Spiritual and transformational entertainment is an emerging genre in both television and cinema. For example, Eli Stone:, a comedy-drama television show about a lawyer who may be a prophit recently debuted on ABC. The episode is about Eli defending a mother in a lawsuit against a vaccine manufacturer, who is represented by Eli’s own company, while Eli tries to make sense of his visions of George Michaels singing “faith”. Eli questions these visions and believes they may simply be hallucinations caused by his brain aneurism. Later in the episode, Eli meets with Dr. Chen, an acupuncturist who puts on a fake Chinese accent to sound more authentic. Dr. Chen tells Eli that there is a divine and scientific explanation for everything. He then suggests that Eli may be a prophet.
Without being preachy and remaining true to its comedic tone, this televsion show asks a very spiritual question: Am I worthy enough to receive spiritual guidance? Eli questions why God would want anything to do with someone like him, a lawyer who worships Armani suits and works for a law firm that protects big corporate interests. Eli also questions whether he actually believes in God. Additionally, Eli never asked to receive any guidance. George Michaels simply shows up on his coffee table singing “you gotta have faith”.
This show has received good reviews from critics and will likely remain on air. It is funny and thought-provoking without taking itself too seriously. During a strike fillled with reruns and reality shows, it is refreshing to see a well done comedy-drama that is providing new episodes. It aires Thursday nights at 10:00 PM on ABC.