Titles M through R
Please note: These viewer comments are from our VISITORS, not the Christian Spotlight staff.
Mad About You 1992–2019
MAD TV 1995-2009, 2016 (329 episodes)
American live-action sketch comedy series originally inspired by Mad magazine / The show was taped in front of a live audience and consisted of sketches, cartoon shorts, and musical performances. Much of its comedy parodied popular television shows, movies and music, as well as topical, political, and pop culture humor.
Martin 1992-1997 (132 episodes)
American sitcom set in Detroit, Michigan starring Martin Lawrence and Tisha Campbell
Martin Payne (Martin Lawrence), a disc jockey with his girlfriend Gina Waters (Tisha Campbell). Martin works for the fictional radio station WZUP and later for local Public-access television station Channel 51. A common theme of the series is Martin's selfish and free-spirited nature. Episodes often center on Martin's inappropriate behaviors and incessant smart mouth towards his friends, neighbors, and whoever else finds themselves in his presence. When all is said and done, however, Martin loves his family and friends—it just takes dire situations for him to show it.
M*A*S*H* 1972–1983 (256 episodes)
MASH (an acronym for Mobile Army Surgical Hospital) is an American war dark-comedy drama series developed by Larry Gelbart that follows a team of doctors and support staff stationed at the 4077th Mobile Army Surgical Hospital in Uijeongbu, South Korea, during the Korean War (1950–53). It stars Alan Alda, Loretta Swit, Jamie Farr, William Christopher, Wayne Rogers, McLean Stevenson, Larry Linville, Gary Burghoff, Mike Farrell, Harry Morgan, and David Ogden Stiers.
Matlock 1986-95 (193 episodes)
American legal mystery drama starring Andy Griffith / The show centers on widower Benjamin Leighton “Ben” Matlock (Andy Griffith) who studied law at Harvard, and after several years as a public defender, established his law practice in Atlanta, living in a modest farmhouse in a neighboring suburb. He is a renowned, folksy and popular, but cantankerous. He is known to visit crime scenes to discover clues otherwise overlooked and come up with viable, alternative theories of the crime in question (usually murder). Usually, at the end of the case, the person who is on the stand being questioned by Matlock is the actual perpetrator, and Matlock will expose him/her, despite making clear that his one goal is to prove reasonable doubt in the case of his client's guilt or to prove his client's innocence.
Men in Black: The Series 1997-2001 (53 episodes)
American animated sci-fi series originally aired on Kids' WB cable TV channel / The show features characters from the 1997 science fiction film “Men in Black.” The show is set in an alternate timeline to the Men in Black film universe. The most significant differences in the series are that Agent K did not retire, and Agent J is still regarded as a rookie. Agent L is, however, a part of the organization, as she was following the events of the first film. Some episodes do incorporate aspects of the film franchise. While the series offers some internal continuity and extended plot arcs, it is primarily presented in standalone episodes. Some recurring themes include exploration of K's origins, as well as J encountering individuals from his life prior to joining MIB.
Midnight Texas 2017-18 (19 episodes)
American supernatural-horror drama series based on the book series of the same name by author Charlaine Harris, who also wrote The Southern Vampire Mysteries
On the run from his past, young psychic Manfred Bernardo (played by François Arnaud) is told by the ghost of his grandmother to seek out refuge in Midnight, Texas. There, he will find a community that can help him. Full of diverse characters—including a vampire, a witch, a fallen angel, a half-demon and a werecreature—Midnight faces numerous threats from the outside world as it welcomes the newcomer. Actor Josh Kelly as Walker Chisum plays an openly gay demon hunter who has an intense connection with resident fallen angel Joe Strong (Jason Lewis).
Millennium 1996-99 (67 episodes)
American occult detective series created by Chris Carter (creator of “The X-Files”) / The show follows the investigations of ex-FBI agent Frank Black (Lance Henriksen), now a consultant, with the ability to see inside the minds of criminals, working for a mysterious organization known as the Millennium Group.
