The Chosen (S1): Depictions of Jesus & Media Literacy

The Chosen Free Christian Show Reviewed on Podcast Cinematic Doctrine
The Chosen (S1) – Depictions of Jesus & Media Literacy

Melvin & Dan can finally say “Yes” to the question “Have you watched The Chosen?”. Throughout the episode, hear both parties celebrate the shows success, mindfully deconstruct the dangers of misinterpreting the Biblical Jesus, the importance of media-literacy, and whether or not we need more adaptions of Jesus.

Topics:

  • The Chosen’s strength lies in its source material, similar to a comic-book movie or book adaption.
  • Daniel’s felt The Chosen was overhyped for him, and he was waiting for the show to be “amazing” like he’d heard so much about.
  • Despite the shows occasional problematic depiction of historical events, The Chosen reveals to us more about who Creator Dallas Jenkins and co. are than Jesus or any of its biblical figures.
  • Melvin’s ambivalent comfortability with The Chosen is partially based on his media-literacy, his acceptance of the instinctual problematic nature of historical adaptions, and the importance of comparative concepts between the interpretations of source material.
  • It may sound strange to some, but the best scenes in The Chosen are typically ones without Jesus.
  • As a fictional historical drama, The Chosen works really well.
  • As Biblical interpretation, The Chosen becomes increasingly problematic.
  • General audiences often aren’t reading their bibles, and thus are having their only biblical exposure to second-hand adaptions.
  • Simultaneously, not many people have had personal experiences with God (Genesis 32 &  33), and thus often yearn for these experiences through surrogate means (i.e. watching bible films, reading Christian fiction, etc.).
  • If you do not have a “mental colander” to sift through The Chosen’s biblical inaccuracies (and why they’re important), it could be an unhealthy watch.
  • The danger of giving “Jesus” extra scenes and lines, as well as restructuring certain biblical moments, and even omitting sections of dialogue.
  • It’s important to meditate on why the Gospels don’t include Jesus’ personality traits and characteristics such as his favorite foods and pass-times.
  • Daniel, “Jesus isn’t Peter Pan. He’s not a public domain character you can just put in anything and do whatever you want with. He’s God.”
  • Christianity already struggles with people either not reading their Bibles or misinterpreting their Bibles. Having biblical adaptions add to that mix is… frustrating.
  • The Chosen, in pursuing period accuracy, creates a scriptural uncanny valley effect that otherwise isn’t experienced with clearly fictional representations of Jesus as seen in South Park or Joshua.

Recommendations:

Jesus The Chosen Christian Sermon

The Chosen is Rated TV-PG. It features Shahar Isaac, Jonathan Roumie, Elizabeth Tabish, Paras Patel, Noah James, Nick Shakoour, Jordan Walker Ross, George Harrison Xanthis, Lara Silva, Joey Vahedi, and Erick Avari. Created by Dallas Jenkins. Directed by Dallas Jenkins. The Chosen is available on Angel Studios.


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Melvin Benson Cinematic Doctrine Christian Movie Podcast Host

Melvin Benson is the Founder, Editor-In-Chief, and Lead Host of Cinematic Doctrine. He’s written fiction and nonfiction for over a decade with short stories featured on the Creepypasta Wiki and Wattpad. His novelette Ethereal Temptation, a teen drama with a tinge of magical-realism, can be read for free here. His hope is to see King Jesus glorified as far as the east is from the west!

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