On October 16, NBC will air a new show, “Trinity.” Its Department of Media Relations describes the show as a “powerful one-hour drama” from executive producer John Wells; Wells produced “ER.” The plot revolves around the McCallisters, “a working-class Irish-Catholic family from New York’ Hell’s Kitchen.” Viewers are introduced to “five young-adult siblings” who “lead contrasting lives and whose fierce loyalties are often pushed to the limit.” So far, so good. But wait.
Maureen Dowd of the New York Times tells us that one of the siblings, Amanda, is “a teacher at a Catholic school who keeps her first communion picture by her bed, gets drunk and hides the shame of being pregnant and unwed.” Kevin is another sibling. He’s a parish priest. What kind we do not know, but this much is for sure: the producer, Wells, is a self-confessed “great admirer” of “Nothing Sacred.” He thought it was “extremely well done.”
“I’m sure we will end up dealing with issues, with a Catholic family, of Catholicism and the decisions that adult Catholics have to make,” Wells said. It is not certain what Wells means by this, but it can be said that he won’t be projecting some of his own experiences: he is the son of an Episcopal priest.
Perhaps the most revealing thing we’ve learned about Mr. Wells is his sensitivity to African Americans. Some TV reviewers who have seen some of the shows apparently took Wells to task for continuing a bad NBC practice of airing shows about urban dwellers who are virtually all-white. Wells responded that this was a mistake he planned to correct.
We hope that Wells’ sensitivity extends to Catholics, as well. If it doesn’t, we’ll be sure to see if he responds to our concerns in a responsible fashion.