For the Love of Foyle: The Most Important Television Program Conservative America Can Watch in 2017
For me, there's no close second. Far and above every other television show that I have ever loved stands Anthony Horowitz's Foyle's War.
Until watching this program, I never understood what fans meant when they said, "This is my show." I'm not a fan of TV in general, so it always felt a little silly to hear someone connect his or her identity with a weekly program.
I now stand corrected. Foyle's War is the show of my heart. I hold these episodes with a similar loyalty to the writings of C.S. Lewis, Chesterton, Shakespeare, Flannery O'Connor, and Gerard Manley Hopkins.
The setting is WWII, in Hastings--a town on England's southeast coast. Michael Kitchen plays the Detective Chief Superintendent, a police officer who is attempting to fight back small town crime in the shadow of a massive global war.
While each episode unpacks a murder mystery, so much more happens simultaneously as well. Like the best mystery stories of Agatha Christie or Dorothy Sayers, Horowitz uses the genre to address human nature in all of its potential wonders and flaws. Essential questions of ethics are addressed in such a way that we learn both the risks and the nuances of living uprightly in a broken world.
Week after week, Foyle shows us that it is both dangerous and vital to maintain personal integrity, and he does this in a way that is so winsome that even a rebel like me wants to make good choices at the end of every episode. As a protagonist, Foyle is shrewd without being proud. He is thoughtful, discerning, kind, brave, and principled. He is willing to stand against corruption that has infected his peers, even when he is threatened. He stares down "for the greater good" arguments, knowing that not all ends justify all means.
Beyond all this, the show is beautiful without sacrificing honesty. The East Sussex countryside is glorious, and yet scenes of bombings and battles show us the trauma of wartime. And as a viewer moves slowly from the opening episode through the last season, the reality of WWII, and the sacrifices made by thousands of families become moving realities.
When I grow weary of the state of the world, discouraged about attempting to hold to what is right and good, I often sit with an episode of Foyle's War. This show reorients my vision, reminding me that it's okay to feel alone in corrupt times. It reminds me to hold fast and to love what is lovely and true, though all the world goes mad around me.
If you have never watched this show, start with the pilot episode: "The German Woman." (Because Foyle progresses through history and plot development episode to episode, chronological viewing matters here.) I think this series is the most important show conservative America could be watching right now. It's stellar viewing for your older kids. It will likely be medicine for your heart as well.