Review of The Chosen Series Created by Dallas Jenkins
I was late to the party to watch The Chosen. I thought it looked interesting from posts that I had seen posts about the series on Facebook, but I wasn’t interested in watching a series on my phone or laptop. Recently, I discovered that I could watch The Chosen for free on my television through a few different streaming services that interfaced with Roku. Thus the journey begins.
The writers of The Chosen—Dallas Jenkins, Tyler Thompson, and Ryan Swanson—include fictionalized backstories for characters in the series. They also have the characters use modern language to make it easier for viewers to understand the essence of the story. Of course, there are critics of some of the writers choices. Personally, I always enjoy when ministers add their personal opinions or insights about dialogue which likely happened that is not recorded in Scripture. For instance, the disciples very likely might have thought that Jesus had been exposed to the sun too long when He told them to seat 5,000 people and feed them all with a few fishes and loaves of bread. These suggested dialogues give me more appreciation of the experiences shared in the Bible. This is the same thing that Dallas Jenkins and his team are attempting.
Simon Peter’s personality in the series is a little too close for comfort to my personality when I make prayer requests. After Simon Peter gives suggestions to Jesus, the Lord patiently informs him that while his suggestions have merit, they are not needed at this time. Simon pushes harder for his agenda, at which time Jesus gives him a firm no. My prayer requests are often accompanied with my multi-point plan on how I believe that Jesus can best answer the prayer. As I watch the series, I sometimes feel that Jesus’s responses to Simon Peter could be meant for me.
The series portrays most of the disciples as having checkered pasts which is very plausible. After all, Jesus came to save the lost and heal the sick and broken. The disciples often bring up each-others’ past failings or weaknesses. Jesus or one of the other disciples remind the group that the past has been forgiven. This is a nice reminder that we should see others for who they can be, not who they were or even who they are currently. The disciples have disagreements and at times jockey for leadership roles, all of which is alluded to in Scripture.
Jesus is portrayed as a compassionate, relatable man with a fun sense of humor. I believe that He did and does have a sense of humor, and I enjoy this choice of artistic license adopted by the writers.
I am no expert in cinematography, but in my opinion, the quality of the sets and filming is professional and well done. I do not recognize the actors from other movies or television shows, but they all do a great job of bringing their characters to life. The casting directors did a great job.
I read my Bible regularly, but I am not a Biblical scholar. With that said, in the first two seasons, I have not noted anything that is contrary to the Bible. Mr. Jenkins has stated that the writers studied text regarding the characters in Scripture and then considered what their personalities and back stories could have looked like. He also indicated that a lot of prayer went into the fictionalized parts of the script. I applaud Mr. Jenkins’s bravery for going outside the box to produce a thoughtful series of the life of Christ. I suggest that you join me in praying for The Chosen team that they continue to produce a series that Jesus is proud of, and that they continue to reach millions of viewers.
Personally after I watch an episode of The Chosen, I feel grounded and my slight and momentary problems come into perspective. I highly recommend watching it. I am looking forward to the release of the third season.
Angela L Gold, author of the Power Unleashed Series