Sunday, November 9, 2014

Christian Pop Culture Characters

I was trying to cipher the numbers on something.

How many openly homosexual characters are on your major tv shows and movies these days?

How many openly Christian characters are in the same?

And let's add that said characters as such are shown in a positive light rather than as straw men or caricatures.

I'm not sure of the exact ratios, but on first blush, the closet for Christians seems way more crowded.


Jack said...

Running through my DVR:

--the lead characters of Sleepy Hollow all appear to be Christian and routinely talk about the Bible and the End of Days. At a minimum the Mills sisters, Ichabod, and Katerina are Christian. There isn't a gay major character -- a gay couple was observed in a diner a couple episodes back.

--Gotham has implied at a minimum that Bruce is Christian (the funeral service was religious.) It would be surprising if some of the mobsters weren't Catholic but I don't think it's been mentioned or alluded to. Gotham also features an openly gay character (Renee Montoya) and a bisexual character (Kathy Kean).

--Jane the Virgin has a gay character (the doctor) and several Catholic characters, including the grandmother who is almost comically devout, but portrayed as a good person.

--I don't think religious affiliation has come up on The Flash or Selfie. There aren't major gay characters on either show.

--The Mindy Project has Danny Castellano, a positive portrayal of a serious Catholic (albeit a divorced one who engaged in premarital sex -- and attends weekly Mass and regular confession.) Other members of his family are Catholic including his gay younger brother (two appearances, IIRC). There are no major gay characters, though there's also a recurring lesbian couple. I'm not sure if other characters on the show are Christian, other than the liberal Protestant minister Mindy dated in an earlier season (very positive character).

--I don't think Arrow has any major character who has expressed sincere religious sentiment. Sarah Lance and Nyssa al Ghul had a relationship and the show seems to imply that Nyssa is gay and Sarah bisexual.

--black-ish hasn't addressed religion, but I suspect that main family is in fact Christian. There isn't a main character who's gay.

--The Vampire Diaries has not had religious characters other than in the vague, tv-friendly context of "demon hunters" and that sort of thing. It's had its share of gay or bisexual characters although the leads are resolutely straight.

--Constantine seems kind of Christian-y, hanging out with angels and using prayers to fight demons, but I think we know it's more complicated than that.

--Brooklyn Nine-Nine has a gay lead. I don't know if anyone on the show is expressly Christian, though one would infer that a Cuban-American character who is one of 8 kids is at least a lapsed Catholic.

Conclusion: if you're Christian, and a positive character, you're probably an ethnic group that's associated with Christianity, or your religion is only mentioned at weddings and funerals. A large exception exists for historical pieces or shows expressly about the supernatural using Christian demonology and/or the Book of Revelations.

Philip said...

Well said. Christianity has been forced into a closet.

I'm interested to hear your take on Cardinal Burke's reassignment.

Throwback said...

You obviously watch way more tv than I! Thank you for your analysis. This is exactly the kind of rundown that I was hoping to see.

Email me if you'd like to discuss the issue of Cardinal Burke.