) and E-Ring (more compelling, if you can get past the annoying lead characters), both of whom suffer in comparison to The West Wing (a lion in winter; these new shows would be completely unwatchable in comparison to The West Wing in its prime). Of the recent genre related shows, I blew off Supernatural and Ghost Whisperer, but reviewed Invasion (a keeper), Night Stalker (thin, but I’m giving it a chance to grow on me), and Surface (a B-movie stretched into a series). I’m still taping Threshold, but haven’t had a chance to review it, though I suspect that I’m going to enjoy it. And Grey’s Anatomy, which I admit that I started watching last year.

On the movie front, I have recent reviews on Serenity (I’m a Joss Whedon fanboy so you can imagine the tone of the review) and on the movie The Gospel. As a matter of fact, I also wrote a second article on The Gospel and the Black Church discussing some growing concerns that the movie highlights.

Also, the 20042005 issue of Hollywood Jesus Reviews goes to press this week. pre-order the latest book This volume covers August 2004 through July 2005. Twenty three HJ staffers will be represented in this volume. This year’s collection of reviews covers 90 top films, every one of them reviewed from HollywoodJesus.com’s spiritual perspective. The ideas that move the world infuse the cinema, and audiences are still paying attention. Into the darkness of the theatre comes a great light. God is behind the screen, and Jesus is in the seats. Take a close look the next time you’re there. Some of my reviews making it into this volume include: Blade: Trinity, Crash, Elektra, The Hitchhiker’s Guide to the Galaxy, Saw, Shark Tale, and Sin City (the review where Christianity Today said that “Maurice Broaddus put a positive spin on sin.”)

Also on the agenda, the Hollywood Jesus Annual Gathering (HJAG 2005) will be December 29, 2005 through January 1, 2006 in Renton, Washington. Hosted by Harambee Church and the Harambee Community Development Association (HCDA), this once-a-year event is designed to equip and encourage the far-flung virtual staff of Hollywood Jesus—as well as others who support ministry through and to popular culture. Since I’m leading a panel on the Horror genre and co-leading one on comic books, I ought to eventually start working on something to talk about.

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