Joan Osborne once mused about God’s life as “one of us.” Running a white collar company where Michael Scott could be the manager is perhaps not what Osborne had in mind, but Francis Stokes was certainly thinking on the topic. With God, Inc, he shows us a world where life is run from a banal office building in the sky.
Having previously directed Buttleman (a film about a tuxedo salesman who confuses himself for Evel Knievel), Strokes also contributes to a daily blog entitled Gristmill (for environmental magazine Grist) and his own eco-blog, Sludgie. He released the first episode of God, Inc. in December 2006.
The premiere provides a tour of the office, where its interesting to see the lexicon of middle management applied to theology. There’s a Customer Relations team hurriedly rushing to file prayers that continuously spill out of a printer, a cocky Department of Disasters planning an earthquake that’s set to open up Calcutta “like a Prom girl’s legs”, and a geeky crew of Product Developers working on new plant and animal species.
The premise itself is intriguing, and takes the whole “man made in God’s image” to a new height.
The press, blogosphere, and inquiring minds are all hyped over the series. So much so, the Sci-Fi channel announced a deal with Stokes last week to turn God, Inc. into a single camera, half-hour program.
With the online episodes running between three and eight minutes, its hard to imagine stretching the concept to a full 30. The added length might tire the topic, and corporate supervision has the potential to tame the show’s indifferent edge. Still, its gotten more innovative and clever with each installment (my favorite development is Population Control in Episode 6) and the Sci-Fi Channel isn’t exactly one to stifle creativity.
The deal comes at the heels of another announcement concerning heavenly entities. Last week, Crackle – Sony’s shiny, new video entertainment site – signed a 10-episode deal with Mr. Deity (Tilzy.TV page), an internet sitcom where the all-knowing, all-powerful is actually an aloof businessman.
In fact, Mr. Deity is the exact type of person you’d think could manage God, Inc. Do I sense a potentially awesome cameo or mashup? Now that’d be a helluva show. Can I get a witness?