The Baxters Reflect Reality for Many

The Baxters Reflect Reality for Many

Despite her status as a New York Times bestselling author with scads of fans that I assume run into the millions, I have never read a Karen Kingsbury novel.

Still, the name is familiar to most folks in the Christian products industry. So when I saw a magazine story recently about the Amazon Prime series based on her two-dozen-novel “The Baxters” saga, my wife and I decided to tune in.

Reviewer Collin Garbarino was on the money with his reference to The Baxters being “one of the soapiest soap operas I’ve ever seen.” And though I wouldn’t profess any love for daytime soaps that are now an historical artifact, I find several reasons to like this series.

First is the fact that it features overtly Christian content, something that surprised me in the world of oft-R-rated content on Prime. It’s one reason we pick and choose carefully from the plethora of options there.

Scriptural Foundation

The Baxters Amazon OriginalI also love the fact each episode opens silently with a Scripture, clearly marked with chapter and verse(s).

The presence of Roma Downey in a leading role as the family matriarch is another reason to admire it.

Many years ago, while my wife and her daughters were at a “Women of Faith” conference in Nashville, I happened to catch Touched by an Angel for the first time on a Saturday night.

Downey played one of the two angels; on the summer rerun I saw she was quoting Scripture. Verbatim. My eyes popped out. I wondered how in the world that ever got past network censors. I figured it must have been because they didn’t recognize it as such.

In the ensuing years, I caught episodes from time to time, amused by the church critics who accused it of not being Christian enough. Such small-minded people failed to appreciate that in stretching the boundaries of Hollywood as far as she did, creator Martha Williamson was performing a tremendous public service and planting gospel seeds that could later be watered.

(I’m also a huge fan of Williamson’s Signed, Sealed & Delivered, which started as a TV series on the Hallmark Channel and morphed into a plethora of stand-alone movies.)

Positive Strokes

Baxter Family Drama Books by Karen KingsburyI’ve admired Downey and husband Mark Burnett ever since Touched for the positive video content they have created, particularly the 2013 mini-series, The Bible.

It isn’t just Downey who makes The Baxters so enjoyable, though. The cast has that tough-to-define element known as chemistry, the kind that create believable characters and enjoyable interactions.

Nor are they living perfect lives, as evidenced by the battered marriages, fatal shootings, and the discord and dissension that are familiar to most families.

The show also respects their faith. Praying over decisions, even in small matters, is a fact of life in The Baxters. That makes it a reflection of the prayer that is part of my life and many fellow church members and friends scattered across the nation.

Then too there is the quality of the storytelling, which is superb. Everything flows smoothly, a credit to Kingsbury’s writing that provided the inspiration.

Although our viewing has slowed lately, we are nearing the end of season 2. I foresee us eventually continuing through season 3, with hopes the final number of TV episodes comes close to the number of book titles.

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