Wednesday, December 17, 2014
The Sisterhood: Becoming Nuns
My upcoming novel for Chesterton Press, "The Mermaid and the Unicorn," takes place in a Parisian Convent. This has made for some interesting research challenges, particularly being a Protestant. One resource that has recently come onto my radar screen is Lifetime's new reality show, "The Sisterhood: Becoming Nuns."
One of the contestants, Claire Halbur, is a friend of several friends of mine. I'd recently friended her on Facebook and couldn't help noticing this show she kept talking about. Five young girls visiting different convents to discern their calling? All sorts of nuns getting interviewed? This was exactly what I was looking for!
"But it's reality tv," you say. "It's just drama, right?"
Not at all. Sure, there is drama, and some of it is heightened because of the cameras and editing, but overall I've been very impressed with the first three episodes and the respect the show is giving both the Catholic faith and their contestants. There is a reason they are labeling it as a "docu-drama" rather than reality tv, even though that's what it is. They did a good job of picking a very diverse cast, so that the drama comes from five very different young women experiencing a very radical shift in lifestyle - which is something that happens when you get a bunch of women living together - no exceptions! i.e. it is realistic drama, not (mostly) staged.
The episodes are available online for cable subscribers. If you don't have access to a cable account yourself, it's worth borrowing a friend's account to check out this (short) series (although I hope it'll make its way onto Netflix eventually). Whether you are Catholic, or interested in learning about a new culture, this is interesting, informative and about as respectful as I think you can expect a reality tv show to be.