The mission of Good Faith Media is to provide “reflection and resources at the intersection of faith and culture through an inclusive Christian lens.” Our mission leans into the belief that we can find the fingerprints of God wherever we look, as well as in those places where we don’t often think to look. This encompasses artistic realms where discerning creators grapple with profound questions about humanity’s purpose, the essence of love and the search for hope and healing, among many others.
With 2023 coming to a close, we asked our team of writers, editors and contributing correspondents to reflect on the television series and episodes they found especially meaningful this year. The following is a list of their selections.
“The Bear” (FX/Hulu)
There are moments in “Honeydew,” the fourth episode of season 2 of “The Bear,” where it feels like the tenor of the series is about to change. Marcus, the pastry chef, spends time in Copenhagen for an internship with Chef Luca, played by Will Poulter. These scenes are slow, deliberate and peaceful. It is a far cry from the frenetic chaos back in Chicago, giving the viewer some moments to breathe and imagine a more serene story. Those hopes are shattered in “Fishes,” the sixth episode, which left fans of the series clenching their jaws and grabbing their chests with brilliant guest appearances by Jamie Lee Curtis, Bob Odenkirk and John Mulaney at the Italian Christmas table. In typical fashion, the final scene of the season snatches despair out of the fire of hope, making us wonder, “Why do we keep watching this?” and “When will the next season air?” – CN
Reservation Dogs, Season 3, Episode 3, “Deer Lady” (FX/Hulu)
Muscogee (Creek) writer, producer and director Sterlin Harjo and his creative partner, Taika Waititi, created one of the most critical television episodes ever to grace American screens. Season 3, Episode 3 of FX’s Reservation Dogs is titled “Deer Lady,” depicting the evils of Native American boarding schools that flourished across North America.
Harjo and Waititi revealed the presence of human monsters conducting evil acts in the name of Jesus. The abuses of the boarding schools are well documented – even among my own family – but Reservation Dogs provides a television experience depicting the real carnage the school has upon Indigenous children.
The “Deer Lady” character, who had been a resident of the boarding schools, reveals the atrocities performed by clergy and leaders. These were horrors funded by the United States federal government in an attempt to fulfill their mission of “saving the man by killing the Indian.” Punishments at these institutions included beatings for speaking native languages and failing to be “good Christians.”
Harjo and Waitit give a glimpse into one of the darkest periods of the American experience. Every citizen of the United States should watch the series, particularly this episode. America is a great country, but that greatness has been achieved through brutal and evil means. When will justice be offered to those people and families affected by America’s ascent? – MR
Doctor Who 60th anniversary, Episode 2, “Wild Blue Yonder” (Disney+)
In the second episode of this iconic series, Donna (Catherine Tate) and the Doctor (David Tennant) crash onto an alien spaceship at the end of the universe. The Tardis, their only way home, disappears due to perceived danger.
Throughout the episode, viewers experience an uncomfortable eeriness of the unknown, drawing to mind the anxiety of horror films. When the threat finally appears, Donna and the Doctor come face-to-face with monsters who are exact duplicates of themselves. These monsters desire to replace the originals, creating chaos across the stars.
From beginning to end, the plot makes viewers question their understanding of evil. If evil can look exactly like yourself, what else does it look like? What can these monsters do? – DM
Ted Lasso Season 3 (Apple TV)
Sure, the final season of the Ted Lasso juggernaut had some well-documented missteps. Notably, the “redemption of Nate” (that some fans would always reject) could have taken more time to develop, precious time that was eaten up by the unnecessary Keely-Jack storyline. Regardless, the series ended on a high note.
Critics have lauded “Schitt’s Creek” as a series that imagined a world without “-phobias,” particularly homophobia. Ted Lasso attempted a slightly different angle, imagining a world with all the hate and fear pervasive in our own, but in which people do all the emotional and relational work necessary to overcome them. The result is a world with more expansive tables and heightened curiosity and wonder. – CN
Delaney Metcalf, intern and Good Faith Media contributor
Craig Nash, senior editor
Mitch Randall, chief executive officer
Reflection and resources at the intersection of faith and culture through an inclusive Christian lens.