Monday, October 1, 2012

The Devil on Park Avenue

Last night was the premier of the second season of Revenge. It is hands down my guilty pleasure. I usually don't like soap opera style shows, but Revenge is more than just rich people sleeping around (although that's in there, too). During the commercial breaks ABC was pushing a new series called 666 Park Avenue. I thought I would give it a couple of minutes and see what it was like. I was only able to withstand 10 minutes of Revolution on NBC a few weeks ago; my suspension of disbelief was not so willing with that one!

666 Park Avenue turned out to be awesome, that is if you're watching it with a theological eye. If you want to read the full synopsis of the episode, you can do so here. Here's the really brief synopsis: it's a modern take on Mephistopheles (a devil). In the first episode the viewer learns the price for making a deal with the Devil. Gavin Doran is the successful, real estate tycoon version of Mephistopheles. Don't ask me why my disbelief will suspend for this show while it won't for others, perhaps it's because there is theological gold in this show. The pilot episode jumped into several deadly sins: pride, sloth (discouragement), lust, and wrath.

What is yet to be seen is the balancing force against the Devil. I have a few ideas of how it will play out in the show, but I can bet none of them will involve a character saying "In the name of Jesus Christ, get back, Satan!" or someone reciting the Prayer of St. Michael the Archangel. And, that is sad, because nothing human can fight the devil, only the name of Jesus Christ and the Heavenly Hosts.

Here is the problem with the messages in this show (including many movies and other shows - including my guilty pleasure): it's fine to satisfy any desire, any need and who cares about the side effects. In reality, ideas have consequences. If I lust after some guy that is not my husband, even if it's only in my thoughts, that is a doorway into serious sin. And, to be clear, I shouldn't even lust after my husband, because that reduces him to an object instead of the person God created.

There is an interesting scene where the two protagonists, a married couple, are talking after they willing agree to work and live with the Devil.  The wife asks her husband, "Henry, are we going to be okay here?"

No one is okay with Mephistopheles in their company.

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