Moesha 1996-2001 (127 episodes)
American sitcom series starring R&B singer Brandy Norwood as Moesha Denise Mitchell, a high school student living with her upper-middle class Black family living in the Leimert Park neighborhood of Los Angeles
Her father Frank (William Allen Young), a widower and Saturn car salesman (and later dealership owner), has married Dee, the vice principal at Moesha's high school, much to Moesha's disapproval. The show deals with teen social issues such as teen pregnancy, drug use, race relations, premarital sex, the death of a parent, and day-to-day issues teenagers faced at home and school. In one episode, the Mitchell family learns from her aunt that Moesha’s father Frank is the biological father of Dorian (Ray J), whom the Mitchells and Dorian himself believed to be Frank's nephew. The shocking news of Frank's infidelity during his first marriage turns the family upside-down and results in Dorian's rebellion and Moesha's relocation from her home.
Monty Python's Flying Circus 1969-74 (45 episodes)
British surreal live-action sketch comedy (generally satire and black-comedy) series created by and starring the comedy group Monty Python, consisting of Graham Chapman, John Cleese, Eric Idle, Terry Jones, Michael Palin and Terry Gilliam
My Wife and Kids 2001-05 (123 episodes)
American sitcom series starring Damon Wayans as Michael Kyle, the patriarch of a semi-dysfunctional upper middle class African-American family who rules his household with a unique and distinct parenting style / As Michael teaches his 3 children some of life's lessons, he does so with his own brand of humor.
Mysterious Ways 2000-02 (44 episodes)
Canadian/American science fiction drama series produced by PAX TV, in association with Lionsgate Television and CTV
The series focuses on the search for explanations of, and evidence for, seemingly miraculous phenomena. This search is carried out by the protagonist Declan Dunn (Adrian Pasdar). Declan is a professor of anthropology at the Northern University of Oregon and is often compared with Indiana Jones due to his energetic enthusiasm for solving a mystery. His passion for miraculous events has its roots in a self-experienced mischance of being caught in an avalanche and getting out alive. He considers this to be miraculous and attributes it as the turning point in his life. In several episodes he makes references to this event and the impact it had on his life.
Always ready to help out with the research, though sometimes they appear slightly reluctant, are Declan's close friends Dr. Peggy Fowler (Rae Dawn Chong), a psychiatrist at a nearby hospital, and Miranda Feigelsteen (Alisen Down), a physics graduate student and Declan's research assistant. Peggy is the most levelheaded of the three and is generally the one presenting the mundane alternatives to Declan's theories. Her so-called “rational explanations” often provide no explanation whatsoever, e.g. “It was just a freak occurrence.”
Mystic Knights of Tir Na Nog 1998-99 / TV-Y7 (50 episodes)
Live-action adventure drama series / This show is based on Celtic legends. When a tyrant queen from the land of Temra invades the peaceful land of Kells, King Conchobar must rely on an ancient legend which foretells of an orphan who will find the mighty warrior Draganta and “bring peace to Kells for 1000 lifetimes.” The legend also tells of the four Mystic Armors and Pyre the fire dragon. The recipients of the Armors are Angus, a miscreant of sorts; Ivar, a Moorish prince; Deirdre, Princess of Kells; and Rohan, a destiny-bound druid's apprentice and the young man foretold in the legend. They are joined by Aideen, a young fairy; Fin Varra, the king of Tir Na Nog; and Garrett, the eventual fifth Mystic Knight. Together, the five Mystic Knights continue to defend Kells from the Queen Maeve and all her evil magic.
Nash Bridges 1996-2001 (122 episodes)
Neon Genesis Evangelion1995-96 (26 episodes)
Moral Rating: Avoid
Japanese apocalyptic sci-fi mecha anime series / The show is set 15 years after a worldwide cataclysm, particularly in the futuristic fortified city of Tokyo-3. The protagonist is Shinji, a teenage boy who was recruited by his father Gendo to the shadowy organization Nerv to pilot a giant bio-machine mecha called an “vangelion” into combat with alien beings called “Angels.” The series explores the experiences and emotions of Evangelion pilots and members of Nerv as they try to prevent Angels from causing more cataclysms. In the process, they are called upon to understand the ultimate causes of events and the motives for human action.
