The Chosen

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Holy Cow
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The Chosen

Post by Holy Cow » 30 Dec 2020, 12:20

Has anybody else here watched the series, "The Chosen?" The first season has been out for a while, and the second season is in the works. It took me a few episodes to get into it. At first I was kind of turned off by the bad fake accents and mediocre acting of some of the characters. But, once I got a few episodes in, those things were overshadowed by the overall message. It's an interesting take on the life of Christ and the apostles; humanizing them and showing them with personality quirks and flaws, instead of elevating them beyond anything we could hope to become. I really appreciate that it portrays them as being more on our level. If you haven't seen it, it's worth a watch. You can download the "The Chosen" app and watch it there, or you can find it on VidAngel.

***Spoiler alert***
If you don't want to give anything away, I wouldn't recommend clicking the link below:
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=el7dzoNV3IY
This scene is the final scene from the first season, and my favorite scene of the series so far. Mostly, because my FC initially started with doubts about the temple. So, hearing what was said at the end of this scene was something I needed to hear.
My introduction: viewtopic.php?f=8&t=6139

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DarkJedi
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Re: The Chosen

Post by DarkJedi » 31 Dec 2020, 06:31

I had thought there was a tread about The Chosen, but I don't see it. Yes, I started watching it before it was on BYUTV on the recommendation of my SP. I agree, the first couple episodes didn't really draw me in and I mentioned that to the SP who replied "It gets better." It did. One of my favorite scenes is actually n the first episode, and that is Jesus forgiving/healing Mary Magdalene. My favorite character is Nicodemus because he's played as a questioner of his own faith. I also like the way Matthew is played. I also like the clip you posted HC, and there are several little snippets throughout that are like "Hey, did they just say that? Cool."
In the absence of knowledge or faith there is always hope.

Once there was a gentile...who came before Hillel. He said "Convert me on the condition that you teach me the whole Torah while I stand on one foot." Hillel converted him, saying: That which is despicable to you, do not do to your fellow, this is the whole Torah, and the rest is commentary, go and learn it."

My Introduction

Roy
Posts: 6591
Joined: 07 Oct 2010, 14:16
Location: Pacific Northwest

Re: The Chosen

Post by Roy » 27 Dec 2021, 12:31

My family and I are enjoying this series.

I have many compliments from a story telling perspective.

1) They really tend to humanize Jesus. The Jesus character that they portray is someone that would have a good time at a party and telling jokes. They had a whole episode early on of Jesus befriending some neighborhood children. I believe that this served as character development and also for demonstrating the affinity that Jesus has for children. The series tends to give backstory for many of the biblical characters. I would not be surprised if there is a later scene were these same children (that were in effect some of the first disciples of Jesus depicted in the show) end up being the very children that the adult Apostles attempt to bar/prevent from seeing/bothering Jesus. There is some difficulty portraying a relatable Jesus and also a Jesus that reads people's minds. At one point in The Chosen, Jesus asks Simon what is bothering Simon. Simon responds something like, "What is the point of telling you if you already know?" The Jesus character answers with "that is a conversation for another time." Then when Simon starts telling Jesus and Jesus finishes his sentence for him. Simon says, "See, that's what I mean, you already know anyway." Jesus responds with, "Simon, everyone here already knows what you are thinking most of the time. It does not take God's wisdom." The other disciples nod in agreement. This scene deals directly with the Jesus character's ability to know what most others do not. He is not depicted as a mystical God creature that speaks only in riddles. Perhaps the depiction is more in line with that of a Prophet. He is so in tune with God that God tells him some things, enough at least for him to fulfill his mission and get from point A to point B. But this does not mean that Jesus knows all things all the time (or can read minds whenever he choses). I imagine that there may be some Christians that take issue with this depiction. Their doctrine requires that Jesus be "fully God" at all times.

2) I describe the scenes that are recorded in the bible and those same scenes depicted in The Chosen as data points. The Chosen story must pass through those same points and the outline of the story is more or less the same. However, there are often huge gaps in the biblical narrative between these data points. This is where a good part of the storytelling comes in.

3) In the "data point" scenes, the dialogue has been expanded and in some respects changed. I have seen many church video depictions of biblical events and they are mostly hamstrung by following the dialogue that is laid out in the Bible. It is stilted and unnatural sounding. The approach that The Chosen takes imagines a flowing conversation going on and someone off in the corner taking a few notes of highpoints. Those highpoints are still important but they do not represent the whole conversation. To add back in the rest of the conversation is a work of creative liberty. I imagine that this was a conscious decision on the part of the creators of The Chosen.

