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fantasia
(@fantasia)
Member Admin

Just curious if anybody else on here is a fan of The Chosen series? If you haven't already seen Season 1, here's the YouTube link to episodes one and two, and the following six additional episodes should be easy to find.

(I skipped through all of the talking in the above link 😉 )
For me personally, this has handily become my most favorite Christian film production of all time, and I decided to go ahead and start its own thread since it doesn't quite fall under the category of a TV show since it's ....not on TV. Giggle  

Season 1, Episode 1, Called You By Name -- I should mention that I went into this show completely blind. I only knew of its existence through friends of mine on FB who were constantly advertising it. When Covid happened last year, the production put all eight episodes up on YouTube for free, I watched them for the first time and really enjoyed the experience of watching something with zero input.
For this thread I figured I'd go through each one to give my thoughts.

Spoiler
I was very intrigued by the way they introduced the characters -- Mary Magdalen, Peter and Andrew, Nicodemus, and Matthew the Tax Collector. I was not sure how I'd feel about the fact that they give the characters a fictional background based on a couple little verses in the Bible. For me, Mary and Matthew were REALLY well done, Nicodemus isn't bad, but I have mixed feelings on Peter and Andrew. After having a year to think about it, I do think I like the attitudes of Peter and Andrew as I feel like they're fairly accurate knowing how their stories play out in future books of the Bible, but I wasn't super hot on the rebel, law-breaking take.... My own opinion. 
But the first episode that focuses mostly on Mary was SUPER powerful. My very, very favorite thing was having her memorize the verse her Dad taught her when she was little and then when Jesus quotes it to her when he heals her at the end? Cue the waterworks! Crying The last two minutes of episode one might be the most watched moment for me in the series (or it could be at the end of Episode 7 haha)

Season 1, Episode 2, Shabbat -- It's been a little while since I watched this episode, so my memory of it is a little rusty.

Spoiler
What I do remember appreciating the most was the historical take on this episode that (at least for me) you don't really get out of the Bible. The filmmakers took the time to explain and show what a Sabbath looked like back in those days, and then they juxtaposed the different classes and ranks celebrating. It's sort of the most boring episode, but not at all (to me) a bad episode. I do like it. Just doesn't jump out at me like the rest of the series did.

Season 1, Episode 3, The Little Children --

Spoiler
The first episode that really focuses on Jesus, but it's from the perspective of the children, and it's SOOOOO sweet. I've watched this one a couple times with my own kiddos. I really like it a LOT. It's entirely fictional, but I don't find it at all inaccurate to the Bible, and I really loved watching Jesus teach the kids scripture and songs.

Season 1, Episode 4, The Rock Upon Which It Is Built --

Spoiler
The calling of Peter (and Andrew and James and John)! And the thing about this episode is that it finally brings all the backstories to the actual Bible stories. I LOVE LOVE LOVE the ending of this episode where they catch all of the fish.

Season 1, Episode 5, The Wedding -- This is the first of my top three favorite episodes.

Spoiler
If you haven't already seen it, it's where Jesus turns water into wine at the wedding. Again, I love it because it's straight out of the Bible and it's embellished with the history and culture of the time period. AND, Jesus was fun, and he was funny, and I guess, joyful? So I really liked this one a LOT

Season 1, Episode 6, Indescribable Compassion -- The second of my top three episodes.

Spoiler
Jesus heals the leper and the paralytic. Nicodemus begins to convert and Schmuel rises to the top of Jesus's enemies.

Season 1, Episode 7, Invitations -- My mostest favoritest episode. 😉

Spoiler
Basically John 3:16 acted out and very well done. One side note to mention, I REALLY liked watching John just off to the side of the roof writing down everything Jesus was saying to Nicodemus. One of those things you never really think about, and yet it makes perfect sense. And then of course there's the calling of Matthew and because they set him up as autistic and rejected by everyone for being a tax collector, well of COURSE he runs right out to follow Jesus, in spite of all his wealth and power given him by Rome.

Season 1, Episode 8, I Am He --

Spoiler
This episode wasn't bad, but I definitely felt it was the weakest of the second set of four episodes. I have very mixed feelings on how they chose to portray Nicodemus here. I understand the direction they're going with the character, but I'm still not sure I'm fully on board. So we'll see. The meeting with the woman at the well was also okay. Not bad, not bad at all, but compared to some of the previous conversations and portrayals, this one didn't QUITE hit the bullseye for me.

And then of course the reason I'm starting this thread, Season 2, Episode 1 premiered last night and while I didn't get a chance to watch it last night, I DID watch it tonight.