The series features archetypal imagery derived from Shinto cosmology as well as Jewish and Christian mystical traditions, including Midrashic tales, Kabbalah and Gnosticism. The psychoanalytic theories of Freud and Jung also feature prominently.
The New Scooby Doo 1972-73 (24 episodes)
American animated mystery comedy series produced by Hanna-Barbera
Now and Again 1999-2000 (22 episodes)
American sci-fi comedy-drama series starring Eric Close, Dennis Haysbert, Margaret Colin and Heather Matarazzo
The show revolves around the United States government engineering the perfect human body for use in espionage, but not being able to perfect the brain. In an attempt to get the project up and running, they take the brain of overweight family man Michael Wiseman (Eric Close), who is killed in a train accident.
Given a new life, Michael is kept in an apartment where he is trained by government experts, led by Dr. Theodore Morris (Dennis Haysbert), in the art of espionage. Despite his new life and new abilities, Michael longs to return to his wife Lisa (Margaret Colin) and daughter Heather (Heather Matarazzo), who are themselves discovering that not all is as it seems with Michael's death. Dr. Morris continues to experiment on Michael, testing the limits of his abilities and strength. Michael is occasionally used to complete secret missions or foil criminal activity. Lisa and Heather find themselves running out of money because the insurance company refuses to pay on Michael's policy leading Lisa to become a realtor.
Once and Again 1999-2002 (63 episodes)
American series that depicts the family of a single mother and her romance with a single father
Lily Manning (Sela Ward) is a suburban soccer mom in her forties, who lives in Deerfield, Illinois. Recently separated from her philandering husband Jake (Jeffrey Nordling), Lily is raising her two daughters, insecure, anxiety-ridden 14-year-old Grace (Julia Whelan), and precocious 9-year-old Zoe (Meredith Deane). For support, she turns to her more free-spirited younger sister, Judy (Marin Hinkle), with whom she works at their bookstore. One of the show's unique aspects was the “interview” sequences filmed in black and white and interspersed throughout each episode, where the characters would reveal their innermost thoughts and memories to the camera.
Oz 1997-2003 (56 episodes)
American drama series produced for the HBO network / “Oz” is the nickname for the Oswald State Correctional Facility, formerly Oswald State Penitentiary, a fictional level 4 maximum-security state prison. The majority of Oz's story arcs are set in “Emerald City,” named for a setting from The Wonderful Wizard of Oz (1900). In this experimental unit of the prison, unit manager Tim McManus emphasizes rehabilitation and learning responsibility during incarceration, rather than carrying out purely punitive measures. Emerald City is an extremely controlled environment, with a carefully managed balance of members from each racial and social group, intended to ease tensions among these various factions.
Under McManus and Warden Leo Glynn, all inmates in “Em City” struggle to fulfill their own needs. Some fight for power—either over the drug trade or over other inmate factions and individuals. Others, corrections officers and inmates alike, simply want to survive, some long enough to make parole and others just to see the next day. The show's narrator, inmate Augustus Hill, explains the show, and provides context, thematic analysis, and a sense of humor.
The Parkers 1999-2004 (110 episodes)
American sitcom spin-off of UPN's Moesha / The Parkers features the mother-daughter team of Nikki (Mo'Nique) and Kim Parker (Countess Vaughn). The show centers on the two as they both attend Santa Monica College. Nikki Parker was forced to drop out of high school when she discovered she was pregnant with her daughter Kim. After Kim reaches adulthood, Nikki decides to go back to school and graduates along with Kim. When Nikki reveals she wants to attend Santa Monica College too, Kim is initially mortified with this decision, but eventually accepts the situation. Nikki and Kim's mother-daughter relationship evolves as roommates and as students. Nikki adjusts to the fact that her daughter is old enough to live on her own, while Kim realizes that Nikki has more going on than just being her mom.
