Thursday, June 25, 2009

The Philanthropist

So, I happened to be watching America's Got Talent the other evening, and by chance the show called The Philanthropist was coming on next. I vaguely remember seeing a trailer or two for the show, but the truth is I rarely watch network TV anymore, what with the satellite. I set the DVR just to check it out and wow, am I glad I did. This show was the best TV I've watched in very long time.

I'm not sure what it was about the story, but something struck a chord with me. And I have a feeling there are many more out there thinking the same things. As we marinate in the muck of our greed and excess putrefying around us in this economic reality, I find it hard to believe that there aren't some of us who resonate with the idea that maybe we all could do just a little more to help each other out.

To be sure, Teddy Rist (James Purefoy) has his own demons to battle--he is damaged goods. But that doesn't change the fact that he is a narcissistic billionaire with little regard for the world beyond what he can see with his own eyes. He IS corporate greed. And when a small shred of humanity in him begins to awaken, coaxed awake into a flickering flame while being tossed about and windswept in an African natural disaster, the effect is startling. I found myself cheering for him.

Maybe in some small way I seek to salve my own soul in his character's growth. I'm not sure if that's right, or even justifiable, (this is after all a lowly network television show), but his soul searching turns my eyes inward. And to me, that can only be a good thing.

Jesse L. Martin, Neve Campbell, and Lindy Booth all play their supporting roles well. But James Purefoy plays his character very well. This show was a pleasure to watch, and I can hardly wait until next Wednesday to watch the next episode.

You should check it out...

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