Spoiler
We've gone back to a mostly fictionalized, filling-in-between-the-lines of Jesus's ministry. While I didn't find anything particularly disagreeable with the episode, it did drag a bit for me personally. ...and squabbling is a pet peeve of mine. 😉  Having said that, there were some great moments. I did very much like the Sons of Thunder. And I did like watching Jesus not go to the rich and powerful people who were after him, but instead left the 99 to go find the lost 1. But the highlight for me was the climax at the end of the episode that mixed Genesis 1:1 with John 1:1. Talk about masterful writing! Unbelievable and SOOO good.

Anyways, there's so much else I'd love to discuss with other people that have seen even just a handful of episodes from the show, if not the whole thing, but this intro is plenty long for now and I'm going to leave it alone for the moment. 😉 Looking forward to S2:E2 in the next couple weeks!

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Posted : April 5, 2021 9:03 pm
johobbit liked
johobbit
(@jo)
SO mod; WC captain Moderator

Thanks for starting this topic, fantasia! I had been curious about The Chosen for quite awhile, as, like fantasia, NWeb friends on FB were raving about the show. But there were/are two main things that are responsible for holding me back from watching the entirety of Season 1:

*first is that The Chosen's website had not set up delivery to other countries than the States. I finally ended up purchasing the DVDs through Haven Today, a long-standing Christian radio program; for a few weeks they focused on The Chosen, interviewing Dallas Jenkins. I purchased Season 1 a few months ago.

*second is that I am not one to sit down and watch something very readily; I'd much rather be doing other things. Giggle It is an effort for me to take the time for watch a movie or episode like this, hence the long delays in even starting to watch The Chosen, no matter how much I want to see it.

I saw Episode 1 over a month ago, so now need a refresher; I only made it partway through Episode 2 before there was something else that needed attention, and I have not yet got back to finishing 2 yet. Must. Do. That. Giggle

My first impression, though, is that this is an very well done historical fiction drama. I got the feeling that I'm going to become quite attached to some of these characters, who have been fleshed out from the bits we are told in the Bible. Jenkins has said he wants The Chosen to develop from the Scriptural accounts as a complement to them, so backstories and character development is a huge part of this series, from what I gather.

I will post more thoughts once I have watched E. 1 again, and finished E. 2. Smile  

7,237 posts from Forum 1.0

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Posted : April 6, 2021 6:29 am
Glenwit
(@glenwit)
NarniaWeb Nut

Just started watching on Friday - about 5 episodes in!
So good. 

This is the journey
This is the trial
For the hero inside us all
I can hear adventure call
Here We Go

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Posted : April 6, 2021 6:56 am
Col Klink
(@col-klink)
NarniaWeb Nut

I feel sort of bad about posting in this thread because I don't like this show as much other people do and I worry I'm going to bring everyone down. Giggle But I do think it's an interesting show, so I want to write about it. 

I really like the supporting characters, mainly Peter, Matthew and Nicodemus (and their family members.) I think the writers did a great job of coming up with stories that would make sense of their actions in the gospels. (Like Matthew immediately leaving his job to follow Jesus.) I tend to find the parts that focus on the one-episode characters to be kind of boring. I know they're not going to be regulars on the show and I just want to get back to the ones I care about.

I also kind of feel like Jesus is the least interesting of the main characters. I don't think anyone would understand from this series why Jesus' teachings were so shocking to people. I mean you get why his actions were shocking, like talking to the Samaritan woman at the well and obviously the miracles. Those are always going to be attention getters. Wink To be fair though, I understand why things like that would be easier to dramatize than Jesus giving speeches to crowds. But I still feel like you need more of the latter to accurately represent Jesus' ministry. 

I haven't watched the premiere of season 2 yet (I've got a lot of reading I want to do right now) but I hope to do so today. I'm interested to see how the yet to be introduced disciples will be characterized.

This post was modified 4 weeks ago by Col Klink

For better or worse-for who knows what may unfold from a chrysalis?-hope was left behind.
-The God Beneath the Sea by Leon Garfield & Edward Blishen check out my new blog!

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Posted : April 6, 2021 7:52 am
fantasia
(@fantasia)
Member Admin

@glenwit, glad you're liking them 🙂

@col-klink, I totally respect your opinion. It's just not a show for everybody! My dad for example doesn't care for it because he doesn't like the fictionalized additions, and I know he's not alone. But that's not going to stop me from disagreeing with a couple of your points. 😉

Posted by: @col-klink

I tend to find the parts that focus on the one-episode characters to be kind of boring.

And yet, a number of those parts are straight out of the Bible.