Passions 1999-2008 (2231 episodes)
Morality Rating: Avoid
American soap opera series following the lives, loves and various romantic and paranormal adventures of the residents of Harmony. Storylines center on the interactions among members of its multi-racial core families: the African American Russells, the white Cranes and Bennetts, and half-Mexican half-Irish Lopez-Fitzgeralds. The series also features supernatural elements, which focus mainly on town witch Tabitha Lenox (Juliet Mills) and her doll-come-to life, Timmy (Josh Ryan Evans). Prominent character Simone Russell eventually comes out as Lesbian and is shown having sex with her girlfriend Rae Thomas. In later episodes longtime hero Chad Harris-Crane is revealed to be cheating on his wife with another man and the men are portrayed in bed together, committing (albeit unknowingly) incest. The show also portrayed the character Vincent as an intersex person who became pregnant with his own father's son. A recurring theme on “Passions” is sexual violence.
Pensacola: Wings of Gold 1997-2000 (66 episodes)
American action/adventure drama series starring James Brolin and set at the Naval Air Station in Pensacola, Florida / Brolin plays Lt. Col. Bill “Raider” Kelly, commanding officer of VMFAT-107, an F/A-18 Hornet training squadron.
The PJs 1999-2001 (44 episodes)
American stop-motion animated Black sitcom series starring Eddie Murphy as Thurgood Orenthal Stubbs (aka “The Super”) / The title is an abbreviation for “the projects,” referring to the show's public housing highrise. Much of the show's humor is derived from Thurgood's unwillingness to repair the dilapidated projects or deal with the many frustrations of leading a community of the urban poor. Despite his laughably poor education, he is shown to be kind and a natural leader when the situation calls for it.
Pokémon 1997-____ (1118 episodes)
Japanese anime series / The shows follow Ash Ketchum, young trainer of fictional creatures called Pokémon. Joined by his partner Pokémon Pikachu and a rotating cast of human characters, currently Goh, Ash goes on a journey to become a “Pokémon Master” and compete in various Pokémon-battling tournaments called Pokémon Leagues.
Popular 1999-2001 (43 episodes)
American teenage comedy-drama produced for The WB network / The show stars Leslie Bibb and Carly Pope as two teenage girls who reside on opposite ends of the popularity spectrum at their high school, but are forced to get along when their single parents meet and fall in love
Brooke McQueen (Leslie Bibb) and Sam McPherson (Carly Pope), students at Jacqueline Kennedy High School, are polar opposites. Brooke is a popular cheerleader and Sam is an unpopular journalist. Their respective groups are forced to socialize when Brooke's father and Sam's mother get engaged and the two girls have to share a house.
Plots revolve around the girls' school life, rival groups of friends, mutual animosity and plan to separate their parents.
The Powerpuff Girls
The Practice 1997-2004 (168 episodes)
American legal drama centering on the partners and associates of a Boston law firm / Conflict between legal ethics and personal morality was a recurring theme with light comedy being occasionally present. Stars include Dylan McDermott, LisaGay Hamilton, Steve Harris, Camryn Manheim, Kelli Williams, Michael Badalucco, Lara Flynn Boyle, Marla Sokoloff, Jason Kravits, Ron Livingston, Jessica Capshaw, Chyler Leigh, Rhona Mitra, and James Spader.
The Pretender 1996-2000 (86 episodes)
American action drama series / The shows follow Jarod (Michael T. Weiss), a young man on the run who is a “Pretender”: a genius impostor able to quickly master the complex skill sets necessary to impersonate a member of any profession. In each episode, Jarod assumes a new professional identity (e.g., doctor, lawyer, soldier) in his quest to uncover his origins, deliver justice to criminal wrongdoers who evade the law, and stay one step ahead of The Centre, the sinister think tank that kidnapped Jarod as a child to exploit his Pretender abilities.
Promised Land 1996-99 (68 episodes)
American drama series starring Gerald McRaney / It is a spin-off from Roma Downey’s series “Touched by an Angel.” Russell Greene (Gerald McRaney) is on a divine mission to “redefine what it means to be a good neighbor and recapture the American dream.” To do this, Russell and his family traveled around the country in a beat up Airstream trailer, helping people in need, looking for work, and learning from their experiences. Russell's family included his wife Claire (Wendy Phillips), who was licensed to homeschool their kids while they were on the road; his mother Hattie (Celeste Holm), who updated a hand-embroidered map to show all places they had traveled; teenage son Josh (Austin O'Brien); daughter Dinah (Sarah Schaub); and young nephew Nathaniel (Eddie Karr), who had been abandoned by Russell's troubled brother Joe (Richard Thomas).
