TV's Guide

Weeks after it opened, the influence of Mel Gibson's The Passion of the Christ is still being felt. According to conservative media watchdogs, the film's enormous box-office gross—$264.1 million as of last week, making it the most successful independent release in movie history—means that the sex-and-sin procurers of the entertainment industry must wake up and deliver product more in tune with a God-fearing nation. Television is the first to feel this sanctified shakedown, as seen in these recently announced overhauls to some of the networks' most popular programs:

Everybody Loves Raymond Recognizing that it is wrong to put anyone above the Lord, the Barone family quickly acknowledges that everybody loves Him. Raymond's brother, Robert (Brad Garrett), now no longer envious of Raymond, loses all sense of purpose, since it is wrong to be envious of the Lord.

Friends In the series' final episode, Rachel (Jennifer Aniston) asks the Lord for forgiveness for having a child out of wedlock, then marries Ross (David Schwimmer) when it is revealed that Joey (Matt LeBlanc)—in addition to his obvious sin of gluttony—is actually gay and thus an abomination to the Lord.

Will & Grace Grace (Debra Messing) realizes that in the eyes of the Lord she is married topistol-hot Harry Connick Jr., stops hanging out with gay men, and begins to rut with wild abandon—but only for the purpose of procreation. Will (Eric McCormack) and Jack (Sean Hayes) realize that they are gay and thus abominations to the Lord, but do nothing about it, since they never get laid anyway. Karen (Megan Mullaly) leaves the show upon realizing that she is actually funny and thus an abomination to Christian programming.

The Simpsons Bart, confessing his sins, finally admits that he did, in fact, do it.

The Apprentice Taking over for Donald Trump, the Lord steps in and slightly revamps this re­ality show, which now has a variety of ambitious contestants competing to make it into heaven. Instead of a dramatic firing, each episode ends with Him confronting that night's sinner and impassively intoning, "You are banished to the fires of hell." Before burning in the fires of hell, the previous night's loser appears on the Today Show, Jay Leno, and Larry King to discuss the error of his ways.

Judging Amy Single mother Judge Amy Gray (Amy Brenneman) immediately marries David (Adrian Pasdar) when she remembers that every child deserves a mother and a father. Amy's mother, Maxine (Tyne Daly), immediately begins to wear heavy makeup, flouncy dresses, and girlish ribbons in her hair when she remembers that she used to be on Cagney & Lacey, was a lesbian icon, and thus is an abomination to the Lord.

Extreme Makeover Lucky recipients of this show's plastic surgery handouts are now made over solely in His image, resulting in a plethora of benevolent, height/weight proportionate American citizens with blue contacts, white hair extensions, and comfy, loose-fitting wardrobes.

Smallville In recognition of the fact that God originally made Adam naked and unashamed in His image before that damn snake came along and ruined everything, Clark Kent (Tom Welling) spends every episode completely nude. Certain columnists proceed to unplug their phones and devote at least one hour each Wednesday night to a private round of deep religious contemplation.

swiecking@seattleweekly.com

 
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