The Exorcist Series (Fox): I'll Use Your Religious Culture But I'll Mock You If You Disagree - Pulls Current Year and Dinosaur Card

SPOILERS

This series follows two priests, one younger and the other older, an experienced exorcist. It builds off the original only that it references it in a moment. It’s set in the 2010s. It disregards the movie sequels but uses the original movie as a stepping stone.

The representation of sexuality within the priesthood is also on display. A brief and not-so-subtle scene was in Episode 2 where the older priest flirts with the younger priest, eyeing him after a run, all sweaty, young and handsome. The body posture of the older priest said it all: shirt partially open, half leaning on the doorframe and telling the younger priest that he ran out of eggs all with a half grin. This is what I caught. In Season 2 the older priest shares a kiss with another man priest. This garnered criticism on twitter and the creator shared his thoughts:

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Fans watched as Father Marcus Keane (Ben Daniels) kissed another man, confirming his bisexuality after the show spent its first season teasing it through flirting and sideways glances.

However, some were apparently upset at seeing two men kissing, prompting homophobic remarks on Twitter, something The Exorcist ‘s creator, Jeremy Slater, had choice words for in an interview with Sci-Fi Bulletin.

I saw a couple of homophobes on Twitter and my response is, ‘Good, [explicit] you. I’m glad you didn’t like it, I’m glad it ruined the show for you. You shouldn’t have good things in your life,’” he said.

If a homophobe can’t watch the show any more because one of the characters is gay, then I’m glad something good has come out of it,” he continued. “This is 2017 and we still have people throwing temper tantrums online because they don’t want to see gay characters. I think it’s the last gasp of a certain breed of dinosaur that’s on the way out, and let them kick and scream as they go.

Slater added that response has been “99% positive” from viewers, and that it “meant a lot to a lot of viewers,” particularly those who “aren’t necessarily used to seeing gay representation on TV with older characters.

We’ve said from the beginning that Marcus is a bisexual character, which is pretty rare on television in general and certainly on network television, where everyone has binary definitions of gay or straight,” Slater said, adding, “We had little moments of flirting, a little flirty glance in a bar, to clue the audience that this thing that you think you’re seeing is actually there but I knew coming back to season 2 that it was very important and we had to work this into the plot in a natural way and do justice to it.

More:

What has been the best moment of this season?

Seeing the fans’ reaction to Marcus’ kiss on Twitter was probably my happiest moment up to this point, because it is something we were very stressed about. We had to fight very hard to get it in the show, to figure out a narrative way where it didn’t feel like we were just dropping Marcus out of the larger storyline, and to do it in a way that didn’t feel exploitative or cheesy and did justice to the character. Seeing how people responded to that made me so happy.

This sounds like some kind of yaoi-inspired show based on fantasy conceptions of priests fighting demons, rather than a show about how priests actually fight demons. (The original “Exorcist” movie was a bit overdramatic, but a lot truer to life.)

I bet if it goes to additional seasons they’ll add a love triangle involving a nun.

In any event, I find shows or books about priests’ sex lives to be gross.

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I’m of the opinion that art can say whatever it wants to say. If this show wants priests kissing, the show can have priests kissing. It’s up to the consumer to decide how they feel about it.

If you want to watch a really entertaining show on Exorcism watch Bob Larson…

It would be great if the series ended with them both being eaten by a demon while en flagrante and then a virginal character vanquishes the demon. Just like the usual horror movie tropes.

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Haven’t seen the Exorcist but given Fox’s abhorrent track record with supernatural horror I wouldn’t be surprised.

Can Hollywood directors stop writing their fantasies into TV shows please? Especially ones supposedly about religions they know nothing about?

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I find demons/exorcism movies and tv shows pretty boring. And this one isn’t just boring but gives very distorted pictures about many things. I read very optimistic reviews when first season was done. I am not sure it will stay so optimistic.

I couldn’t watch The Rite till the end. Only movie I saw with this theme is Exorcism of Emily Rose.
Wanted to watch Exorcist but gave up. :thinking:

Jeremy Slater seems to be missing the point. The problem isn’t that the priest is in a same-sex relationship, but that he’s breaking his vows. I think it would be as upsetting if the priest in the show made out with a woman.

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That is generally how free speech works. The artist is free to make what he wants, but everyone else is free to criticize it if they want.

It premiered in 2016 and only lasted for two seasons, so 2017 was its last year.

(The original “Exorcist” movie was a bit overdramatic, but a lot truer to life.)

I tend to agree. The “power of Christ compels you” scene, the way it was set up, was overdone.

In any event, I find shows or books about priests’ sex lives to be gross.

Netflix’s Ratched shows priests to be both wimpy, cowardly and hypocritical. Then again it was created by the guy who made American Horror Story.

Also the fact that the demon killed two priests and that the second priest called the demon into himself. In real life the priests would have been able to shoo that demon without both of them ending up dead. And the priest would never call the demon into himself. But it makes a better story to have them die.

SPOILERS

The older priest sort of acts like a rogue priest, but he does have his positives. He was abused by clergy, saw his father kill his mother and was sent to some monastery orphanage afterwards. Despite all of this, at least in Season 1, he still keeps his faith. By the third episode he is excommunicated from the Church because he broke many exorcist protocols; he seems genuinely upset because he gave 30+ years of his life to the Church. The kiss came in Season 2, when he was no longer acting as a priest.

I think it would be as upsetting if the priest in the show made out with a woman.

The younger priest is continuing a relationship with his past girlfriend, now married to another man, before he became a priest via letters. The older priest encourages him to break off the affair because when they do an exorcism the demon will use anything against them. The younger priest is upset by this because in his mind he’s not having an affair, just corresponding with an old friend but the older priest insists. The younger priest replies “have you ever left behind something beautiful?” So it’s not about respecting the woman’s marriage or respecting his own priestly vows, it’s to protect himself against the demon so it can’t have any ammo to use against him.

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It only lasted two seasons. The first season, yes, it actually portrays spirituality, with all the human doubt and angst, and some church clergy and members as good and well-meaning people. There some issues I have though, but that’s a given. I haven’t finished Season 1. I don’t plan on watching Season 2 since it moves away from its original setting, Chicago, to Seattle - the story in Season 2 seems much less interesting.

Ha, yes! Though I will say the portrayal of clergy, nuns and the layman are rather decent in terms of character agency. They aren’t all wimpy, hypocritical or politicians with priests collars as many movies and tv shows portray such groups. In fairness the kiss happened in Season 2 where the older priest in now excommunicated from the Church after breaking various exorcist protocols. This excommunication happened early in Season 1.

This reminds me of Erma Bombeck’s Vatican II-era joke about how when she goes to confession, she always ends up in the line for a priest who has just witnessed a murder, has not made his Easter duty in 10 years, and wants to talk about his mixed marriage.

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To be fair, at least in the book, the demon doesn’t kill Father Merrin. He dies of a heart attack, and the demon is left screaming at his corpse for cheating him of the opportunity to fight him some more.

I must have forgotten that part of the book (read long ago and probably not in great detail, I remember skimming through it at a library). I was under the impression the demon acted on Fr. Merrin’s heart and made it stop.

I don’t think so, unless I’m misremembering. IIRC it’s implied that the strain of the exorcism leads to the heart attack (Father Merrin is pretty frail and worn out in the book as well). The demon is definitely pissed that Father Merrin is dead and they can’t keep wrasslin’, so it’s highly unlikely that it intended his death. It’s also implied that the demon knows Father Merrin is very likely in Heaven, and that galls him even more.

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