Beliefs Culture Jana Riess: Flunking Sainthood Opinion

Mormon-produced romantic comedy series premieres today

Adam and Eve Trailer (Official) from Adam & Eve Series on Vimeo.

“He’s the only man on earth. And she’s just not that into him.”

That’s the tagline for the new web series Adam and Eve, a Mormon-produced romantic comedy premiering today online (watch it here).

A post-Edenic rom com? Well, think about it. It’s the perfect set-up: What happens when your meet-cute moment is discovering you’re one of only two people on earth?

And that the ultimate arranged marriage has already been divinely ordained for you — and you’re not even sure you’re attracted to this other person?

I found the first episode charming and unexpectedly funny.

In the script, Adam’s a lot more interested than Eve is in the whole be-fruitful-and-multiply thing. In his geeky awkwardness he almost immediately tries to make a pass at her and she’s like, “Adam! We fell from innocence a half hour ago!”

Meanwhile she is feeling all the feels—excitement, anger, grief, a sense of adventure—and he is at a loss to understand her conflicting emotions. (This reminded me of Ron and Hermione’s conversation in the fifth Harry Potter book when Ron is gobsmacked that a girl might be having so many complex feelings all at one time, and she accuses him of having the emotional range of a teaspoon.)

As Adam and Eve get to know each other, and navigate the strange romantic territory of having no one of the opposite sex to observe for comparison, they’re also trying to parse the conflicting messages they received from God:

“I mean, who does that?” asks Eve. “ ‘Don’t eat from the tree; go forth and be fruitful.’ Who does that? . . . It makes no sense. At all!”

Today’s 25-minute episode is all there is so far—if viewers want to see more, they can contribute at Patreon, a sort of go-fund-me site for ongoing projects in the arts, or make a one-time donation via Paypal.

And if you live in the Salt Lake-Provo corridor, there are two in-person opportunities for you to meet the husband-and-wife team behind the production (Bianca and Davey Morrison Dillard are the co-creators; Davey also plays Adam).

Thursday, February 4th, at 8 p.m. at Writ & Vision bookstore, 274 W Center Street, Provo, UT. This showing will feature a panel discussion with Boyd Petersen and Kim Abunawara and a Q&A with Davey and Bianca.

Thursday, February 18th, at 8 p.m. at Mod A Go Go, 242 E South Temple, Salt Lake City, UT). This screening will feature several other locally-produced short films and will be followed by a Q&A with the filmmakers. (Note to parents: there may be non-family-friendly content in other shorts.)

One more thing. Even thought it’s intended as a comedy, there are some thoughtful theological moments here. “This project is a way for us to share some pretty personal things,” says Bianca. “How do we deal with our distance from God in a fallen world? How do we forge meaningful relationships in that same fallen world? How do we deal with a world where sex wasn’t a thing and then suddenly it is?”

Although the content is not explicitly Mormon, it’s informed by a Mormon POV, including having a strong Eve (even though she’s also a little neurotic, as is obligatory with rom com).

This is a lot of fun and I hope the series will continue.

About the author

Jana Riess

Senior columnist Jana Riess is the author of many books, including "The Prayer Wheel" (2018) and "The Next Mormons: How Millennials Are Changing the LDS Church," which will be published by Oxford University Press in March 2019. She has a PhD in American religious history from Columbia University.