Screening Belief

"Screening Belief" is dedicated to the examination of religious themes and depictions in television and film.

iZombie’s portrayal of the religious cult and its subsequent abandonment demonstrates a facet of identity politics rather than a real consideration of belief.

With the recent Netflix release of Conversations with a Killer: The Ted Bundy Tapes emerges a conversation about the way in which the celebritization of the serial killer can be seen as part of a larger societal problem.

The Sinner offers viewers a subversive approach to the traditional crime narrative through its focus on the “why,” but it ultimately endorses a status quo that avoids positive representations of non-traditional belief systems.

American Gods presents viewers with a unique portrayal of power, belief, and the relationship between worshipper and deity. But, in doing so, does it add to discussions of faith in contemporary culture, or does it merely leave viewers with a cynical outlook towards humanity and belief?

Westworld is the most recent popular series to raise questions of creation, free will, and the contention between science and religion. Can we create life that imitates humanity? Would we just be “playing God?” Does this futuristic look change anything?

Madness and religion are two enduring narrative themes. What are the consequences when they’re put together? Two recent television series are tackling just this, with variable success.

Faith is seen by many as an answer to the search for meaning. Trauma and grief challenge this, shown here in the responses to a globally traumatic event at the heart of a popular television series.