First, I’m a huge fan. I’ve watched all sixteen and I plan to go back though them and watch again. They are worth multiple viewings.
What Dallas and associates are trying to do is major, fascinating, visionary, imaginative, and well executed.
It’s hard not to cry one time per episode. The first one, where Mary Magdalene is rescued, starts it. When Jesus tells Peter “get used to different” to defend Matthew. When his mother washes Jesus’ feet because that is all she can do for him now. When the 38-year paralytic is healed. And last night, when Mary says “Your father would want to be here” and Jesus asked, “Which one,” as a joke, and Mary remembers her sweet husband and her face says everything. The actors are excellent, and opting for a homely but manly, tall Jesus makes a lot of it work.
Of course, what they are trying to do is going to spark controversy. Everyone’s a critic anyway. Trying to dramatize the gospels through the lives of the apostles is bound to make some folks mad, especially when key elements of the life of Christ are not even involved. Sometimes Jesus tells jokes, but the apostles don't get them. Sometimes he doesn’t know everything and asks questions. He argues with John the Baptist about John’s plans to confront Herod. The Sermon on the Mount is constructed and practiced; it is not impromptu. Yet this Jesus knows who he is and fearlessly states it, unlike in some versions of the life of Christ.
So, I recommend it, and I believe it is being used Plus, I’ve heard enough of how Christians don’t create art. It’s being done. Maybe the self-appointed critics will notice. Maybe I’ll give them some money. They really need it and deserve it.
However . . .
The last five minutes of last night’s Season Two Finale was a little . . . I don’t know. Just missed the mark. The music, the build up to the sermon, like it was a rock concert, the slow mo, the big reveal (no spoilers). It didn’t feel right. It didn’t feel worthy of the rest of the program so far.
But I'll overlook it and can't wait until Dallas Jenkins and teams is able to produce more. And perhaps we should live with a renewed vision of the heart of Christ rather than just waiting for more entertainment.