From films like “Oh, God” to “Bruce Almighty” and their sequels to TV shows such as “Touched by an Angel” to “Joan of Arcadia” to “Saving Grace” to the recently canceled “Kevin (Probably) Saves the World” the idea that someone is called by God to do special things in the world has pretty much been done in film and TV for many years. CBS’s new comedy/drama “God Friended Me” attempts to update the genre to the social media era we currently live in. I’m not sure there’s much left to explore in this premise.
I liked Joan, Grace, and Kevin but not because I was inspired by the idea that God or angels or other supernatural beings were encouraging them to make a difference in someone’s life. And as a person who considers himself a man of faith I’m not turned off by the religious theme. But I’ve only washed these shows because the characters were compelling and the scenarios were interesting or humorous apart from the godly guidance aspect of the shows.
Unfortunately I can’t say the same for “God Friended Me”. Our hero Miles Finer is an atheist podcaster who is this son of a preacher. He lost his faith when his mother was cured of cancer (thanks to his prayers) but then was soon after killed in a car accident. He is played by Brandon Michael Hall. While trying to promote his podcast promoting the idea that there is no God, he receives a Facebook friend request from none other than God. After declining the request several times he finally accepts it and gets a friend suggestion from God for a man named John Dove. He then immediately bumps into him on the street. Out of curiosity he follows him into the subway and ends up saving him from killing himself when John attempts to jump in front of the train.
Thinking that the whole thing is a hoax he turns to his friend Rakesh to help him track down this bogus “God” account. Meanwhile another friend suggestion from God leads him to a reporter named Cara Bloom played by Violett Beane. She is most noted for her role as Jesse Wells speedster resident of Earth-2 on “The Flash“. Together they try to explore who is pulling this presumed hoax on him. Along the way they uncover secrets to her past that connect the two of them.
There is nothing inspired or original about the entire experience. If you have seen any of these other similar shows then the story is totally predictable. There is a sort of heartwarming conclusion to everything as you might expect including his reconciliation with his estranged preacher father played by Joe Morton. Morton most recently played bad guy Rowen “Command” Pope on “Scandal“. It’s uncertain whether or not he will be a major character in the show or not but on the surface it looks like a waste of his talents compared to the meaty part he had in “Scandal”.
With the cancellation of “Kevin (Probably) Saves the World” after one season if you are hankering for this particular genre I suppose it might appeal to you. But somehow this one just doesn’t do it for me. Out of deference to people who might like it I will give it a “Could Be Watchable” but overall for me it’s a “Skip It“.