Confession: T and I both recently realized that we prefer binging on a program rather than watching one episode per week.
Evidence: Defending Jacob, Bosch (Season 6) and, Truth Be Told.
Terrific T and I started watching Apple TV‘s original show Defending Jacob about a month ago when it first came out in April. Every Friday, Apple TV releases a new episode.
Before discovering Defending Jacob, we had just completed a binge on the Amazon original Bosch. After anticipating its release for nearly a year, we devoured the entire series in one weekend. Honestly, it probably didn’t take us all weekend to watch the entire show. Feeding our need for binging, we started watching Truth Be Told.
Produced by the subscription video-on-demand web television service AppleTV+, Defending Jacob is an American crime drama miniseries based on the 2012 book of the same name written by William Landay. Defending Jacob is Landay’s third crime novel.
Defending Jacob focuses on the haunting story of the Barber family as they grapple with the accusation that their 14-year-old son, Jacob, could possibly be a murderer.
Premiering amid the COVID-19 pandemic on April 24, 2020, the series, created and written by Mark Bomback and directed by Morten Tyldum, stars Chris Evans, Michelle Dockery, Jaeden Martell, J.K. Simmons, Cherry Jones, Pablo Schreiber, Betty Gabriel, and Sakina Jaffrey.
Jacob is played by Jaeden Martell, who does an excellent job portraying a conflicted and confused fourteen-year-old teenager. Chris Evans (Captain America) and Michelle Dockery (Downton Abbey) act superbly in their roles as Jacob’s parents, Andy and Laurie.
Andy’s father is played by J.K. Simmons, who has grown to be one of my favorite actors–maybe its the hairstyle–since first seeing him in the TV series The Closer. Since then, Simmons has portrayed several excellent characters in notable shows. He also plays Professor Nathaniel Burke of the University of Farmers in the funny Farmers Insurance Group commercials and is the voice for the yellow M&M.
The crime drama is tense, albeit slow-moving, with ample twists and turns. The Barber family lives are turned upside down with the accusation that young Jacob killed one of his fellow classmates. It remains to be seen if the end destination is worth the journey, but Terrific T and I are enjoying the series so far. But we came to the realization, as we have been watching it week to week, that we much prefer being able to sit down and binge a show than drawing it out for months and months.
Bosch continues to be one of our regular favorite series to watch. Based on the novels by Michael Connelly, the Amazon TV series was created by Eric Ellis Overmyer and stars Titus Welliver in the title role of Harry Bosch. Harry Bosch is a Los Angeles Police homicide detective who works on solving murders in his city. The series also features Jamie Hector, Amy Aquino, Lance Reddick.
Truth Be Told
Terrific T and I’s current binge-worthy drama is a show on AppletV+ called Truth Be Told, about true-crime podcaster trying to resolve the mystery surrounding a family patriarch’s death. The show features Octavia Spencer and Aaron Paul in the lead roles. It is based on the Kathleen Barber novel “Are You Sleeping.” The show highlights the difference between white and black culture and the deep racial tensions that exist as true crime podcaster Poppy Parnell (Octavia Spencer) re-investigates the case of a convicted killer she helped put away. The program is taunting and tense, featuring intriguing characters. The actors portray their roles well and are highly believable.
In addition to entertaining us, Truth Be Told introduced us to a line of work that we didn’t know existed–the death doula.
What is a Death Doula?
I am glad you asked…
Like a birth midwife helps individuals bring life into the world, death doulas help people at the end of their life. Doulas walk with the dying person and their family, helping them navigate the entire end-of-life process. This is a fairly new option available for dying people and their families, but one that has seen a rise in demand over the last several years. Doulas empower families in caring for their dying loved one and journey with them through the grieving process. Death isn’t an ideal situation for anyone. Having someone guide dying individuals and their families through the painstaking process of dying from a terminal illness relieves stress and eases the burden of family members. Doulas provide psychological and emotional support during the end of life journey. To be clear, they do not aid or accelerate the dying process but act in serving others, ensuring that no person need die alone.
Businesses Are Dying
Last week saw an uptick in stories about businesses that would not reopen post-COVID-19. First, the Lizard Lounge and then Highland Park Cafeteria announced they would not reopen. Wolfgang Puck’s 560 is done, having announced their plans to close permanently two weeks ago. The COVID-19 crisis has been tough on business, resulting in the permanent closure of local Dallas-Fort Worth institutions. Worldwide, the number of businesses that will not reopen after COVID-19 will skyrocket in the coming weeks as this virus threatens to be even harder on the lives it leaves uncertain and unsettled in its wake.
