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Review: CBS's 'God Friended Me' Is Exactly What You Think It Is (Only Worse)

By Dustin Rowles | TV | October 1, 2018 |

By Dustin Rowles | TV | October 1, 2018 |


One day, the instantly likable, impeccably charming Brandon Michael Hall will land a series worthy of him. God Friended Me is not that series.

Michael Hall (The Mayor, Search Party) plays Miles Finer in the new CBS drama. He has a podcast, in which he basically expresses skepticism in the belief of God. One day, however, he gets a Facebook request from … God. He tries to ignore it, but God is a persistent dick willing to literally burn bushes to force him to accept a friend request.

Miles eventually relents and agrees to a friend request. God immediately suggests another guy as a friend, and that guy is depressed and suicidal and just happens to be standing next to Miles. Miles chases him down and saves him from jumping onto a subway track. Then God makes other friend suggestions, and those people end up in Miles’ orbit, and he changes their lives, too. In fact, the guy that Miles saved from the subway ends up saving a new friend who gets hit by a car.

The point is that “God has a grand design,” and that design apparently involves a lot of Facebook friend suggestions, which I assume will be the fuel that propels the weekly Touched by an Angel storylines that eventually wear down Miles’ agnosticism, unless the Russians hack Facebook and steal God’s identity and use it to post memes of Jesus defeating Hillary in arm wrestling competitions.

The only way this show might end up a little bit interesting is if Ted Danson from The Good Place were operating God’s Facebook account. Basically, this is Kevin (Probably) Saves the World with a Facebook account directing the action instead of a guardian angel, only the writing is even more hokey and sentimental, and Jason Ritter’s charms are exchanged for Brandon Michael Hall’s (six of one, half a dozen of the other, i.e., they’re both amazingly likable people who I would very much like to see in better things). God Friended Me, however, leans even harder into its faith-based angle and the writing is overbearing to the point of proselytizing.

It’s a mess. And not even an interesting mess with potential. One has the feeling that the pilot is as good as God Friended Me is ever going to get — 42 minutes of dumb coincidences, bad plot contrivances, and “Footsteps”-level platitudes. The only thing that “feel good” about God Friended Me is that God is merciful enough that it eventually ends.

Dustin is the founder and co-owner of Pajiba. You may email him here, follow him on Twitter, or listen to his weekly TV podcast, Podjiba.

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