Hollywood has had a love affair with heavenly intervention into earthly pursuits, from Oh God to Highway to Heaven, but for its latest attempt it introduces social media.
In God Friended Me, Miles (Brandon Micheal Hall) is a telemarketer and emerging podcaster hoping to be selected for a popular podcast showcase. He also happens to the be the estranged atheist son of a preacher (Joe Morton) and his sister (Javicia Leslie) wants them to reunite at a church celebration.
“Why do I have to take the first step? If Dad wanted me there he would have invited me,” he asks.
But his life takes an unexpected detour when he receives a random Facebook request to be ‘friended’ by God. After repeated declines he eventually accepts only to be assigned his first mission, John Dove, without any understanding of what is required of him. When his path intersects with the real John Dove, even the cynical Miles finds his beliefs shaken.
Convinced he is being ‘catfished’ he turns to IT pal Rakesh (Suraj Sharma) to try and detect the owner of the account. This leads him to his next assignment Cara (Violett Beane), an attractive journalist under deadline pressure. Both decide they need the other and various escapades unfold.
The tone of the fantasy drama by creators Steven Lilien & Bryan Wynbrandt is light and contemporary and likeable star Brandon Micheal Hall handles the goofy humour and broad melodrama with aplomb.
Pairing him with Violett Beane plays with the diversity of the cast although having an Indian character as the IT expert offers up nothing new. For the most part the story chugs along, but a scene between father & son is over-directed and would benefit more from less dialogue and more subtext.
The cynic in me wonders how sustainable this will be as a series embarking on weekly assignments from God and presumably leaving his lack of faith at episode 1. God Friended Me may not challenge you too much, but nor does that seem to be its mission statement.
God Friended Me screens 9pm Mondays on Seven.