Is endorsing certain TV shows sinful?

If you say to other people you like certain TV shows whose characters exhibit sinful behaviors sometimes (Sister Wives, Schitts Creek, etc.) is that sinful? Even if you say you just like the show as a whole and say nothing of those particular sinful aspects of the show. I like the humor/fascination/entertainment of some shows but I’m afraid that when I talk about them in a positive way I’m indirectly endorsing the sinfulness of the characters. I hope this makes sense.

1 Like

I think you’d be hard-pressed to find a show where none of the characters ever do anything sinful.


No sane person interprets “I like this tv show” as “I endorse everything the fictional characters do as a model for real life.” You’re fine.


Thanks for the reality check guys. I’m definitely being scrupulous, lol

1 Like

The only way I can see being even sort of concerned about this if you were exposing someone to content that is too mature for them. Like, you as an adult might understand that Schitt’s Creek is just a tv show and not a model for real life behavior, but maybe you wouldn’t let a younger sibling watch it if you were babysitting. That kind of thing.

Have you read the Bible? It is chock full of sinners and their deeds!


Yep, that makes sense.

Showing sinful behavior is the easiest way to caution against it, as it provides a chance to show the follies of such behaviors as well. That’s the way medieval Morality Plays would operate.

1 Like

Normally I agree with the posters who have already posted. However I think someone who has these questions might not have a formed conscience to accurately watch these shows. It’s kind of a catch 22. It’s a bad idea to watch the shows or recommend them if you have a question on if it’s a bad idea. Not because of the sinful nature or lack thereof but rather because you can’t answer the question.

Okay this seems presumptuous. I’m pretty confident in my ability to watch these shows and hold onto my faith. My concern is that talking about them to others rests on the presumption that those I’m talking to also have formed consciences and that it won’t corrupt them. It was a bit of a moral technicality that I was curious about. But upon further reflection, if I’m talking to adults about anything in life (including TV shows) I can’t be responsible for how they or their consciences are going to process that information. It’s just life to an extent I guess.

You mentioned being scrupulous. If you struggle with scrupulocity then you shouldn’t post questions here. And what I said above goes double! But if you just feel like you were being scrupulous to a fault in this one case and you have now employed logic to see through it then please, by all means disregard my post! I wish you all the best.

Yeah, I’m normally not scrupulous at all; I’m just going through a phase in my life where I’m reflecting on and reevaluating a lot of the ways in which I’m living my life (by and large a very good thing for me), and I think I’ve lost my sense of logic at times. this is one of those times. Thanks for your help!

The thing to ask about sinful behavior is whether the consequences are adequately depicted. Does the sinner prosper in her behavior or does she suffer because of it? Is the sinful behavior condoned and celebrated by the other characters? Are the sinful characters depicted as heroes, as winners? Are there righteous characters too, and how are they depicted? Does the righteousness become their reward in this life or the next?

1 Like

I don’t think you’re going to find any TV show that is perfectly moral like this, that’s the problem.

What problem? Is someone forcing us to watch awful TV? Why not ask your parish about a subscription to FORMED.ORG and cut your cable bill? Ignatius Press has films and discs available. You can even find good things on YouTube if you dig.

1 Like

Should I not be friends with someone because they have some sinful behaviors, or can I be friends with them and appreciate the good things about them? While complete moral perfection is obviously the ideal and to be strived for, most things we will engage with in life are not so, and we must be able to face that reality.

Are you seriously equating the desire to watch television or Netflix with a personal relationship of friendship? :man_facepalming:

1 Like

No I never equated it, I’m just trying to say it’s kind of unreasonable to never engage in any even slightly immoral media and you shouldn’t have to completely disavow anything that isn’t fully perfect. Not the best analogy but I was just trying to illustrate a point. For both media and people, the immoral it gets, the more wise it is to distance yourself from it/them. Kind of the same principle when you think about it

The difference is that with many people, you don’t have a choice about the nature of your relationship: family, coworkers, boss, clergy, health care providers, neighbors. Sometimes you just have to grin and bear it and be as charitable as possible to someone. Sometimes you can’t get away with completely ditching the person.

With media, other than watching TV at the gym or hearing the radio at Starbucks, it is totally within your control what you engage with. You are free to never subscribe to cable TV. You do not need to ever purchase or turn on a broadcast TV receiver. All the streaming services are optional. You can have YouTube or not, up to you. I am very “pro-choice” when it comes to consumed media. So there is no reason anyone needs to “tolerate” a little Satanism or a little abortion apologia or a little pedophilia in their media.

1 Like

Endorsing TV itself can be sinful.

1 Like
DISCLAIMER: The views and opinions expressed in these forums do not necessarily reflect those of Catholic Answers. For official apologetics resources please visit