My lovely bride and I have been watching a show this season. Please don’t ask me what a season is these days. If I recall correctly, a TV season used to be from September through May. Then, of course, there were the summer replacements that lasted for three months.
Now it seems that a season is whatever the producers (or whomever) decide it should be. Programs begin at the oddest times and end without warning. I just can’t keep up. This is all leveled by the fact that no one watches anything in real time anymore (at least, we don’t). We jump onto Netflix, Hulu, or some other outgrowth of the DVR generation and binge-watch whatever series we choose to indulge ourselves in at the time. It’s a rather amazing phenomenon.
Anyway…back to the show we’ve been watching. I’m not sure how we stumbled onto this series, but it’s called “Good Behavior.” At least, I think that’s the name of it (I’m not very good with titles). Nomenclature aside, we seem to be hooked on this thing.
Their behavior is anything but good.
The show revolves around two of the most despicable individuals you’d ever want to come across. Well…let me restate that. These two characters do some of the most despicable things imaginable. Despite that, I find myself rooting for them every time. It’s almost embarrassing. If it was a comedy, I could excuse myself—but it’s deadly serious. While I love these TV roles, I wouldn’t want hang around them in real life.
Due to the subject matter, I don’t think I would recommend this show to anyone under sixty. Actually, as a pastor, I’m not sure I should recommend it to anyone at all. Yet, it’s a fascinating study in multifaceted personalities and the-end-justifies-the-means lifestyles.
The way the production is handled portrays some of its inner conflict. For example: The characters have a propensity for dropping the f-bomb. Interestingly enough, every such occurrence is carefully bleeped out. Yet, every episode or two portrays a few seconds of somewhat graphic sexual content. While they can occasionally display the actions, they can’t allow the crude word that describes what they’re doing. It’s all a bit schizophrenic.
I say all this to ask myself a question. How can I be so sympathetic to murderers, thieves, and all around scofflaws? Is it just the way they’re portrayed that manipulates my loyalties? Or is it simply my compassion for the lost shining through in some twisted way? I’m not at all sure.
One of my favorite parables is the one about the sheep and the goats (Matthew 25:31-46). The upshot of it is that we should see Jesus in everyone. The result of doing that is a desire to help people because, in actuality, we’re helping Jesus.
I guess (when it comes to the folks in Good Behavior) I want them to be okay. If they were real people, I’d want to help fix them somehow. I may be rationalizing, but I think that makes me okay (hopefully).
[Dave Zuchelli is a graduate of Pittsburgh Theological Seminary and is currently the pastor of Smith Chapel, in Great Falls, VA.]