It’s hard to remember that our area got hit by several tornadoes last October 2019 and that there were businesses still trying to get back on their feet from that mess before many of us knew that coronavirus wasn’t a result of drinking too much Mexican beer. And then along comes COVID-19. The virus not only hit hard physically and socially, but it unleashed a series of devastating economic blows halting an unprecedented economic boom dead in its tracks.
Yes, Johnny, the world will reopen. Yes, we will get past this deadly, devastating virus that has turned life as we once knew it upside down. However, the landscape will look different as we venture onward as we uncover the hills and valleys along our new terrain.
The impact of COVID-19 reaches far beyond the growing death toll. It has a profoundly human effect unlike any that I have seen in my life. In and of themselves, these are results we’ve seen before, but not assembled together lining up to unsettle all facets of our lives.
“Craziness scares us because we are creatures who long for structure and sense…” Esmé Wang
This is a virus that not only kills us physically, but threatens us mentally, emotionally, economically, and spiritually. As a result of COVID-19, there are people whose dreams are vanquished to the junk pile of unrealized expectations. There will be marriages that crumble and families that won’t look the same in the COVID-19 aftermath. There will be those who, feeling like they’ve done all they can do, will check out mentally, emotionally, and physically. Totally spent and completely broken, they’ll simply say “Sayonara.”
It is in this sphere that chaplain work will come into play in the lives of the people I shepherd. There will be grieving, mourning, and even gnashing of teeth. People will be struggling, looking for someone to walk alongside them on this difficult journey. As chaplains, that’s what we do. As a workplace chaplain, I spend time developing relationships with others so that when they find themselves in a place of hurt or desperate need, they have someone they can lean on.
I guess that’s what struck a chord with me as I first learned about the death doulas. In a world increasingly more connected, we are more divided and alone than we were before any of us had ever heard of virtual meeting rooms and platforms like Zoom. The familiar places we visit collectively and the shows we binge on together afford us a sense of connectivity. God created us to be social beings, recognizing early on that it’s not good to be alone.
Father God, help us not be isolated as we distance from one another during this pandemic. Encourage those who are hurting as a result of COVID-19. Give us the wisdom to use the necessary precautions as we slowly get back to life after the standstill COVID-19 brought. We pray for the business owners who are struggling and fighting to stay afloat. We pray for the workers who need jobs. We lift up to you each and every person suffering from the consequences of the coronavirus, be it health, emotional, mental, physical, or spiritual pain that they are experiencing. In Jesus’ Name. Amen.
- Have you ever thought about the ways we can help people who are dying alone?
- Do you know of a local iconic establishment that is closing for good after COVID-19?
- In what ways do you see people struggling from the impact of COVID-19?
- Whose life can you positively impact today?
Today is May 18. Our niece Natalie would have turned 31 today. She’s not physically here to celebrate her birthday with us. While we walk in the assurance and with the abundant joy of knowing that she’s in Heaven dancing in the presence of God, those she left behind still miss her. We’re grateful for the short time we got to spend with her and look forward to that day when we will all be reunited.
In addition to making a guest appearance on Kathryn McClatchy’s “Unleashing the Next Chapter” later this week, it appears I have been nominated for two blogging awards which I will share more about in my next post. Until then, may your week be filled with blessings and joy. I pray that you will see something positive and remarkable happen in your life today. That’s it for now.
The Devotional Guy™
ABOUT: The Devotional Guy™ is a writing ministry of Rainer Bantau, a seasoned gospel preacher, church musician, and chaplain ministering to individuals in their workplaces, to the homeless, and wherever he meets them. He shares helps, hope, and insights on his blog, The Devotional Guy™.
Wang, Esmé Weijun. (2019). The Collected Schizophrenias. Graywolf Press. Minneapolis, Minnesota.
I believe that to experience life the way God intended, you and I must receive God’s gift of salvation through Jesus Christ. Through Jesus Christ, God has made this gift available to all who ask.
“Everyone who calls on the name of the Lord will be saved.”
Will you personally receive the gift of eternal life so that you can experience the total forgiveness from your sins that come through believing in the atoning death, burial, and resurrection of Jesus Christ?
“For it is by grace you have been saved, through faith-and this is not from yourselves, it is the gift of God- not by works, so that no one can boast.”