Downton Abbey Portrays Reality of Interfaith RelationshipsBy Gerri Miller
Go inside Season 5 Episode 9 where the story line of Atticus and Rose's interfaith relationship comes to a head.Go To Pop Culture
CNN.com reports that Fox has canceled “The O.C.,” a show that only a few years ago was one of the most popular and trend-setting shows among young adults. “The O.C.” featured an interfaith family at its center, with Peter Gallagher as Jewish lawyer Sandy Cohen, Kelly Rowan as his non-Jewish wife Kirsten and Adam Brody as their neurotic son Seth. Addictively entertaining in its first season and a half, the quality of the show has suffered precipitously in recent years as they’ve resorted to ever more outlandish plot twists (Ryan’s part of a fight club? Marissa has a lesbian affair?) to juice the ratings.
From IFF’s perspective, the show’s creator, Josh Schwartz, missed a golden opportunity to depict an interfaith family sensitively and intelligently; instead, Seth invented “Chrismukkah,” a blended mock-holiday that diluted and distorted both Judaism and Christianity. Ever since the December 2004 episode that unveiled Chrismukkah, the secular media has had a field day with the notion that people are increasingly celebrating a blended version of the holidays, but Schwartz’s portrayal of the Cohens was not a reflection of reality. There is little evidence that interfaith families are blending the two holidays. Even among those families that practice little or no religion, there is no evidence that they’re celebrating some mishmash of Hanukkah and Christmas. Indeed, if you read the voluminous number of stories on Chrismukkah that come out every year, you’ll find that most reporters were unable to find even a single family that was blending the two holidays.
So we’re happy to say that there’ll be no Chrismukkah this year.
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