My Review of the Netflix Documentary “The Family”

The FamilyMy review is online today at The Washington Post.  Here is a taste:

Historians of American Christianity were hard at work trying to convince academics and the general public that evangelicalism was a religious movement, not a cover for a nefarious attempt to create a 17th century Puritan theocracy. The efforts of these historians, of course, did not come easy during the Age of Reagan, the Moral Majority and the so-called culture wars. Sharlet’s book didn’t help the cause.

But much has changed in the past decade. In fact, Moss and Sharlet’s documentary, which devotes the bulk of its coverage to developments in “The Family” after 2010, is quite timely. The Christian Right has found renewed energy since President Trump’s election. Christian nationalism, the idea that the U.S. was founded as a Christian nation and needs to return to its religious roots, is on the rise. Many pundits and scholars wonder if the evangelical movement can be separated from the agenda of the Republican Party.

It’s time to examine Sharlet’s work (and now Moss’ work) with fresh eyes and for this reason alone, “The Family” is must viewing.

Read the entire review here.

This Explains a Lot

A taste from this piece at Quartz:

The human race has collectively spent a perplexing amount of time watching Adam Sandler on Netflix.

Together, Netflix’s 99 million users worldwide have devoted more than half a billion hours of their lives to Adam Sandler’s lowbrow humor since the December 2015 debut of The Ridiculous 6, Netflix’s first original film featuring the US comedian, the company said yesterday. Never mind that his recent projects have bombed in theaters and been torn apart by critics.

Five hundred million hours may not sound extraordinary compared to the 1 billion hours of YouTube people watch per day. But it equates to about three movies for each Netflix subscriber—or, an astonishing 57,000 years worth of continuous viewing.

Actually, I have watched The WaterboyHappy Gilmore40 First Dates, and Billy Madison more than I care to admit.