As an example, the biblical record (KJV) describes the scene that Holy Cow linked to above as follows:
5 Then cometh he to a city of Samaria, which is called Sychar, near to the parcel of ground that Jacob gave to his son Joseph.
6 Now Jacob's well was there. Jesus therefore, being wearied with his journey, sat thus on the well: and it was about the sixth hour.
7 There cometh a woman of Samaria to draw water: Jesus saith unto her, Give me to drink.
8 (For his disciples were gone away unto the city to buy meat.)
9 Then saith the woman of Samaria unto him, How is it that thou, being a Jew, askest drink of me, which am a woman of Samaria? for the Jews have no dealings with the Samaritans.
10 Jesus answered and said unto her, If thou knewest the gift of God, and who it is that saith to thee, Give me to drink; thou wouldest have asked of him, and he would have given thee living water.
11 The woman saith unto him, Sir, thou hast nothing to draw with, and the well is deep: from whence then hast thou that living water?
12 Art thou greater than our father Jacob, which gave us the well, and drank thereof himself, and his children, and his cattle?
13 Jesus answered and said unto her, Whosoever drinketh of this water shall thirst again:
14 But whosoever drinketh of the water that I shall give him shall never thirst; but the water that I shall give him shall be in him a well of water springing up into everlasting life.
15 The woman saith unto him, Sir, give me this water, that I thirst not, neither come hither to draw.
16 Jesus saith unto her, Go, call thy husband, and come hither.
17 The woman answered and said, I have no husband. Jesus said unto her, Thou hast well said, I have no husband:
18 For thou hast had five husbands; and he whom thou now hast is not thy husband: in that saidst thou truly.
19 The woman saith unto him, Sir, I perceive that thou art a prophet.
20 Our fathers worshipped in this mountain; and ye say, that in Jerusalem is the place where men ought to worship.
21 Jesus saith unto her, Woman, believe me, the hour cometh, when ye shall neither in this mountain, nor yet at Jerusalem, worship the Father.
22 Ye worship ye know not what: we know what we worship: for salvation is of the Jews.
23 But the hour cometh, and now is, when the true worshippers shall worship the Father in spirit and in truth: for the Father seeketh such to worship him.
24 God is a Spirit: and they that worship him must worship him in spirit and in truth.
25 The woman saith unto him, I know that Messias cometh, which is called Christ: when he is come, he will tell us all things.
26 Jesus saith unto her, I that speak unto thee am he.
27 And upon this came his disciples, and marvelled that he talked with the woman: yet no man said, What seekest thou? or, Why talkest thou with her?
28 The woman then left her waterpot, and went her way into the city, and saith to the men,
29 Come, see a man, which told me all things that ever I did: is not this the Christ?
Look at the link to see the changes.
"It is not so much the pain and suffering of life which crushes the individual as it is its meaninglessness and hopelessness." C. A. Elwood

“It is not the function of religion to answer all the questions about God’s moral government of the universe, but to give one courage, through faith, to go on in the face of questions he never finds the answer to in his present status.” TPC: Harold B. Lee 223

"I struggle now with establishing my faith that God may always be there, but may not always need to intervene" Heber13

Roy
Posts: 6591
Joined: 07 Oct 2010, 14:16
Location: Pacific Northwest

Re: The Chosen

Post by Roy » 03 Jan 2022, 11:34

We watched episode 1 of season 2 last night.

Jesus forgives and heals a man who was one of the robbers from the parable of the good Samaritan. This was interesting because it brought a new dynamic to what sorts of sins Jesus was willing to forgive. Two of the disciples stand ready to call down heavenly fire to burn up their "enemies." Jesus tries to teach them a better way.

There was a scene where John the Apostle is interviewing everyone sometime after the death of Jesus to record their memories of him. I found it refreshing that 1) this necessarily means that John was at best describing some things that were told to him and that he did not himself witness and 2) that John's personality, voice, and thoughts shine through. He does not include everything that he is told and he adds a disclaimer in the writing that Jesus did many more things that are not recorded.

For example, the beginning of the book of John starts with the "Word" that was with God and was God and created all things. The Chosen depicts John as coming up with that concept (of the Word) on his own as a way to glorify/memorialize Jesus and not as something that Jesus himself taught or was told to John by others.
"It is not so much the pain and suffering of life which crushes the individual as it is its meaninglessness and hopelessness." C. A. Elwood

“It is not the function of religion to answer all the questions about God’s moral government of the universe, but to give one courage, through faith, to go on in the face of questions he never finds the answer to in his present status.” TPC: Harold B. Lee 223

"I struggle now with establishing my faith that God may always be there, but may not always need to intervene" Heber13

Roy
Posts: 6591
Joined: 07 Oct 2010, 14:16
Location: Pacific Northwest

Re: The Chosen

Post by Roy » 17 Jan 2022, 16:07

Yesterday, I watched season 2 episode 2.

This episode was a bit of a let down for me.

