Thursday, November 24, 2011

Catholic sitcom sharing spotlight with football

For so many years, football has been a staple of my Thanksgiving day celebration. Even if I could care less about the teams playing, football and Thanksgiving just go together, kind of like basketball and Christmas used to go together (not anymore, thanks to players and owners not being thankful for the billions of dollars they make each year).

And while I'll certainly going to keep that tradition alive this year (49ers-Ravens tonight feels like the best game), I'll get to add a Catholic sitcom to the many things I have the privilege of doing.

Yes, the world of Catholic media finally decided to branch out into areas previously untouched. Greg and Jennifer Willits, hosts of Sirius XM's The Catholics Next Door (heard on The Catholic Channel, Sirius XM 129), filmed a sitcom pilot for CatholicTV called Mass Confusion. The show airs at 8:30 p.m. ET. If you don't get CatholicTV, they have the ability to watch the show online or on your smartphone at that same time.

The storyline? It's Jennifer's birthday, and their friends come over to celebrate, but there is no beer (not a problem, they should be drinking Pepsi instead), so the guys have to load up the kids to go to the beer store. Based on the trailer, it looks like it's filmed in that mockumentary style, like The Office or Modern Family.

And here's the thing: It actually looks very well done. And funny.

Full disclosure: When Greg and Jennifer announced they were creating a sitcom, I winced. Winced is too light of a word. I think my stomach literally wretched itself out of my body. A sitcom? Really? This is going to be horrible.

But I didn't say anything out loud because I would have looked like an ass had I criticized someone for trying something new. Isn't that the point of Catholic media, to branch out into all forms of entertainment to attract an audience? My initial disdain was laced with hypocrisy. Instead of being supportive, I became a stereotypical old-fashioned Catholic, unwilling to try anything new.

But the stupid part of my brain was proven wrong very quickly when I saw that trailer. The more I read, the more I heard the excitement from other people besides Greg and Jennifer, the more I realized that this could be a good thing.

And now, eight hours from the premiere, I couldn't be more excited. Greg and Jennifer, who I thought had the best acting chops based on the trailer, are amazing radio hosts. They have a natural ability to inspire and entertain. I have no doubt that Mass Confusion will be a great venture.

The question is though, what if this is a breakout hit? If the sitcom takes off and demand is high, could we see Greg and Jennifer leave the radio to do a full-time tv show? Filming a sitcom is a lot of work, something they would probably find hard to do alongside a radio show.

It will be interesting to see what transpires after tonight. There's one thing I can be certain of: Whichever road they travel, I'll definitely stay entertained.


  1. You both rock. Thanks for the tip o'the hat! Hope you're not cringing tonight!

  2. I'm very excited to see this! The trailer looks great!

  3. I've been super excited since I heard this was happening. I guess we only have one cringer in this house!! Praying for success to Greg, Jennifer, and their costars tonight. Go Get Em Catholics!!

  4. I thought the the pilot was a decent first start. I give Greg and Jennifer (and Catholic TV) kudos for trying something different.


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