When I heard the news, earlier this year, that BigIdea's enormously popular "Veggie Tales" was making the move to network television, I had mixed feelings. I am a HUGE fan of the series ... but, would some elements of the series I enjoyed - the Scriptural basis of its plots and messages, for example - make the jump to this wider, but more secular venue?
The answer appears to be YES. Last Saturday, I watched the story that was offered in response to a viewers' question about 'Love' ... is the love you have a cupcake the same as the love you have for a person?
In answer, Bob the Tomato tells us the story of Duke (played by Larry the Cucumber) who shows compassion for an elderly widow and her daughter-in-law, Petunia - also a widow - by allowing them to glean apples from his orchard.
Sound familiar? It should.
Duke falls in love with Petunia. Unfortunately, Petunia is an outsider, a Rhubarbarian, who chose to travel to her mother-in-law's kingdom out of her love and devotion for the old gal ... and that raises trouble, and a challenge to their love.
No spoilers, here ... though if you are familiar with the source, you have an idea of what the outcome will be. Be advised, though, that the story takes some patented Veggie Tales twists and turns on its way to the conclusion.
When all is said and done, Bob the Tomato returns to stress that there are different kinds of love, which will be familiar to those who have considered or discussed the definition of agape. He doesn't turn to Scripture at this point - as he would have in the video series - but he does close with the suggestion that we can learn more about this kind of love, "at church."
"Veggie Tales" airs Saturday mornings at nine o'clock (central) on NBC affiliates, and - in Spanish - Saturday mornings at eight o'clock on Telemundo affiliates.