It introduced the characters of Nathaniel and Phillip and gave them backstories for how they came to follow Jesus. The back story of Phillip in the biblical text is as follows:
The next day Jesus decided to go to Galilee. He found Philip and said to him, “Follow me.” Now Philip was from Bethsaida, the city of Andrew and Peter.
I really do not object to giving characters extra-biblical back stories. I just feel that by season 2, we should have our characters more or less established. I can imagine this to be of some difficulty creatively. There are lots of characters listed in the new testament. How do we distinguish and remember them all. How do we make the audience care about them as individuals?

Nathaniel is similar to Philip in that not much is known about him before he became a follower. There is an enigmatic phrase in the bible when Jesus tells Nathaniel that he had seen him under the fig tree. This episode provides a creative interpretation about what could be meant by that.

Other than this, not much happened... and that was the struggle for me as an audience member. Two new characters were introduced to the ever expanding list of characters and otherwise the story line did not move. I understand that they are hoping to do a full 7 seasons so I guess they are planning on having plenty of runway with which to tell the story. Most TV series do not last for 7 seasons but I understand that "The Chosen" (with non-traditional funding sources) might not be at the mercy of network executives and the the like.
"It is not so much the pain and suffering of life which crushes the individual as it is its meaninglessness and hopelessness." C. A. Elwood

“It is not the function of religion to answer all the questions about God’s moral government of the universe, but to give one courage, through faith, to go on in the face of questions he never finds the answer to in his present status.” TPC: Harold B. Lee 223

"I struggle now with establishing my faith that God may always be there, but may not always need to intervene" Heber13

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DarkJedi
Posts: 7664
Joined: 24 Aug 2013, 20:53

Re: The Chosen

Post by DarkJedi » 20 Jan 2022, 05:29

I was also disappointed in season two, so much so that I haven't finished it. I liked season one a lot and I liked the character development of Matthew and Nicodemus in particular. There were some moving scenes in season one, such as Jesus forgiving/healing Mary. I'm not getting the same vibe from season two.
In the absence of knowledge or faith there is always hope.

Once there was a gentile...who came before Hillel. He said "Convert me on the condition that you teach me the whole Torah while I stand on one foot." Hillel converted him, saying: That which is despicable to you, do not do to your fellow, this is the whole Torah, and the rest is commentary, go and learn it."

My Introduction

Roy
Posts: 6591
Joined: 07 Oct 2010, 14:16
Location: Pacific Northwest

Re: The Chosen

Post by Roy » 20 May 2022, 10:06

The Chosen has some tangential connections to the LDS church. Specifically, it is distributed by Angel Studios (co-founded by LDS brothers), was permitted to use the church's recreated set of ancient Jerusalem for episodes, and also employs some LDS on the crew. There may be some other connections as well.
This has led to some awkward situations for the show creator trying to keep peace between LDS and non-LDS factions. There is a segment of the Christian audience that would boycott the film if they felt that it was influenced/corrupted with Mormon viewpoints.
In the past the show creator was quoted as saying "Mormons and evangelicals love the same Jesus." Sounds pretty innocuous. However, those that feel that Mormons are not really Christian take serious issue with that.
Therefore, the show creator recently released a video that purports to be the final statement on the LDS issue.

"it would be wrong of me to ever say that any one group believes any one thing altogether. That is just a level of arrogance that I don't have. It would be just as dumb for me to say that all evangelicals are Christians, or that all Catholics are Christian or any other faith tradition. It would also be dumb for me to say that none are."

I actually feel that this response is pretty genius. If he says that Mormons are Christians then he ticks off the evangelical crowd. If he says that Mormons are not Christian then he ticks off the Mormon crowd. Instead he claims not to be able to tell Christianity by membership in a church or faith tradition. Instead that some individuals of any faith may not be true Christians and also that some true Christians may be found in almost any faith.

Masterful response.
"It is not so much the pain and suffering of life which crushes the individual as it is its meaninglessness and hopelessness." C. A. Elwood

“It is not the function of religion to answer all the questions about God’s moral government of the universe, but to give one courage, through faith, to go on in the face of questions he never finds the answer to in his present status.” TPC: Harold B. Lee 223

"I struggle now with establishing my faith that God may always be there, but may not always need to intervene" Heber13

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DarkJedi
Posts: 7664
Joined: 24 Aug 2013, 20:53

Re: The Chosen

Post by DarkJedi » 22 May 2022, 04:54

I agree Roy, it is masterful. Indeed, I don't think anybody has any business asserting anyone else is or isn't Christian. We cannot know another's mind.

Link to an article with Dallas Jenkins' comments: https://www.deseret.com/faith/2022/5/19 ... christ-lds
In the absence of knowledge or faith there is always hope.

Once there was a gentile...who came before Hillel. He said "Convert me on the condition that you teach me the whole Torah while I stand on one foot." Hillel converted him, saying: That which is despicable to you, do not do to your fellow, this is the whole Torah, and the rest is commentary, go and learn it."

My Introduction

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