Erasmus is an old friend of the family who lived in Chickory Creek, the small town in Kentucky where Hattie grew up. The family frequently returned to Chicory Creek to celebrate holidays and to rest. Occasionally they were assisted by Tess (Della Reese) or other angels while they tried to help people overcome their personal problems or rekindle their lapsed faith.
Providence 1999-2002 (96 episodes)
American medical drama series starring Melina Kanakaredes / The show revolves around Dr. Sydney Hansen (Kanakaredes), who left her glamorous job in Beverly Hills as a plastic surgeon for the rich, so she could return to her hometown of Providence, Rhode Island, and be with her family. Sydney lives with her father Jim (Mike Farrell), brother Robbie (Seth Peterson), sister Joanie (Paula Cale), and Joanie's baby Hannah in a large home in suburban Providence that also houses her father's veterinary clinic. Sydney's mother Lynda (Concetta Tomei) dies in the first episode but continues to appear to Sydney as a spirit, and to offer advice.
Quantum Leap 1989-93 (97 episodes)
American sci-fiction series created by Donald P. Bellisario / It stars Scott Bakula as Dr. Sam Beckett, a physicist who leaps through spacetime during an experiment in time travel, by temporarily taking the place of other people to correct historical mistakes. Dean Stockwell co-stars as Admiral Al Calavicci, Sam's womanizing, cigar-smoking companion and best friend, who appears to him as a hologram.
The series features a mix of humor, drama, romance, social commentary, and science fiction.
The Real World (614 episodes)
Reality-TV series / Seven to eight young adults (all strangers) are picked to temporarily live in a new city together in one residence while being filmed non-stop. The individuals are typically chosen to represent different races, sexes, sexual orientations, levels of sexual experiences, and religious and political beliefs. The shows depict issues relevant to contemporary young-adulthood, such as sex, prejudice, religion, abortion, illness, sexuality, AIDS, death, politics, and substance abuse. It also has a reputation for showcasing immaturity and irresponsible behavior.
The Red Green Show 1991-2006 (305 episodes)
Canadian series that combines sitcom and sketch comedy—a parody of home improvement, do-it-yourself, fishing, and other outdoors shows / The shows star Steve Smith (as Red Green)—a handyman who tries to find shortcuts to most of his projects, trusting most of his work to duct tape. Red is the president of the Possum Lodge, a fictional men's club in the small northwestern Ontario town of Possum Lake. He and his fellow lodge members have their own television show in which they gave lessons and demonstrations in repair work, outdoor activities and advice for men. Other actors include Patrick McKenna, Rick Green, Jeff Lumby, Wayne Robson, and Bob Bainborough.
Road to Avonlea 1990-96 (91 episodes)
Canadian series loosely adapted from novels by Lucy Maud Montgomery, with many of the series' characters and episodes inspired by her stories
The series is set in the fictional small town of Avonlea, Prince Edward Island, in the early 20th century (1903–1912). Ten-year-old Montreal heiress Sara Stanley (played by Sarah Polley) is sent by her wealthy father to live with her two maiden aunts, Hetty and Olivia King, to be near her late mother's side of the family after an embezzlement scandal results in him being placed under house arrest. The show's focus shifted over the years from Sara's interactions with locals to stories about the King family. Later seasons of the show focused more on residents of Avonlea who were connected to the King family.
Roswell 1999-2002 (61 episodes)
Rugrats 1991-2004 (172 episodes)
American animated children's series / The show focuses on a group of babies most prominently—Tommy Pickles, Chuckie, twins Phil and Lil, and Angelica—and their day-to-day lives, usually involving life experiences that become much greater adventures in the imaginations of the main characters. The other characters depicted in Rugrats include the babies' parents, who are portrayed as often being easily distracted, leaving their young children free to emancipate themselves from restraints such as playpens or strollers and venture out to explore.