October 3, 2011

I Love Sunday Night TV This Time Of Year

I don't make excuses. I'm a fifty year old who can't get enough of Family Guy and American Dad. I watch The Simpsons, but I could actually cut the strings if I had something better to. I can't put my finger on it, but that show has become a bit cliquish and it sort of tries to talk down to its audience in a way I just can't explain. The Cleveland Show is good, but why wouldn't it be as it is the creation of Seth MacFarlane (who is responsible for both Family Guy and American Dad for those living under a rock).

I'm not just into cartoons on Sunday nights. I discovered Boardwalk Empire over the summer, a series that is loosely based on actual happenings on the East Coast of the USA in the 1920's. It is a good replacement for The Sopranos.

And of course, my favorite non cartoon show is Dexter. Its new season kicked off last night. No disappointments.

Six shows, 4 straight hours of being in a TV zone. I'm kind of like a shark in a feeding frenzy by the time Family Guy begins at 9.

What was really neat about last night is that 3 or the 6 shows brought up atheism.

The Simpsons was first. Bart was at a National Park with Superintendent Chalmers. Chalmers told him that Teddy Roosevelt built the park. Bart replied that he alway thought God did it, and then acknowledged that Chalmers gave him a lesson in atheism, much to Chalmers embarrassment.

Next, was the most cringing reference. It came on The Cleveland Show. During a hurricane, Cleveland Jr. came out and told his family he didn't believe in God. However, when Cleveland "accused" him of being an atheism, Jr. quickly denounced that by calling atheism a religion, referring to Brian (the atheist dog on Family Guy) as preachy.

OK, so whoever wrote that part of the script yesterday is basically making a distinction that a non believer is just a non believer, but an atheist is someone who doesn't believe and makes a big deal about it. Wrong. Someone who doesn't believe in God is an atheist. End of story. The degree of militancy matters not. And atheism is not a religion unless one wants to argue that baseball is a religion too.

Bottom line: Cleveland Jr. is an atheist.

A case was made for faith by Cleveland's wife. It was sort of a why not have the crutch?

The third atheism theme appeared in Dexter. It appears that the idea of faith will be a big issue for the entire season. (Spoiler Alert)

Dexter's child is now ready for preschool. He has heard good things about a Catholic school. During the interview process, when the head nun (no her knees were not dirty) asked what faith Dexter was, she received a no for everything rattled off on her list. Dexter admitted he is a non believer. The word atheist was not mentioned. Dexter basically stated he lives his life as if there is no higher power.

Dexter has to deal with the dilemma of having to give his child the option to believe or not, so he winds up selling himself on going out of is way to get his kid into the school. Throughout the series, Dexter believes he is a monster, and now being a single parent, he wants to avoid having his kid turn into one too, though he believes the writing is already on the wall.

This years serial killers are a couple of weirdos who are looking to speed up the Apocalypse (something that could be a worry if someone like Rick Perry ever wins Presidency).

Finally, Dexter's kill of the week was a cross wearing wife killer who had a tattoo of Jesus on his chest. Dexter asked him how he could rationalize killing his wife while being a Christian, and was told that Jesus forgives, to which Dexter said that is way too easy (or something like that).

Dexter didn't buy into any of it but I think he might have his faithlessness tested this year in coming episodes.

By the way, the best laughs in the evening came during American Dad. All three Seth shows took place during a hurricane. Seth was probably hoping for some hurricane news going into this week. Unfortunately for him, not too many people care about whether Newfoundland exists or not.