This is Pastor Tim’s article which appeared in the Evening Leader on Tuesday, Sept 19, 2023
A couple of nights ago, Susan suggested that she and I watch something on Netflix. I said, “Okay,” so we scrolled down through some options, and I didn’t realize that Netflix produces its own series. It’s like a TV series, similar to what we used to have, but you can watch a whole season of the show on Netflix. I was intrigued, so we picked one that looked interesting and started watching it. I won’t disclose the series’ name because I’m not recommending it to you, but I do want to share two general observations about what we watched.
First, working in a church, it’s no surprise that I’m in an environment where we don’t use profanity very often. I’m not saying it never happens because, in order to do my job, I have to drive a car and use technology, which occasionally requires profanity. However, I’m not as immersed in “colorful metaphors” as your average person.
But the series we were watching used so much profanity that I had a hard time following what the characters were saying. Apparently, the F-bomb can be used in various scenarios, and it can mean different things. It can be a noun, verb, adjective, adverb, or even a gerund. I’ll be honest with you; after about 10 minutes of that, my inner junior high kid came out, and I couldn’t stop laughing about it. Look, I spent years playing football, so I’ve heard bad language and been around it for a long time. I’m not being a prude here; it just made the whole thing sound ridiculous because every time something intense was supposed to happen, the characters were yelling profanities at each other instead of, well, trying to resolve the situation. Maybe this was supposed to be a comedy, but it didn’t come across that way.
The plot was interesting, focusing on a conspiracy where two people try to figure out whom to trust. The actors were pretty good, except I kept envisioning the director standing there with a bullhorn screaming, “Cut! You dropped too many F-bombs. Let’s take it from the top.” I’m sure there are people who talk this way, but they don’t make for intelligent-sounding characters in your show.
However, that criticism is minor compared to the other problem I had. About halfway through the third episode, I turned to Susan and said, “I hate all of the women in this show.” I found myself actively rooting for the assassin trying to kill them because they were so irritating. They were rude and condescending to everyone, and they were never wrong. In this show, an FBI agent ended up with a female computer hacker in his care, with killers hot on their trail. Immediately, and I mean from the very first moment, she started telling him what to do, and all he did was drop his head and agree with her. I understand he wasn’t going to become a superhero, but how would he be any less qualified than a computer hacker at knowing what trained assassins do?
Then they introduced a second FBI agent who was female, and all she did was belittle her superior officer and a second man who was placed on her detail. She was snarky and completely unlikable. Even the assassin who was after the two protagonists had a woman with him, and she was certifiably insane. All the male assassin did was look at her and admit she was right all the time.
Look, I have no problem with powerful women in movies. I loved the original “Alien” with one of the greatest heroes of all time, Ripley, played by Sigourney Weaver, and I loved Princess Leia in “Star Wars.” She could go toe to toe with Han Solo and Luke Skywalker, but they stood up to her too. In these new shows, there is none of that. Every woman is portrayed as a boss, and every man is depicted as stupid.
Honestly, I plan to watch the rest of the series we started because I’m rooting for the assassin. Netflix appreciates my patronage, I’m sure, but I don’t think that’s why they wanted me to watch. My advice to Hollywood: learn how to write dialogue and create likable female characters in your stories. Right now, you’re failing at both. For more evidence of what I’m talking about, Google the new Snow White reboot.