Wednesday, July 12, 2006

TV in the 70s

This morning while I was attempting to regain consciousness while eating my bowl of oatmeal (in Vox Homeris, "Ummmm Oatmeal...) I remembered a truly wretched sitcom from the mid 70s about a priest and a nun running an inner city counseling center. Called, In the Beginning, it featured Maclean Stevenson as a conservative priest who is teamed with a liberal nun. Can't you just feel the laughs coming. It didn't last long. All I can really remember is that it wasn't funny and the nun was in favor of artificial birth control.

The only other regular portrayal of a priest that comes to mind is Father Francis Mulcahey from MASH. In thinking about him, he seemed more like just a generic minister. I don't ever remember him saying Mass.

There were two shows that I remember dealing with anti-Catholicism. On the Waltons, a young relative of the Baldwin sisters came to visit. She happened to be Catholic, much to the disgust of the storekeeper's bigoted wife. One of the boys ended up falling in love with her, but she went off to become a nun. It seemed very respectful to me. The other was a short lived series about immigrants in the old west. One episode had a Protestant regular working for a Franciscan missionary. The topic of prejudice against the priest was dealt with.

At least then, there were positive portrayals of the Church and clergy. The only one that I can remember recently was on The Simpsons last year. Most of the time I see a priest on lets say Law and Order, I think, "Oh no, another molestation episode." And most of the time I am right.
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