Psst. Wanna Know a Secret?

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secrets.JPGTonight, the Peacock Network will air Secrets of the Mountainmaybe the safest and riskiest show we’ve seen in a while.

Television programming doesn’t get much safer. Secrets (which will be released on DVD in Walmart stores on Saturday) is a G-rated affair—like what I would’ve watched on The Wonderful World of Disney way back in the 1970s. It’s fun and engaging, but it also feels like a throwback to earlier, simpler, maybe even half-imagined times, when Norman Rockwell was still painting and families really did gather ’round the television to share some quality, clean entertainment.

And that, of course, is what makes Secrets so risky. It’s an unabashed throwback, devoid of irony or guile and completely out of step with what we typically see on television today. Sure, the characters in Secrets deal with contemporary issues. But the storytelling is quaint—charmingly quaint, perhaps—lacking depth but offering in its place a whole lot of heart.

Walmart and Procter & Gamble, the corporate folks behind Secrets, are gambling that there’s a real hunger for truly family-friendly television—that moms and dads and kids are still looking for opportunities to spend time together, even in front of the tube.

And we hope they’re right. Focus on the Family (of which Plugged In is a part) has invested significant time promoting Secrets, which means the organization feels it’s really worthwhile. For Plugged In‘s part, we know that families flock to quality, clean movies—Pixar’s Up made nearly $300 million last year—and we’d love to see a resurgence in true family entertainment on network TV.

But, at the same time, we try to be objective about entertainment—even the stuff we want to succeed. And, in today’s fragmented media world and ever-coarsening culture, I can’t help but worry a bit the movie might tank. We all say we want more family entertainment … but then again, we all want to be thinner, too. That wish doesn’t keep me from eating cheeseburgers.

It doesn’t matter a whit what I think, though. It matters what you—potential TV viewers—think. So, with that in mind, do you plan on watching Secrets tonight? Do you think it’ll grab big ratings? And, if you do watch, let us know what you thought.

Who wrote this?

Paul Asay has been writing for Plugged In since 2007 and loves superheroes and finding God in unexpected places. In addition, Paul has also written several books, with his newest—Burning Bush 2.0—recently published by Abingdon Press. When Paul’s not reviewing movies, he hikes with his wife, Wendy, runs marathons with his grown kids, Colin and Emily, and beats back unruly houseplants. Follow him on Twitter @AsayPaul.

Have something to say? Leave a comment.

Anonymous More than 1 year ago

Comment by  Doodle:

I saw the movie, and it was a little corny, but I liked it anyway!  It reminded me of the old Disney movies that abounded when I was a child.  My 11-year-old son didn't like it, much, though.  I guess he's already used to more sophisticated fare!

Anonymous More than 1 year ago

Comment by  Brian1131:

Be careful I have about touting UP. I have seen many times already other Christian's getting upset about it because of its thematic elements with death and its violence. This Secrets of the Mountain show might be relatively clean but I am sure this someone somewhere concerned with some sort of objectionable content if they can find it. I am pretty sure they are Christians out there that believe The Waltons is just as squalid as The Sopranos.

Anonymous More than 1 year ago

Comment by  RonJon1991:

I watched it and to tell you the truth, just watch the National Treasure movies. The story line was slow and the whole thing was very boring.