During my house arrest I have been watching the full box set collection of the US series Touched by An Angel, lent to me by a church friend. I had never seen this series before. It ran for what seems like a million years from 1994 until the early 2000s.
I must admit when I first started watching it I thought, “Yikes, this is mawkish” but with lack of anything else to do I stuck with it. It has moved me and it does deliver what seem to be healthy messages about God and faith. There’s nothing about vengeance or small-mindedness here.
Basically, three angels – Monica, a case worker angel, Tess, her supervisor, and Andrew, the Angel of Death – help people with various challenges or situations. There is no stone unturned (except homosexuality, as far as I can see. The programme makers must have balked at that one…) when it comes to problems and issues – alcoholism, drug addiction, cults, pride, greed, AIDS, we’ve had ’em all.
It started out low budget but as the series became more popular it was able to garner more glamorous locations, explosions and famous stars. We had Maya Angelou and Natalie Cole in the AIDS episode and Kirk Douglas in the brain tumour tale.
However, it has caused me to laugh at times – at things they don’t want you to laugh at. The Angel of Death has to assume a suitably lugubrious expression: hard to do when you are riding on a cable car in the snowy mountains. And the angels have to take on every job imaginable, which, of course, God ensures they can do effortlessly. So we have had Military Monica, Journalist Monica, Doctor Monica, Monica the Cop, Monica in the Mountains…
Every episode features The Great Reveal: “I am an angel, sent from God. And he wants you to know that he loves you so very much.”
By episode 100,072 (sorry, Episode 8) I could almost write the script for them!
But seriously, it has been a real comfort to watch something uplifting and sometimes inspirational. Millions of other people must have thought so too cos it was nominated for tons of Emmy Awards, Golden Globes and so on – and probably won some too.