Bromance, Episode 3: Friendship vs. Idolatry

One of the main goals of modern Christianity relates directly to one of the buried themes in the latest episode of Bromance.

When we think of the sermons of Joel Osteen and other “hip pastors” we see, over and over again, the idea of God as Friend as opposed to God as God. For many fundamentalists, this creates an uncomfortable tension. How can you be friends with something you worship, something you revere, something you emulate? 

Our Man Jenner is obviously an idol in the eyes of MTV. He is a goal, something to be achieved. He is a Pop God, evidenced by MTV’s long-lingering eye of gratuity as Brody lathered his lean, tattooed body in the shower. He is what MTV believes America wants to be: a man made famous by the life he was born into, a man with beautiful genes, a man with talents that have no bearing on his fame. Brody Jenner is a desirable personality. Thus the reason Ryan Seacrest thought it was a good idea to create a show revolving around his ego. Thus the reason thousands of people from all over the country applied for his friendship.

So where do our contestants fit?

Do they want friendship? Or do they want worship?

And more importantly, what does Brody want?

In this latest episode, Brody challenged the guys to plan an activity for them to engage in. Luke built a mini-golf course, Chris F. did some pathetic stand-up, and Femi…well, Femi went a little off the deep end.

In previous episodes, Femi has come to tears discussing how this show is an opportunity. His past is littered with loss and legal issues, and as much as Femi talks up his neighborhood and his lifestyle, it’s obvious the man is miserable. Femi wants a savior. Femi wants the escape his friends who’ve been “shot in the back” never had.

This means his stakes are exponentially higher than his comrades. And this makes him dangerous.

This showed more than ever in this latest episode when Femi decided to get a tattoo as part of his planned activity. The tattoo was his last name, written along his left side in Olde English. Femi emphasized the importance of his family as his reason for getting it. What made everyone a bit unsettled, including Our Man Jenner, was the fact that this was an exact replica of Brody’s tattoo (showed to us so cleverly during the obnoxious shower scene between Brody, Frankie, and the Sleaze).

All of the guys (all more than bothered) pointed this out to Femi, but he didn’t say much to that. This was an act of friendship to him, something to make him stand out.

We see here the embodiment of the Friendship vs. Idolatry conflict at the heart of tonight’s Bromance. Femi’s tattoo is an act of worship, buried within the justification of his “individuality” (which he links to friendship). Like Christians who grow Jesus beards or flagellate themselves, desperate to feel closer to their Lord, Femi’s act is one of sacrifice and idolatry.

Yet Brody keeps him. Why? Because Femi has “passion.”

Or: Femi’s character is one above the others, and the producers see the potential.

See, this is not friendship to Femi; this is salvation.

Bromance as religion.

I like where this is going.


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