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The evil and the good fight of faith by Robert and Michelle King

Robert King and Michelle King have just signed a new five-year contract with CBS. Their trilogy of series about lawyers titled ′inJustice′, ′The Good Wife′ and ′The Good Fight′ is very often praised and awarded but what is behind that success? According to Robert King, human beings are evil by nature and it is precisely this evil that serves as raw material for his own team of writers.

Article by Pablo Fernández from Barcelona on Wednesday, December 22nd 2021 ·.·★ Reading takes 14 minutes or 2837 words.

Robert King was born in 1959. His parents were of Italian and Irish descent and enrolled him in a Catholic school 45 minutes from San Francisco. The institution they choose later for their higher studies however is Westmont College. Westmont College had been founded near Los Angeles in 1937 by an intrepid Protestant and businesswoman named Ruth Kerr.

The power to think better

Alexander H. Kerr had married Ruth and made a great fortune, thanks to a patent on a glass jug, when he crossed paths with evangelist D. L. Moody. The then new and excited businessman was dedicated to spreading his new faith and collecting humanitarian aid funds when he contracted the pneumonia that took his life. Ruth was unimpressed, just like many of the women on Robert King′s shows. Ruth Kerr not only carried out the education of her six children but also the business and philanthropic tasks of her late husband, among which we have already mentioned the educational institution Westmont College in Los Angeles.

Westmont College′s motto is ′Think Deeper. Impact Wider and encourages students to think and impact by offering programs on film for Christians but also many other more common careers such as Mathematics, Biology or Psychology. Robert King, however, chose a career difficult to explain in Spanish called ′Liberal Arts′ and which consists in a few words in the formation of skills in problem solving and the effective defense of ideas. Just what most of the characters in the series do from him!

Robert King assures that it was at Westmont College where he first met other types of Christians such as the Calvinists of the Christian Reformed Church, whom he mentioned many years later, in his episode ′Parenting Made Easy of ′The Good Wife. . Robert King, when he still couldn′t find a job as a screenwriter in 1984, was working at the FrontRunners sports store in Brentwood. It was there that he met the one who would become his good wife.

Michelle was then a senior at UCLA in downtown Los Angeles and she was restocking socks in the same store, on the same shift, and on the same display when she crossed her fingers with Robert King′s. Michelle King is of Jewish tradition and agnostic of conviction but she still often accompanies Robert on his visits to Sunday mass. One can imagine that she takes advantage of her own personal discussions to sketch scripts for the series ′Evil.

The marriage between heaven and hell

The series ′Evil has found a suitable channel on SyFy Channel. ′Evil′ no longer has the usual executive production of Ridley Scott, the director of Alien, Blade Runner or Prometheus, but the marriage now has its own credibility and has renewed thanks to it an agreement for a third season. Its protagonists dissect paranormal cases from a religious and scientific point of view in the purest style of ′The X-Files′. Evil is the title of the series but also the idea that is at the base of the thoughts that prompted Robert King and includes a memorable nod to the film by Catholic William Friedkintit entitled ′The Exorcist′ (1979).

In a trial like any of the many that occur in a series like ′The Good Wife′, it is not possible to speak of good and evil because these are not terms that are used in modern legislation. What happens is that the concept of substance is equally implicit in what we more popularly know as crime and punishment. A spectator who does not know the Bible well will be unable to perceive it; but in fact, especially in the scripts of ′The Good Fight, countless quotes from the Bible go off like machine guns. The characters of Robert and Michelle are able to solve a case by being able to differentiate a translation of the Catholic Bible from another Protestant, as it happens specifically in the episode ′Unprepared of ′The Good Wife.

The religious theme in any case is treated more explicitly with the appearance of the series ′Evil′. Part of his team is now working on a Brooklyn polygon simultaneously for ′Evil′ and ′The Good Fight′ as Mike Colter claims. Colter, best known for his superhero role on the ′Luke Cage′ series, now plays a handsome priesthood aspirant and restrained miracle seeker named David Acosta. Just at the opposite end of the good that David Acosta′s skeptical team pursues is the diabolical Dr. Leland Townsend, a character inspired according to Robert by the protagonist of the Anglican writer C.S. Lewis entitled ′Letters from the Devil to His Nephew′ (1942).

Robert King had already worked with horror stories. His first script was actually the adaptation of a novel for a horror movie titled ′The Nest′ (1988), where cockroaches undergo a mutation that allows them to attack and eat human beings. David Lynch′s ′Twin Peaks′ (1992) is also a key reference for the King marriage and their concept of how to fight evil. Actor Kyle MacLachlan actually acted in the first of his series ′InJustice′ (2006) and the name Diane as a supporting female character is common to both.

Simplification when making judgments is a very useful resource to save us time but in the long term it prevents us from really knowing the truth and the truth according to them is the first thing we have to control in the fight against evil. Knowing the truth is a clear challenge, but what does it lead us to? The stories of Robert King and Michelle King enjoy leading the viewer precisely to the understanding that nothing is what it seems and that there is a lot at stake that we can lose by not paying attention.

The good fight of faith

′Fight the good fight of faith′ is a phrase that the apostle Paul wrote to his young friend Timothy according to the King James translation of the Bible into English. The series ′The Good Fight′ is especially daring at least in relation to ′The Good Wife.′ Then-President Donald Trump undoubtedly wins the award for the most ridiculous character in the series, but many judges and agents who favor the commercialization of justice also suffer from being caricatured. The other protagonists are contradictory and erratic in general. They fornicate, take drugs and lie with a naturalness that has clearly positioned them far from the prudery of which Christians are often accused.

