Five Reasons Fall TV Premier Week(s) is my Fav Week of the Year

I know that’s really not an acceptable thing for a pastor to say, but you might as well know the truth (if you don’t already). Holy Week and the week before Christmas are a bit of a nightmare for pastors. Not only are the schedules jam packed, but there is the pressure of coming up with just the right thing to say about the same story year after year in a way that will totally inspire all those people who only show up on those particular days. Secretly, your pastor calls Holy Week “Hell Week” and spends Christmas Day collapsed in a heap on his/her living room rug. Just kidding…I am. Really.

But Fall TV premiere week? There is no expectation of a pastor this week. In fact, it falls right in the middle of the lull before the Advent onslaught.  Time to watch the existing stories resume and find out which new stories might pull you in.

I’m a bit of a tv junkie. I realize that makes me sound shallow, pedestrian and low-brow to many, but I’m ok with that.

I do admit that I really hate reality tv (with the exception of Project Runway, because Tim Gunn). I really, really hate The Bachelor and The Bachelorette and can’t believe they are still hit shows in a country that can get on its moral high horse quicker than you can say “rose ceremony.” I get enough real reality in real life. I don’t need to watch it faked on tv.

So why am I excited about another season of purely fictionalized TV?

I love a good story

And yes, there are a lot of lousy tv shows out there, but there are some good ones as well. Shonda Rhimes, Aaron Sorkin,  Joss Whedon and Tina Fey can spin a tale and turn a phrase like nobody’s business.

I love the anticipation 

In an age of binge watching, I like to kick it old school and return to that time and place where you have to wait until next week to see what happens.  There’s time to speculate, converse and tweet about it before you get the answer.

TV  changes hearts and minds 

Will and Grace. Modern Family. Blackish. Scandal. These are all shows that have changed the way we view gay people, gay parents, black families and black women. Speechless gives us insight into the life of someone with cerebral palsey. And I’m already hearing buzz that new show, The Good Doctor, will change the way we look at people with autism. Studies show that these and other shows have literally changed our minds.  We develop what psych majors call parasocial relationships with the characters. It’s like they’re our friends. We’d like to have them over for barbecue or meet them for brunch. TV can challenge our preconceived notions and change our perceptions.

It’s fun to fall in love with a tv show

There’s nothing like finding a tv show that you  can watch week after week and year after year, watching the characters change and grow. I can parasocial the heck out of a tv show.  I turned 30 with Ally McBeal (literally on the same day). I’ve watched Meredith Grey grow up. I am exactly the same age as all the Friends were when the show aired originally. I do have real friends, too, although some may doubt it after reading this post.

I need sermon illustrations

For someone who has to preach every Sunday, a good tv show can provide a number of stories that help illuminate the story I’m seeking to share. I’ll take all the help I can get.

So go ahead and indulge in a little tv over the next two weeks. You may catch a couple of duds, but you may discover a brand new show and set of people that make your life a little brighter over the course of a 24-episode story arc.

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