For me, what makes for a great faith-based story is one that not only reaches church people but also reaches those who wouldn’t ever darken the door of a church. But I understand that it’s easier said than done. Often the dialogue is stilted, the plots weak and the message is heavy handed. Characters will say things that sound like they were read from a kitchen magnet. Often, “serious” faith-based movies will feature moments of levity with groan-inducing jokes. While the characters on the screen will find this highly amusing, those of us in the theater seats are crest fallen. You might have a real important story to tell, but if you can’t make it entertaining, then there really isn’t a reason to make it then, is there?
Sometimes studios get it right. The folks behind VeggieTales realized that they could make funny, short films that actually share Biblical truth with a myriad of fruits and vegetables and a lot humor. Others have made Christian comedies that are actually very funny. (One of my favorites is Mom’s Night Out.) The trick is to find writers who actually know how to write comedy and actors who understand comedic timing.
This week, Pure Flix is debuting a new faith-based sitcom that looks like it just might work. Taking place at the fictional morning show of K-HUGG radio, Live + Local shares its Christian point of view from inside a Christian radio station. It’s a workplace comedy that features Tommy and Tina, a radio show team that makes a “dynamite” combination for “TnT in the Morning.” However, the duo will have to navigate the ups and downs of the radio world when a new program comes in and wants to change everything. The studio, AFFIRM originals, promises that these characters will handle it well leaving you laughing and inspired. Well, let’s hope so.
Live + Local is a series from Dan Merchant who once put out one of the funniest documentaries I’ve ever seen: Lord Save Us from Your Followers. The new show, stars Dave Coulier and Emily Pendergast and will be exclusively available to stream on Pure Flix on July 7.
“The show has a theme that underdogs can win and all of us on the planet are underdogs and we look to a higher power to guide our way through all of it,” said star and Executive Producer Dave Coulier. “I fell in love with the script right away. It was a great opportunity for me to bring a lot of different things I’ve never done before to this role. I get to be a little bit cantankerous, a little bit of a curmudgeon, but I also have a big heart. It was also fun to be able to wear a real beard.”
“‘Live + Local‘ is a love letter to all the local morning radio shows I’ve started my day with. There is just something so encouraging about waking up to these eccentric voices so full of personality and life so early in the day,” said Showrunner Dan Merchant. “It takes a special person to bring radio to life each day and make each listener feel like a friend. I think Dave and Emily did an incredible job of bringing these hosts to life and celebrating the world of radio.”
The show, which also stars Pat Cashman and Kendra Ann Sherill, is unique in that in addition to the fictional characters, the show also features special moments with special guest stars including Danny Ray, Leanne Morgan, John Cooper, Colton Dixon, Anna Lind Thomas, Anthem Lights, Whitney Miller, Dustin Nickerson, Jeff Allen, Dallas Jenkins, and more!
The first two episodes of Live + Local will be available exclusively on Pure Flix on July 7th, 2022 and a new episode will air every Thursday.
“We need this show because we need to laugh. The world is really serious right now and we need to laugh and have fun,” Coulier said. “Family is very important to me – I love being a husband, I love being a dad and my whole career has been in family entertainment. I’m so honored and happy to make families laugh.”
Main Image: Pure Flix
I write about pop culture, arts and entertainment in the greater Seattle area.