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Tuesday, July 15, 2014

Crossbones and The Last Ship

Today I am considering two new shows that have started this summer: Crossbones (NBC) and The Last Ship (TNT).

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Crossbones has had discussions of theology or a reference to the Bible in nearly all of its 5 episodes so far. What makes this more amazing is that this is a show about Pirates. A man named Tom Lowe has been sent by British gov't. to kill Edward Teach, or Blackbeard (played by John Malkovich). He finds a much more surprising person and community than expected and is put in a rather strange position.

We find Edward Teach far more knowledgeable of the Bible and theology than I would ever have thought. So far he has not had a beard at all, although this might be due in part to his age. The next episode should show more.

Be warned there is some sexual content and of course there is violence (and yes some gore, but not a huge unnecessary amount). This is a pirate show so where would it be without battles? I actually think that this show might make a good starting point for spiritual conversations because of how frequently they discuss the Bible. There is one episode (3 or 4?) where a character complains of Commodore Teach always talking to him about the Bible with a specific description of the story of the Prodigal Son's story. This character has no clue how vital this story is to his own self. If you have a friend you want to introduce to Jesus who loves Pirates, this show would be a good place for you to start.

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The other show is The Last Stand. In this we find a naval ship with a woman seeking to create a cure or a vaccine for a new virus that has infected/killed 80 percent of the world's population. The captain has decided to stay at sea to provide a safer spot for her to do her work. Firefly and Chuck fans will be pleased to know that Adam Baldwin joins the class as the ship's second in command. This show has far less sexuality than Crossbones but plenty of action.

This show has had 4 episodes and the newest one many thoughts on faith. The situation was rather predictable: the ship breaks down and they are low on drinking water. Something that happens in ship's tales quite often. We find that CMC Jeter leads some of the crew in a prayer time which also includes a quotation of a prayer of Moses. Of course, the actual prayer did not mention Jesus at all but it was still a lot more than I expected from a current show.

I honestly do think that mainline television is becoming more open to faith characters, but there is still some room to grow. I am enjoying both shows but I do find The Last Ship to have some predictability, but there are some surprises still in it that I am choosing not to spoil for you.

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