Thursday, June 23, 2005

Summertime and The Livin's Easy...

I have been giving some thought to the summer re-run period. We are all accustomed to expect nothing new during the summer except for sunburns and bug bites. However, as television moves more toward absolute specilization ("Coming this fall, the Malamut Breeding Channel"), and digital satellite and cable feeds provide 24 hours a day of service, the summer re-run season will disappear. So, in that spirit, I would like to pitch a few shows that have a Catholic slant. Now that Joan of Arcadia is gone, I am looking to fill in the gap.

Show #1: CSI: Alva
Pope Benedict is troubled by the condition of the Church in the world especially in Europe. He wants a place to train and promote highly-trained priests to sniff out heresy wherever it may rear its head. Hence he creates the Clerical Studies Institute (called CSI for short) and places a quirky, irrepressible diocesan priest (guess whom that character is modeled upon) in charge of the program. He places this institute in Alva, Oklahoma so that suspicions won't be raised and that the participants won't be bothered -- it's very secluded. Weekly episodes feature exciting scenes of people pouring over texts in ancient languages and other folks reading furiously.

Show #2: What Not to Wear: Clerical Edition
Granted that this is a spinoff of a very successful series, the franchise has limitless possibilities. Just when you got sick of seeing your parish priest loafing around in jeans and a t-shirt (and assuming he isn't gardening or headed to the gym), two of the designers from Renzetti's in Philadelphia swoop in and give Father a complete make-over. As they get Father fitted for a cassock, the team would take time to explain to the audience what the meaning of each vestment is and its purpose. Nothing screams High Church like a feriola (and it's so practical!). If time permits, the team also takes a flame thrower to the contents of the sacristy thus disposing of nasty, liturgical experimental vesture (assuming it's blessed) at the same time. Could also branch into getting religious back into the habit.

Show #3: Star Trek: DS9
With the waning fortunes of the Star Trek franchise, the creators, now that Roddenbery is dead, go back and re-tool the program so that Christianity has a role in Star Trek history. When this series premieres, we meet a group of new seminarians as they arrive at Diocesan Seminary #9. Here they will not only prepare to become priests but also prepare to evangelize the Gamma Quadrant. If the Dominion thought Starfleet was a problem, wait until they meet the Dominicans. The show will be a vehicle for interesting questions such as "Because Adam fell, does that mean that every sentient humanoid species fell?" Look for conflicts between cultures and worlds as the Christian Faith is spread to the stars. Look for yours truly in a cameo as the Bishop of Bajor.

Show #4: Extreme Makeover: Rectory Edition
Many times a priest moves into a rectory only to discover that the roof leaks, the carpets have seen better days, and that some one thought wood paneling was a good idea. With the help of the Rectory makeover team, the house is transformed into a place of simple beauty and welcome. Pay particular attention to the addition of a chapel in every single place.

There will be more as I think of them.

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