Comic and writer Rob Anderson posted his first recap of a seventh Heaven episode on TikTok in March 2023, with a thumbnail tempting viewers: “This episode of seventh Heaven was BONKERS.” Within the episode, Mary (Jessica Biel) steals a diner glass to adjust to a basketball group custom, however eldest boy Matt (Barry Watson) takes the blame and goes to courtroom after his “pastor dad” forces him to apologize and the supervisor presses costs. To borrow Anderson’s phrasing, the plot is certainly bonkers.
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Within the months since that first recap, Anderson has continued to search out absurd moments from the household drama, created by Brenda Hampton for The WB in 1996, and there are a lot—regardless of what the tame premise could have you ever consider. The sequence follows Reverend Eric Camden (Stephen Collins), the pastor of a group church within the fictional city of Glen Oak, California, and his household. Annie (Catherine Hicks) is his resourceful spouse and the mom of their seven children: Matt, Mary, Lucy (Beverley Mitchell), Simon (David Gallagher), Ruthie (Mackenzie Rosman), then twins Sam and David (Lorenzo and Nikolas Brino).
Writing for Slate in 2006, Marisa Meltzer famous that “each single present is a Very Particular Episode”— storylines typically current particular ethical or social questions, prompted by the each day lives of the Camdens or their family, buddies, and acquaintances. Aunt Julie is an excessive alcoholic, Simon makes use of the center finger and will get suspended from college, Simon hangs out with huffers, Lucy tries to show a classmate is bulimic—all of which Anderson discusses. Teen being pregnant is in frequent rotation too, seemingly foreshadowing Hampton’s subsequent present, The Secret Lifetime of the American Teenager, a few pregnant 15-year-old performed by Shailene Woodley.
In his seventh Heaven recaps, Anderson additionally satirically references Collins’s document of kid sexual abuse, which got here to gentle in 2014 and culminated within the actor’s confessional interview with Katie Couric and his reported disappearance to Iowa. Regardless of Collins’s crimes, loads of persons are nonetheless prepared to mirror on the present—both for the very first time, or for the primary time because the soap-y teen drama went off the air after 11 seasons in 2007. (The present averaged 7 million viewers per season, and holds the title of the most-watched TV present ever on The WB.) For these unique viewers who at the moment are all grown up, revisiting the gospel of seventh Heaven is without delay nostalgic and cringey.
Person Annie Highfield commented on Anderson’s first seventh Heaven TikTok, “The second hand embarrassment I really feel for my YOUNGER SELF for loving this present.” (Anderson responded, “Please I wished to be on this household so unhealthy.”) Certainly, the seventh Heaven theme music beckoned us into the Camden household, tugging on our heartstrings and infrequently aligning with conservative Christian ideologies. In actual fact, the Mother and father Tv Council ranked the sequence as one of the best household present on community tv for the 1998-1999 season. However many viewers have been none the wiser to what in the present day we would name spiritual propaganda.