I wouldn’t normally write about this, except that it’s become so exceedingly rare and unusual. Especially with shows primarily built on sex and irreverence. But The CW’s Crazy Ex-Girlfriend had a scene this week, in an episode titled ‘That Text Was Not Meant for Josh!’ involving a priest and religion. And it actually went…well.
With her best friend out scouring the town, trying to win the affections of her crush from junior high (amazingly, it’s the plot of the entire show), Paula (Donna Lynne Champlin) and her husband go to a priest for marriage counseling. Except this priest is no normal priest:
Scott: So Paula came home a couple weeks ago-- I remember she was all dressed up-- and said she was unhappy, uh... Dude...
Father Brah: Sorry, man. My aim's really off today. Please continue, Scott.
Scott: I thought maybe we should talk to someone. Uh, but not a shrink. We're from Buffalo. We don't like the touchy-feely stuff.
Father Brah: And you, Paula? You still feeling unhappy?
Paula: Look, Scott and I understand each other. And that's enough. So I-I don't want to rock the boat. You know, we rock the boat and then we'll just... We'll flip the whole thing.
Father Brah: Paula, if you don't deal with your unhappiness, problems only grow. At that point, forget about flipping the boat, you're putting a hole right in the boat. That's classic self-sabotage.
Scott: Babe, we're sinking. Let's do whatever he says. What should we do, Mr. Brah?
Father Brah: Please, Mr. Brah was my father. I'm Father Brah. And I'm just going to give you some simple homework. Go home. Have dinner, alone, just the two of you. Look into each other's eyes and really connect with each other. Can you do that? For me? And for God?
Paula: Wow, you do that? You pull the God card that easy?
Father Brah: I'm a priest, Paula. What other cards you think I got? Scott, Paula... Be the boat, not the hole. Nobody likes a hole. Everybody likes a swoosh! It's really off today. What up, God?
So, that was a portrayal of religion that wasn’t awful at all right? First, just the fact that they went to a priest at all. But then, after giving sound advice, the subject of God comes up. A joke is made, it’s done respectively, we all laugh, and it’s back to shooting door hoops.
Again, nothing that’s likely to lead to a church-wide 21st century Reformation. Just an example of a show that took an opportunity to work in religion, albeit in a small way, without trashing faith and all who believe.
Crazy, I know.