A Review of “The Chosen”
I’m skeptical of “Christian films.” Sometimes Christian can be a substitute for cheesy or obnoxiously-low-budget, but my real beef is how some of these films build straw-man caricatures of unbelievers that are more apt to unnecessarily push them away than draw them to God. So I have my issues with this genre.
Enter The Chosen – a show about the life of Jesus. Our family watched Episode 1 on Day 10 of the National Emergency. We finished the 8-episode series in a week. Here are a few things I’d love you to know:
- After watching a show in the evening, I found myself studying the Bible stories the next morning. I like that the episodes pricked my curiosity and left me wanting to learn.
- The production quality is top notch. I’ve seen a few episodes of “This is Us,” and it’s a decent comparison. Great shows capture your attention and heart, which requires detailed production and excellent story telling.
- The soundtrack is incredible. I listen to it for hours at a time while working.
- The producers said their aim was to help people see Jesus through the eyes of the people around him. They do this by taking known characteristics of those around Jesus and then expanding their stories beyond the Biblical text. I have no problem with this approach. Good preachers, teachers, and parents do this same thing, not to detract from the Bible but to add depth and imagination to their teaching. We want our listeners to explore what it would’ve been like to be a tax collector, or a curious Pharisee, or Simon Peter’s wife. When done well, this all draws us to Jesus.
- The more you know the Bible, the more you will catch subtle references. I loved catching some of these and I’m sure I missed others.
- I was changed. I’m not exaggerating. I’m not sure everyone will be, but I really was. I can’t quit thinking about the curiosity of Nicodemus and the future of Peter’s wife. Thinking of both points me to Jesus.
- Our whole family loved watching them. We don’t all agree on shows often. There are a few scenes that could be frightening for little kids (like a demon-possessed person), but these are fairly brief and rare.
- The only con I could muster is that was a bit clunky to watch the episodes on our TV. Their website lets you watch the first 4 episodes for free and then they ask for a donation to fund future seasons. You can watch all the episodes for free on youtube, but you’ll need to find the full episodes which include the producer talking at the beginning or end. This isn’t a big deal and they are creating more ways to make viewing them easier.
I’d love to hear what you think.
I’ll leave you with one of my favorite clips.