CBS has their new show called God Friended Me, and if you think it is like Facebook giving you past memories in your feed, you might not be that far off. Joan of Arcadia tried it with Amber Tamblyn back in 2003 and she kicked ass for a whopping two seasons. And then got cancelled.
Last year, they tried to up the comedy with Jason Ritter (yep, John Ritter’s son and oddly enough, also an alumni of Joan of Arcadia where he played the brother) in Kevin (Probably) Saves the World. It was a bit more Touched By An Angel than the hinted worlds of Arcadia, but it wasn’t enough to find an audience.
So CBS is trying with God Friended Me, where a podcaster who talks about science and that God doesn’t exist, gets a friend request on FB from, you guessed it, an account named God. He ignores it, of course. No need to be punked. Then it shows up again. And again. And then he sees a burning bush. And he ignores it again. Then finally he says Confirm just to see what’s going on and God immediately sends him a friend suggestion. Of a guy who he literally bumps into 3 seconds later who is having a bad day, and podcaster boy ends up *spoiler alert* saving the guy’s life from jumping in front of a subway. Wow, mind blown, right?
Nope, he thinks he’s being punked. Next name suggested is a woman named Cara Bloom, he tracks her down, finds out she’s a reporter for an online magazine, and finally confronts her to see what the deal is with the fake account. Except she knows nothing about his deal, nor does she want to…he’s acting a bit crazy.
Eventually, they get interacting, work together, find out there’s some weird family connection from 15 years before (his mom had her mom as a nurse) and bob’s your uncle, they work together to help her meet her long-absent mother. When it doesn’t go well, Cara runs away, gets hit by a car, and mind blown, she’s saved by the guy that the podcaster saved from the subway. Say what?
Yep, it sounds like a really weird loop. And yet, somehow, some way, it works. I fully predicted CANCELLATION, and I’m going to go with that anyway. I just don’t know if there’s a market for the show’s premise. Which is a shame. Because whether it was “fate” in Early Edition, or Seven Days using time travel to fix things, or God handing out tips in Arcadia or to Kevin, it creates a nice “help someone each week” storyline. A bit lighter than most things out there, and that’s not a bad thing for a change of pace.
So I’m going to watch. Whether it lasts or not, and I suspect it won’t. But in the meantime, I’ll enjoy the cast. Brandon Michael Hall who was terrible in last year’s really terrible The Mayor as the podcaster…Violett Beane as the reporter, looking even better than she did as Jesse Quick on Flash and much more meat for her to work with…and Joe Morton as the Reverend who is the podcaster’s father (ironic, right?). I liked Morton on Eureka, way back on Smallville, and dozens of weekly roles on other shows over the years. He’s awesome as the dad, partly because he has instant presence when you see him.
I’ll be watching. I just won’t be too surprised when it’s cancelled.