I’m always looking for something to watch with my children that doesn’t involve animation, superheroes, princesses or sports stars.
Those four categories are great, but they’ve slowly become my kids’ go-to for entertainment.
My goal is to broaden their horizons beyond the typical kid-themed stuff while staying within the family-friendly realm.
NBC’s America’s Got Talent fits that requirement — as long as my remote is always in hand.
The summer series, in its 14th season, is a televised talent show for any act, including singers, dancers, illusionists and comedians. The winner receives $1 million and the chance to perform in Las Vegas.
Nine out of 10 acts are entertaining and even inspiring. The other ones — often dancers or comedians — are inappropriate and get skipped in my home.
America’s Got Talent leads this month’s list of “5 Family-Friendly Things.”
It was created by Simon Cowell (American Idol), who also serves as a judge alongside Howie Mandel, Gabrielle Union and Julianne Hough. Terry Crews, a professing Christian, is the host.
Among this year’s new acts: a group of singing and dancing children from Detroit (the Detroit Youth Choir), a 12-year-old South Carolina girl who shocked everyone with her radio-worthy voice (Ansley Burns), and a military quartet that’s good enough to give you goosebumps (Voices of Service).
America’s Got Talent airs Tuesday nights. Replays are available through NBC.com and Hulu.
Also worth watching this month:
‘Breakthrough’ — The excellent faith-based film that opened in the top three and grossed more than $40 million will release on digital platforms July 2 and DVD/Blu-Ray/4K July 16. The film tells the miraculous true story of a boy who fell through a frozen pond and was thought dead until his mom began praying. His heart finally started beating again — 45 minutes after the accident. Chrissy Metz stars as the mom. Rated PG for thematic content, including peril. It contains minor language (two instances each of h-ll and OMG).
‘Good Sam’ — Now on Netflix, this feel-good film tells the story of a local television reporter who is searching for the mysterious “Good Samaritan” who is dropping bags of $100,000 on the doorsteps of strangers. News about this selfless action sparks other good deeds around the city. Good Sam is a Netflix original and contains only two coarse words (and a kiss). Its message about selflessness and helping one another is much-needed in our society.
‘Aliens and Demons’ — Author and Bible scholar Michael Heiser examines modern-day UFO sightings, including the Roswell incident, from a biblical and scientific perspective. (If you’re curious, he lands on the humans-are-alone perspective.) It’s fascinating, entertaining and Christ-centric. Heiser is a scholar in residence for Logos Bible Software and previously taught at Liberty University and Midwestern Baptist Theological Seminary. Aliens and Demons is available through FaithLifeTV.com.
‘Dumbo’ — Perhaps mainstream critics were split on this Disney live-action remake, but moviegoers gave it an A- CinemaScore, and it remains among the best family-friendly films of 2019. The movie tells the story of a young elephant who overcomes the teasing about his larger-than-normal ears. The film has a great lesson about disabilities and is now out on all home entertainment platforms. Rated PG for peril/action, some thematic elements, and brief mild language. It contains three coarse words (h-ll, 3, and OMG).
— by Michael Foust
Foust has covered the intersection of faith and entertainment more than a decade. He is the husband of an amazing wife named Julie and the father of four children.