Imagine, after an hour-long bedtime battle, your lovely children are all finally asleep. You wander out to the garage fridge, pour yourself some pre-made Kirkland Signature Margaritas and crash on the couch with your spouse for some much needed relaxation.
But now that you’ve finished watching every single episode of Parks and Recreation, you find yourself in serious need of a new Netflix habit.
Is there anything out there that tickles your entertainment AND Catholic fancy?
I’m glad you asked!
Charlie Cox stars in this epic series about Marvel’s visually impaired superhero. Believe it or not, there has been a lot of ink spilled across the internet about the main character’s Catholicism. There’s a constant feeling of Catholicism woven beautifully throughout this show, and even when the faith is not directly being pushed to the front and center, it remains palpable. A recent article at Slate noted “Daredevil’s Greatest Superpower Is His Catholicism” and quoted comic legend Frank Miller’s thoughts on his redefinition of this hero, “I decided he needed to be Catholic because only a Catholic could be a vigilante and an attorney at the same time.”
While Daredevil certainly has its share of intensity, violence, and everything else that helps it earn its TV-MA rating, it also focuses on the Sacrament of Confession, open and honest conversations with a priest, and an overall Catholic feel that can’t be beat.
This hilarious sitcom from Greg Garcia (My Name is Earl) makes me laugh out loud each and every time, and it isn’t a stretch to point out that this comedy about a broken family trying to find their way has a seriously pro-life message. Lucas Neff plays a immature 20-something who decides to raise his baby with the help of his parents and aging grandmother after the baby’s mother is revealed to be a serial killer sentenced to death.
While that may sound like a bit much, this show has a heart like few others. The wild antics and
often inappropriate humor are counterbalanced by the hopeful message of a family coming together and leaning on each other when life throws a wrench in everyone’s plans.
Also, Cloris Leachman as Maw Maw is just flat out hilarious.
I was first turned onto this British crime drama by Sr. Helena Burns of the media-savvy Daughters of St. Paul. Pro tip: When Sr. Helena recommends a show/movie, you should pretty much set aside time to watch and enjoy.
Broadchurch is everything quality television should be. The first episode was such a raw exploration of human emotion and suffering, I was honestly left in tears. The story centers around the murder investigation of an 11-year-old boy whose body was found on a local beach. With each episode, the mystery continues to develop beyond your wildest imagination, all the while centered on a dizzying journey of faith, anger, hopelessness, sin, shame, and reconciliation.
Fans of Doctor Who will enjoy the fact that the co-lead is masterfully played by David Tennant, while the role of the local parish priest is played by another standout from the sci-fi hit, Arthur Darvill.
While the story surrounding the priest gets a tad wonky in the second season, the beauty of the show is its intensely real portrayal of trying to figure out life amidst absolute devastation.
Everybody Loves Raymond
I realize my extreme Dad levels are showing with this pick, but Everybody Loves Raymond is just flat out funny. The ups and downs of a Catholic family struggling to live life with insane in-laws living right across the street is just perfect.
Catholics looking for an easy laugh can easily relate to the guilt-inspiring mother-in-law, the almost tedious conversations between Ray and Debra that seem to hint at their use of NFP, and the many episodes that bring in the parish priest (played by Charles Durning) to help sort out that family’s hilarious interrelational problems.
I used to make fun of my parents for being into this show, and now that I’m a parent, I finally get it.
The Princess Bride
“Sonny, true love is the greatest thing, in the world-except for a nice MLT – mutton, lettuce and tomato sandwich, where the mutton is nice and lean and the tomato is ripe. They’re so perky, I love that.”
This list wouldn’t be complete without adding in the absolute best possible movie choice available on Netflix right now.
Most of us can quote The Princess Bride word for word, and yet continue to enjoy it each and every time. True love, pirates, sword fighting, kissing; this movie has it all!
If I had to sum up my feelings about this film, I would simply say, “Have fun stormin’ da castle.”
Not sure what you’re waiting for…
Put the kids to bed early, grab some snacks, and get to work!