I recently found a show on Netflix that I found especially intriguing called “It Takes a Church.” I haven’t watched the entire season yet but I’m about 5 episodes in. It’s light-hearted inspirational reality TV. In each episode a single woman is identified by church members and the pastor as a great wife candidate. Church members band together and bring in bachelors who they think would be a good fit for said single woman. She is surprised in a church service by the show’s host and proceeds to tell the congregation about her dating life and why she is single after being prompted by the show’s host. The church votes and picks 4 bachelors for her to get to know better and at the end of the episode she picks one bachelor to (hopefully) pursue a relationship with. The show is interesting from a social psychology point of view as you witness the bachelors vie for the attention of the woman but very conservatively since it’s also in a church setting. I have to admit that so far in the episodes I’ve watched, there have been plenty of cringe-worthy moments as I’ve watched the guys try to veggie-flirt without crossing an invisible line. But let’s be honest, in many churches women outnumber the men so I can see the logic behind the show. But it just seems to awkward to have (practically) strangers give their input on your personal life and make a recommendation for a life partner. While there’s no question as to whether or not these people have good intentions, it reminds me of a quote that advises that the road to hell is paved with good intentions. While it hasn’t been my reality in a while, I can honestly say that being single in church settings sucks the majority of the time. It’s awkward to express interest in someone else and mixed messages are common. You are promised a significant other if you can “keep the faith,” make multiple donations to the church and volunteer your time at church related functions and activities. It’s not always the best environment to find a significant other. I can understand the need for an alternative to online dating but I’m not quite convinced that having church members pick your mate is it.
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So I just had the chance to watch the first episode of this new series on ABC. I will say that the name of the show was somewhat disturbing to me but after watching an episode, I better understood the rationale behind it. I’m not a super big TV watcher but this one intrigued me. Without giving away any super huge spoilers I wil say that this show addresses many of the challenges that comes along with being black in a very professional, corporate, and majority European American environment. Many times in these situations, you end up being a scapegoat for the entire race. I’ve been in situations where I was asked for the black perspective. Honestly, to this day I have no idea what exactly that is. This show is a depiction of the challenges of being black but not fitting into the neat little box of stereotypes that people envision you to be. The challenges of going against the status quo while not leaving your people behind. Playing the line between being relatable and competent while not losing your credibility with those who look like you is really hard. That’s one of the reasons why I really like the honesty in this show so far. There’s not an exact science to it and you can’t please everyone.