Alexandra Pelosi’s Friends of God documentary now airing on HBO

HBO debuted Friends of God: A Road Trip with Alexandra Pelosi last night, and the documentary airs frequently this weekend on HBO’s channels and is available OnDemand.

The film is described as “a look at the many millions of evangelical Christians who have become a formidable force in our culture and our democracy,” and includes interviews with people including Ted Haggard and “the leaders of groups like the Christian Wrestling Federation and Cruisers for Christ (a car club),” according to HBO.

While Pelosi says she avoided “heated political conversations … because they win. Their whole answer to everything is, ‘It’s in the Bible,’” she tells TV Guide that she “tried to focus on the people that I liked.” She also says her goal was “to understand these people, not to make fun of them. I think a lot of times people sit in New York and L.A. and they write about places they’ve never been.”

The film has been mostly well-received by critics. The New York Times’ Alessandra Stanley says “The documentary is a good-natured travelogue: it glances on the more intolerant and grotesque manifestations of Christian fundamentalism and also the faith’s vast following and political clout.” The San Francisco Chronicle’s Mick LaSalle says he’d “prefer if Pelosi were disarming them for a purpose, instead of disarming herself, but in her methodical, nonconfrontational way, she does stumble upon some illuminating moments.” The Boston Globe’s Matthew Gilbert agrees that “this documentary may ultimately say more about the insulated Blue Stater behind the camera than the Red Staters in front of it.”

Friends of God: A Road Trip With Alexandra Pelosi [HBO]
Alexandra Pelosi: Speaker of the House’s Kid Defends Religious Right [TV Guide]

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Marriage At First Sight

In an era of Tinder and Grindr, instant acceptance or dismissal of a potential partner, or instant sex with another body, Married at First Sight offers the thrill of watching strangers deal with the very basics of relationships.

Beyond the headline-grabbing premise, the series has turned out to be a stripped-down, authentic exploration of something very interesting. Read the full review.

about the writer

Andy Dehnart is a journalist who has covered reality television for more than 15 years and created reality blurred in 2000. A member of the Television Critics Association, his writing and criticism about television, culture, and media has appeared on NPR and in Playboy, Buzzfeed, and many other publications. Andy, 36, also directs the journalism program at Stetson University in Florida, where he teaches creative nonfiction and journalism. He has an M.F.A. in nonfiction writing and literature from Bennington College. More about reality blurred and Andy.