Duty and Desire in The Crown

There is a complexity of ideas at play beneath the authentic scenery and elegant costumes of the new Netflix series The Crown. This tactful English drama set in post-war Britain centers on the rise and reign of Queen Elizabeth II (Claire Foy). The camerawork and creative writing take us into the hidden realities of relationships between monarchy and family, monarchy and parliament, and monarchy and church. At the heart of it all is the interplay of duty and desire.

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The CAPC Digest: Embracing the Supernatural in Stranger Things

I recently made my podcast debut with Christ and Pop Culture. I’m with Tyler Burns and Drew Dixon discussing my recent article on CAPC. Honestly, this was my first podcast experience and I was nervous, but also excited to share and discuss some important truths, while talking about the Netflix series Stranger Things. Here is the blurb about the podcast episode:

The supernatural side of the Christian faith is often times overlooked in favor of rational thought by conservative evangelical culture. The idea of a unexplainable supernatural occurrence can be scary and it was the reason Drew and Tyler chat with Liz Wann about her recent article “Stranger Things and Our Quest for the Extraordinary in the Ordinary.” The duo return from vacation to discuss what Christians can learn from the new show Stranger Things and the importance of acknowledging the reality of the supernatural around us and in Scripture.

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Stranger Things and Our Quest for the Extraordinary in the Ordinary

My husband and I enjoyed the first season of this new show on Netflix. Here is a review of the show with a theological angle. 


***This article contains spoilers for the first season of the Netflix series Stranger Things.***

The Merriam-Webster Dictionary defines “strange” as “different from what is usual, normal, or expected.” The relatively new filmmakers the Duffer Brothers pulled off the unexpected by casting four middle-school-age boys as the central characters in an adult-targeted TV show. Television networks told the brothers it wouldn’t work unless they targeted the show at kids or made the two leading adult actors the main characters. They were rejected fifteen to twenty times, with one TV exec telling them, “You either gotta make it into a kids show or make it about this Hopper [detective] character investigating paranormal activity around town.” But the brothers were loyal to their own creative instincts. Matt Duffer responded by saying that if they were to follow this advice, “[t]hen we lose everything interesting about the show,” and they sought out instant streaming networks instead. The loyalty to the script for their horror/science fiction series, Stranger Things, paid off. According to Parrot Analytics, the Duffer Brothers’ Netflix summer hit was the most popular digital original series in the U.S. for the week of July 17 to 23. What TV execs perceived as strange in the Duffer Brothers choice of main characters became normal as the new Netflix series spread through Facebook and Twitter feeds.

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