We've been hooked on the television show Eureka since its first episode. The premise is clever, the characters are likable and well acted, and the scripts tend to be pleasantly witty.
But tonight's (9/11/07) episode annoyed me considerably. Some parts of it were fine, but the underlying theme of the town's scientific geniuses finding religion because of mild stress made me grind my teeth.
At the start of the episode, it's clear that almost no one in town is interested in churchgoing. Given that Eureka is filled with the world's greatest scientific geniuses, that's appropriate. Studies show consistently that scientists tend to be much less religious than the general public, and the more advanced they are in their field, the less likely they are to be religious. However, when a series of rather minor (by Eureka standards) calamities strike the town, the geniuses start heading to the church. (It wasn't clear if there's more than one church in town.) This didn't happen in previous episodes, when Eureka faced much more serious dangers. We also know that it doesn't happen in real life -- that not only are there atheists in foxholes, the experience of the foxhole tends to destroy people's faith, creating more atheists. More atheists come out of foxholes than go into them!
Moreover, at the end of the episode, it's made clear that many of the brilliant scientists have retained their new-found religion, even though they have discovered that the town's recent problems were manmade! Aargh!
I assume this was due to network pressure, in turn due to pressure on the network from rightwing/fundamentalist religious groups. I don't know that; I haven't read anything to that effect. It could have been simple cowardice on someone's part. Or ignorance.
I guess I don't really care what was behind it. I only know that I'm quite pissed off right now.