Monday, June 28, 2021

TV Show Review: The Chosen

I know people have VERY STRONG OPINIONS on this show, but I want to share my opinion. 

Summary: I LIKE IT. 

That's all. Just kidding, I can elucidate. 

First off, where can you watch it? Right here! Want a summary? Here's the wiki!

So I watched the first season right before Lucy was born (literally the week or two before) and I enjoyed it. After she was born, Mark and I watched the first season and then started on the second when we have time. Since it is still being released, let me be clear that I have watched the first season and the first five episodes of the second season. I think the season and series will progress along the same track, but you can never be sure. This review is with the first 13 episodes in mind. 

I think this show is not at all a replacement for reading the Bible but, armed with your Biblical knowledge, the show can help bring the stories to life. Do they take creative liberties? Oh yes they do - they take a lot of them to really fill out the characters! Do they keep the creative liberties historically and Biblically sound? I believe they do! I think they do an excellent job with the casting, the costumes, and the sets. I think they do an excellent job of tying the stories together, chaining the narratives to flow from one scene to the next. Do they spend a lot of time on small sections of scripture, putting Peter Jackson's The Hobbit to shame with how slowly they are progressing? An argument could be made to say yes, they indeed do. It would be a very simple argument. The show is not fast-paced by any means. But that is not a bad thing! You are really getting to know the characters and get a feel for the day-to-day ministry. It wasn't all mountain-top experiences and quickly made, life-changing decisions! They had a lot of small experiences - it was a three-year ministry after all, not a one-week revival service. 

I think it is really cool how many layers there are to the stories given. The more you know of the Bible, both Old Testament and the Gospels, the more you will get out of this show! Now, if you want a production that gives just the Biblical stories and very little extra, I suggest you go to Sight & Sound Theatres and watch any of their productions. They probably cover in their one show Jesus all the material that The Chosen plans to cover in 7 seasons. Since Sight & Sound is an approximately two hour experience and The Chosen is planning to be approximately 56 episodes ranging from 30-60 minutes each, you can see how they are vastly different experiences. Both are good, in my opinion, but very different from each other.

At the start of the first episode of the first season, they have the disclaimer below (I copied this from the wiki page because that was much easier than freeze-framing and transcribing). I think it is a great summary of their intent with the series:  

The Chosen is based on the true stories of the gospels of Jesus Christ. Some locations and timelines have been combined or condensed. Backstories and some characters or dialogue have been added.

However, all biblical and historical context and any artistic imagination are designed to support the truth and intention of the Scriptures. Viewers are encouraged to read the gospels.

In summary, read the Bible! If you'd like, watch this show to help picture the characters and interactions from the Gospels. But don't base your Biblical facts on this show! For example, we do not know if Nicodemus did all the things mentioned in the first season of this show. It would be in-character and also could be likely that he did those things, but it is historical fiction rather than Biblical fact. We do not know the backstory of most of the Apostles - the trades of some are listed but many are just shown as being gathered by Jesus and following Him. Could Doubting Thomas have been at the Wedding at Cana? Sure he could have, but we do not know. Knowing what is in the Bible and what is conjecture is vital when watching a show or viewing a movie or even listening to a sermon! Don't confuse man's opinion with God's Word. 

My review is five out of five stars for this one. ✶✶✶✶✶ I like it and plan to keep watching it. 

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