There was a lot of skepticism about the new CBS sitcom “Living Biblically,” which premiered last night. Christians braced for yet another show that would mock their beliefs, while some held out hope for a more positive tone and approach.
The premiere brought in a “solid” 5 million viewers, according to The Hollywood Reporter. While the ratings were respectable, the reviews ran the spectrum.
The show is based on A. J. Jacobs’s book The Year of Living Biblically, a 2007 bestseller that recalled the author’s experiences of engaging with religious communities and their attempts to follow Biblical values in our a modern world.
IMBD outlines the plot for the Pilot episode:
“After losing his best friend and learning that his wife is pregnant, film critic Chip Curry embarks on a spiritual journey to start living a better, more moral life. While searching for answers, he turns to the Bible and comes to the decision to try living in accordance with its pages. When he quickly discovers that it may be harder to achieve in today’s world than he initially believed, he and his wife assemble a ‘God Squad’ to help him out along the way.”
Perhaps somewhat surprisingly, the comedy seems to make an effort to portray believers in a fair and honest light.”Living Biblically makes an effort to bring up broader ethical teachings from Scripture—not just concepts pulled from Levitical obscurity—which could have wide appeal if the setups weren’t so flat,” commented Alicia Cohn at Christianity Today.
“Take the entirely preventable dilemma when Chip struggles to buy tickets for an important anniversary date because he can’t buy them through his phone (which he’s avoiding as he would an idol). I’d like to think that attempting to integrate biblical principles into real life doesn’t make me this stupid.”