Shocker: good reality TV

Jay Bakker, star of the new six-part, half-hour documentary series One Punk Under God (premiering Wednesday, 12/13), is the year’s most unlikely and most interesting reality-TV character.

He’s a tattooed, lip-ringed minister with his own church, called Revolution, that meets in an Atlanta mega-nightclub. “Tip your waiters and waitresses,” he says from the pulpit. And he grew up witnessing the notorious ’80s TV-preaching empire of his parents, Jim and Tammy Faye Bakker (fraud! sex! mascara!), collapse in disgrace.

The Behind the Music–style drama here (Dad won’t speak to him, Mom’s fighting cancer, and their Disneyland-esque Heritage USA theme park is a ghost town) makes for great television. But what makes this show unexpectedly compelling is that Jay is a deeply thoughtful rebel, a guy who markets his ministry with flyers that read,

As Christians, WE’RE SORRY for being self-righteous judgmental bastards. —REVOLUTION

Naturally, he’s a pariah to some. And that’s the real subtext here: what happens when the spawn of an infamous religious family decides to stop tolerating his own sect’s intolerance.

“>VIEW a promo for One Punk Under God

“>CHECK airdates and showtimes

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Shocker:  good reality TV