Grace is, by my definition, something unexpected.
The series follows Oklahoma City police detective Grace Hanadarko, played by Oscar-winner Holly Hunter in a virtuoso performance that rightly earned her an Emmy nomination this year.
Grace is a complicated, deeply faulted, entirely engrossing character. She drinks too much, chain smokes, cusses like a sailor and sleeps around with random men and, most perilously, with her married partner, Detective Ham Dewey (Kenneth Johnson).
She's a survivor of clergy sexual abuse and a family-survivor of the Oklahoma City bombing, where her sister was killed.
When we first met Grace last season, she was chewing up the screen and her life, living recklessly and without apologies for her sins, until one night, driving drunk, she hit a pedestrian and killed him. Kneeling over the man's bleeding body in terror, she asks aloud, "God, help me."
And with that, Earle appears. He is, we (and Grace) soon learn, her last-chance guardian angel, a tobacco juice-spitting, T-shirt-wearing, tabbouleh-loving, drawling messenger from God, come to save her (or, more accurately, help her find salvation).
Grace is a modern-day King David, a woman after God's own heart despite -- or perhaps because of -- her fallen-ness. She makes the same mistakes over and over with troubling and sometimes tragic results. And yet, God doesn't stop extending grace to Grace, giving her chance after chance after chance to change her life and get healed.
"Earle dispenses a lot of grace," Miller said. "And the man himself, Leon Rippy, is just walking love. Oh my God. He's so talented as an artist, but as a man -- I'm gonna cry just talking about him. He really is just wonderful and meant to play this part. He's the kind of angel I would need in my life, and he's just a graceful, patient, loving angel."If you haven't seen the show, watch it on Monday nights on TNT and, as God Girl says:
That's how I like to believe God is.
"So do I. He delights in humans and what we do and how we try so hard. Several times in the show, he holds Grace -- that's God, to me, holding us when we're ashamed of something we've done and just there with his arms around us," Miller said.
Embrace the sacred messiness of life and, perhaps, your own grace.