When 'God' sends you a Facebook friend request
It's been a bit of a slow start to the year, TV-wise. Most shows have only just returned from a production break. And "FBI," the third season of "This is Us" and the buddy-cop offering "Bulletproof" have been getting viewers to gleefully tune in.
I found myself drawn to "God Friended Me" while browsing through my options on DStv CatchUp.
Admittedly, it was the Facebook association that influenced my viewing choice from a catalogue saturated with gritty crime dramas, poignant family dramas, reflective home-grown offerings and refreshing comedies - and a few obscure shows.
Mark Zuckerberg couldn’t have asked for better publicity.
"God Friended Me" is akin to a hybrid of "Early Edition," "Person of Interest" and "Touched by an Angel".
Given the title of the show, faith plays a huge role in the storytelling...but not in a sanctimonious way.
Instead, the writers offer feel-good story arcs while addressing slice of life issues like homosexuality, family strife complete with guilt-trips as well as atheism against a relatable social media backdrop where hacking, podcasts and trending online stories infiltrate the lives of Miles Finer (Brandon Michael Hall), our main protagonist, and his geek friend Rakesh Singh (Suraj Sharma) and a newcomer to their circle - journalist Cara Bloom (Violette Beane).
Fast-gaining popularity for this podcast as The Millenial Prophet, where he shares his atheist perspective with unbridled passion, Fine finds his world thrown into chaos after accepting a friend request from “God”.
He thinks someone is messing with him and is determined to get to the bottom of this poorly timed disruption in his life.
In the interim, he starts receiving friend suggestions from God, which sends him on a string of missions, one of which involved Bloom, who has since joined him on his do-gooder deeds.
Meanwhile, his reverend father Arthur (Joe Morton - viewers will remember him from The Fixer), weighed down by his son’s lack of faith, tries to salvage their relationship, with a lot of help from his sister Ali (Javicia Leslie).
"God Friended Me" offers some welcome reprieve from the proliferation of reality shows, ad nauseam, on the small screen.
It’s a feel-good series that restores faith in a society that is fast-becoming detached thanks to the tidal wave of technological disruption.
God Friended Me is on 1Magic (DStv channel 103) on Tuesdays at 8.30pm.