Robert and Michelle work in what is now known as the writers room, a collaborative work concept clearly structured and hierarchical, where curiously the most basic rules revolve around quite humanistic principles. If you want to go far in this type of team, you better help your neighbor! ′Original sin is a perfectly dramatic subject for television,′ says Robert King in the vein of what certainly characterizes much of the work of Alfred Hitchcock, Martin Scorsese or Paul Schrader.

Can original sin be believed in the 21st century? The idea is not exactly irrational. We can more easily believe that thousands of years of experiences are transmitted through our DNA because that allows us to take advantage of the same truth, leaving God aside. It is the same with the fate of the Universe. We can easily believe that all known matter will eventually disappear under the effects of the BIG RIP, but we cannot accept that the same thing happens in a final judgment from God. Many believers also do not do especially better when they base their faith in the rites and in that sense the good sense comes from the lips of the agnostic Michelle King.

The rites and forgiveness of a good wife

Michelle King is also very interested in knowing the origin of evil. She claims that the original idea for ′The Good Wife′ was born out of a series of political scandals such as that of then-President Bill Clinton and his wife Hillary. Several simultaneous cases of entrepreneurial women and legal professionals covered the public scandals of their husbands. Michelle King couldn′t understand it and that prompted her to ask many questions that she thought she could solve through her next television series.

Seven seasons of ′The Good Wife′ did not seem to be enough to solve the enigma in 2015. Seven years had passed, viewers needed something new and the Kings are fully aware of that irrational and merciless thirst for the new that has the audience. ′The Good Fight′ is therefore actually a reboot of ′The Good Wife.′ The first case in the new series is in fact a crime deliberately concealed by the defendant′s own family and even the platelets during filming are the same, with the difference of a sticker that substitutes ′Wife for ′Fight.

Michelle King believes that it would be ideal to find a rite that could heal people from evil but she doubts that this rite is really known. The laws and the judges have all the advantages and yet they are put at the service of selfish interests: ′They don′t pay us to discover the truth,′ says good old Will Gardner. Michelle says that for her the alternative of psychology or exorcism would be ideal if it worked, but as we really know, these rites do not always work.

There are exorcist practices in Hinduism, Islam, Judaism, Taoism, and Buddhism, but it is common in fact that the rites happen over and over again without actually healing people. The most obvious reference in this case would be ′The Devil and Father Amorth′, the recent documentary about a real case of exorcism of William Friedkintit - who curiously began his career with a film titled ′Good Times′ (1967).

The true armor of faith

Robert King admits to Patheos that for a time he had gone too far by taking the religious issue too much on his personal ground, leaving little room for the imagination to benefit his own argumentation. The series ′Evil′ begins being for that reason little credible, too predictable and somewhat boring but in the middle of the first season it has already left that burden behind. The protagonist Mike Colter assures that he did not accept that role due to some kind of religious affinity and the result is frankly interesting once that correction is applied and the misunderstanding is overcome.

Fight yes, but with what weapons? You have to be in very bad shape not to want to fight evil, but the question is, what can we really do in that battle? When we are young we are full of optimism and believe that we can make a difference, thus ignoring the bleak reality that there have been young people since the founding of the first civilizations more than 6500 years ago. Written laws have been preserved for more than 3700 years, but since then a small slight has been enough for armies to rise up in arms and destroy entire ethnic groups.

We know that even the United Nations (UN) Peace Forces have been tried for more than 2000 sexual abuse in the last 12 years. The question of who will be able to help us is even more disturbing as we acquire historical knowledge and the idea that evil can be solved with education, law, psychology or exorcisms makes little credible. The apostle Paul, who encouraged young Timothy to fight the battle of faith in the first century, also identified what exactly were the weapons for that fight in another letter to the believers in the Mediterranean city of Ephesus.

The serpent raised in the desert

The apostle Paul already assured in the genesis of Christianity that weapons against evil are not more or less recurrent or successful rites but eternal attributes proper to Christ: truth, justice, peace, faith, salvation and the word of God. Do we want to make them ours? Do we really want to make their attributes our weapons? The mere idea that the goal has been achieved by someone better than you 2,000 years ago is already unbearable for many. As in many other areas of life, we prefer to decide what weapons we are going to fight with, but let no one be surprised if in the end we have wasted time trying.

The Bible is not full of supernatural events as many imagine without having read it. The greatest concentration of miracles occurs near the end, during the short life of Jesus. Exorcisms in particular appear as one form of healing among the many on which Jesus acted. There is nothing that seems to suggest that Christ believed that those miracles would substantially change the evil or the opinion that they would have of him. The evangelist John writes that when the crowds came to him impressed, ′he did not trust them ... because he knew what was in man.′

Let′s fight, yes, but let′s also leave what does not correspond to us in the hands of God. Nicodemus, the famous Jewish leader who visited Jesus at night and believed thus to put him on his side, took home more questions than answers ′How can someone be born again? Can he enter again into the womb of his mother? Jesus then identifies himself as the serpent of Moses that rose up in the desert, the only one that, by staring, delivered you from death. ′So that everyone who believes in him may not perish, but have eternal life,′ he continues to write exactly in verse 15 of chapter 3 of the Gospel of John according to the Reina Valera translation.

This is an short translation of the original article published in Spanish by Entrelíneas: Revista de Arte as El mal y la buena batalla de la fe de Robert y Michelle King

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