Under the Banner of Heaven Show Recommendation

Under the Banner of Heaven Show Recommendation
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Under the Banner of Heaven Show Recommendation. I don’t know about you, but I love history. I also enjoy a good theological tussle. And I also love a good detective, who-done-it crime show. And guess what? Today, I have a show for you that melds all three of these fascinating past times. At the heart of it, Under the Banner of Heaven is a crime investigation into the murder of a mother and her daughter. But there is a lot more going on here than just that.

Under the Banner of Heaven is a star-studded Hulu mini-series that is similar to True Detective, but with a Mormon spiritual flavor to it. The cast is headed by Andrew Garfield (Social Network, The Eyes of Tammy Faye) who did a compelling job as a Mormon brother struggling with his faith after learning what his own extended family was capable of. Sam Worthington who will only ever be Jake Sully in Avatar in my mind. Wyatt Russell – who cemented himself into my mind with the Black Mirror episode – Play Test, which is one of my favorites. Adelaide Clemens from The Great Gatsby. And Daisy Edgar-Jones who is playing Kya in the new movie Where the Crawdads Sing.

I have to say, that although I am comparing it to True Detective season 1 – it’s unfair to stack it against such supernatural competition – but it is directionally correct. It downward spirals into spiritual darkness, similar to where True Detective went. And yet it does a really good job lifting the covers on a dark and fairly unsavory section of our nation’s history. Both historically, and present day.

Regardless, it’s pretty riveting stuff. Hell, I’d watch a show that just wandered into Salt Lake City and rolled while family’s there went about their daily routines. My wife and I were moving back from California to Colorado years ago and we hit a deer in Utah. The week or two that we spent in that small town? I was blown away with how even an outsider living in a motel could see just how different the community was. And from a sociological standpoint, I was riveted. But also spiritual, I’ve done quite a lot of reading on the foundation of the religion as well as on the current day beliefs and I just find it all so interesting. And there are moments here in this show, like when the lead detective’s wife comes unhinged about his deciding to move back their daughter’s baptism. Why? Because the community will think that they failed their interview. What will not only the church think, but their friends, their neighbors, etc.? Or the inherent racism in the church – apparently they refused black people from being ordained into the church’s lay priesthood, from participating in the ordinances of its temples, and even opposed interracial marriages until 1978. SEVENTY EIGHT! I had no idea – that one was mind-altering to me. (But apparently Joseph Smith supported slavery originally because he saw it as a connection to the Curse of Cain. But I digress, it was these little nuances as I watched that caused me to keep a different tab open to Wikipedia, and other historical tabs for cross-referencing.

Anyway – I really enjoyed it. I thought it was a well done series on all levels. (Even if the historical bits were on the Hallmark network sort of cheesy. But it communicated well regardless.) It was suspenseful and carried the story and the questions well. It carried the social horror and the even more intriguing theological conundrums well. Yeah, but I said all that already. Check it out if you happen to have a Hulu subscription. You might enjoy it. You already know I did.

Edited by: CY