God Friended Me
The title gave me pause at first. In this day and age of political correctness and message of non-denominal attitudes, to have a series stamped with the G-word on it was pretty bold.
Unfortunately, that’s all the show has to offer: an eyebrow-raising title with not much substance behind it.
God Friended Me is a slice of our present world where people dropped names like SoulCycle, Google, Tinder and Trader Joes casually as a part of their lexicon. The conversations they have are ones we have often overheard. I’ll admit: filming it in New York, my stomping grounds was also a draw for me. Plus, the fact Facebook is the origin of the ‘God account’ was amusing (and makes me suspect blatant product placement). It makes everything relatable for us. Well, except for God sending Miles a friend request.
It’s within this present day stage we’re introduced to Miles Finer (Brandon Micheal Hall), an atheist podcaster who talks about—what else—the G-word and the non-existence of it. He questions and believes others should as well. While at the same time, he hopes to catch the eye of a podcast producer in Sirius.
God sent you a friend request
It looked like Sirius was indeed interested and asked for a presentation, but before Miles could fully celebrate, he gets a friend request from God. Miles regarded this request with bemusement and after a few weird incidents involving burning bushes and cloud profile pics, he finally friended God. And no sooner than he did, there was a friend recommendation of John Dove.
The trailer CBS released weeks ago pretty much showed the gist of the pilot. Miles saves Dove from jumping in front of a subway; then later he’s pointed towards Cara Bloom (Violett Beane from The Flash). The two pair up, playing amateur sleuths as coincidence after coincidence occurs.
Suggested by God
The ending was predictable: the man Miles saved in the beginning, save Cara and everyone shares a revelation and a beer at the end.
The pilot was fun, delighting in its brand name dropping and social media jokes. But while the show was cute with its on-cue tearjerker scenes and cliché ending, God Friended Me felt like it painted itself in a corner.
We’re all part of a grand design
The premise is charming, a drama that promises warm fuzzies with the occasional tissue moment in every episode. But it’s a formula that doesn’t have many options. Its name-of-the-week formula might not be enough to sustain it for long.
Ask the tough questions…
Unless the show shakes up its premise, God Friended Me could become just another show that repeats itself every week. The question on religion was brought up only sparingly in the episode, despite what its title suggests. The series is too even keel; the twist about Cara’s mother was the nurse who cared for Miles’s mother barely blipped in the episode’s pulse.
The cast is charismatic and have chemistry but is it enough to carry the series every week remains to be seen. It would depend. If the next few episodes carry on like the pilot, it’s an amusing hour of higher power versus skeptic without an orange tabby leaving a post-dated newspaper on someone’s porch. But that can only be interesting for so long. Miles and Cara have a connection that’s nice to watch progress down the road. But if the series continues with its simplified plots and breezy storytelling, God Friended Me hasn’t got a prayer.
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