Friday, March 8, 2013

Kinda Disappointed . . .

A neighbor in New Jersey caught me at the bus stop one day to tell me she’d been watching a movie the night before about the life of Joseph from the Old Testament, and the last half hour of the show was cut off by the local news.  We laughed a bit about that, but then she kept looking at me:  “So, tell me – how does the story end?  I’m dying to know!”

Sometimes I forget how little the average American knows about the Bible -- even about the most well-known and coolest stories.
I don’t know how many of you saw the first episode last Sunday of the History Channel's new series, “The Bible”.  Hubby and I were excited to see it.  We’d been reading that the creators of the series saw this as a way to introduce the Biblically illiterate to the basic stories of the Bible, stories that (as I’ve said before) it behooves every American to at least be familiar with.
We were disappointed, I’m afraid.  I’ve read other opinions on the series, from people who were upset about the racial inaccuracies . . . a bunch of lily white folk dirtied up to look kind of Palestinian.  We weren't as disturbed by that, although we were a bit taken aback by all the British and Scottish accents.
But I’m mainly disappointed because if this is an effort to introduce people to Biblical stories, I don’t think it will succeed.  I think they just bit off more than they can chew.  They have to truncate things so much to fit the entire Bible into ten hours of TV time that they leave out important details which are necessary to make the stories comprehensible.  I think their target audience will come away from this thoroughly confused and thinking these fundamentalists have some pretty freakish beliefs.
I was also disappointed in some of their artistic choices.  For example, their depiction of the Exodus story.  For those of you whose familiarity with Moses and the Red Sea is limited to the Charlton Hesston movie, understand that the storyline about Moses and the Pharaoh having old grudges from childhood is not in the Bible anywhere.  Now, I don’t have any particular beef with the storyline as such – it’s not a ridiculous leap to make, and there is room for artistic license in productions like this.  But the fact that THIS production used the same storyline as the Charlton Hesston movie just solidifies in the viewer's mind that the storyline IS Biblical.  Not to mention that it’s just so unoriginal.  The brother rivalry take has been done.  Find another angle.
Anyway, we'll keep watching.  I hope you will watch, too.  I'm sure I'll have more to say about it later, and I'd love to hear what you all think . . . especially those of you who haven't grown up inundated with Biblical lore like I have.

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