Spoiler
The paralytic "son, your sins are forgiven....pick up your mat and walk."
Interestingly enough, the continual need to constantly tie in every single character into every story is a HUGE pet peeve of mine in Hollywood. ie: The White Witch in PC and VDT. Chewbacca in just about every single Star Wars movie they can produce, etc etc. The side characters that Jesus briefly interacts with are very refreshing imho.

Posted by: @col-klink

I also kind of feel like Jesus is the least interesting of the main characters.

Giggle He's hands down my favorite portrayal of Jesus ever. But, I get what you're saying. How to make someone who's perfect, interesting?

Posted by: @col-klink

I don't think anyone would understand from this series why Jesus' teachings were so shocking to people.

So, on one hand, I get what you're saying because unless a person is a student of history at the time of Christ it's just a smile and nod kind of thing for those of us who grew up in church and have heard all of this our whole lives. But on the other hand, I feel they've done very well with some of the teachings so far. For example...

Spoiler
At the beginning of episode 7, we see Moses crafting the serpent in the wilderness and Joshua criticizes him for it being a pagan image. Of course, fast forward to Jesus with Nicodemus, and Jesus is explaining that it's an early representation of His own sacrifice and death on the cross to defeat sin.....which no one understands, they're all expecting a military leader.
Another example
Spoiler
Jesus trying to explain to Nicodemus the concept of being "born again" which Nicodemus obviously didn't get.
The bulk of the shocking teachings of Jesus are still to come, so I'd be curious to hear which ones you think are lacking? Smile  
One place I WILL agree with you on is where Jesus had so many women following him. Mary Magdalen just tagging along
Spoiler
with more women to come
was VERY unusual at the time 
Spoiler
because women were (as was put in one of the episodes) little more than property
but the show just has everyone accepting her as part of the group. 

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Posted : April 6, 2021 11:50 am
stargazer
(@stargazer)
Member Moderator

I was introduced to the series by friends and have watched season 1 a couple times, and we watched the first episode of season 2 the night it dropped.

A few random comments:

I think I like the episode with the children best so far, even if it is hypothetical. The way Jesus interacts with the kids on their own level, yet respecting and complimenting their faith, is great. He sings and talks with them while he works. When they recite the Shema Yisrael to him ("Hear, O Israel..."), I can't help feeling that God was pleased with the faith and wonder of these children, and that it would be special to Jesus to have them say it to him.

I though the first episode jumped around a little too much to be followed easily at first (the way it was edited) and to me the beginning of season 2 had a similar issue. But I quite liked the framing device (mentioned above in spoilers).

The Blu-ray has round-table discussions with Dallas Jenkins and his theological advisors for season 1, and those were generally quite interesting and might help clarify some of their story-telling choices (such as having Mary travel with a bunch of men). The advisors were Protestant, Catholic, and a (presumably Messianic) Jewish rabbi - which led to a few comments about that sounding like the beginning of a joke ("A Jew, a Catholic, and a Protestant walk into a bar...").

I found the rabbi's comments the most illuminating because he was able to point out a lot of the subtle touches in the episodes that we might miss but would be significant to Jews.

 

But all night, Aslan and the Moon gazed upon each other with joyful and unblinking eyes.

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Posted : April 6, 2021 1:20 pm
fantasia
(@fantasia)
Member Admin
Posted by: @stargazer

The Blu-ray has round-table discussions with Dallas Jenkins and his theological advisors for season 1,

At wits end I bought the DVDs SPECIFICALLY for this special feature and the DVDs don't have it. I do have access to it on my phone app, but it's buggy and won't always load. I have watched all eight sessions and it's one of my favorite bonus features. I sure hope they continue to have those for future seasons. 

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Posted : April 6, 2021 3:02 pm
johobbit
(@jo)
SO mod; WC captain Moderator

Oh no, these Round Tables are not on the DVDs? Sad Anything I have heard from the Rabbi (online) has been fascinating. I sure hope they change this for the Season 2 DVDs.

7,237 posts from Forum 1.0

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Posted : April 6, 2021 3:07 pm
fantasia
(@fantasia)
Member Admin

Backing off my above statement, it's not on the app anymore either. It was shoved aside for Season 2. Tongue Well, I may order my own copy of the Blu-Ray at some point, just to support them. 

Just got an email that Episode 2 is coming out Tuesday night. Woohoo!

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Posted : April 8, 2021 2:38 pm
Col Klink
(@col-klink)
NarniaWeb Nut
Posted by: @fantasia

I'd be curious to hear which ones you think are lacking? Smile  

You got me. I've only watched the first season once, so I can't remember any specific examples. It's easier to think of ones that contradict what I've said, like Jesus defending his dinner at Matthew's house, since memorable scenes are easier to recall than unmemorable ones. 😉 I guess it's just a general feeling that the writing is sappier and less bracing than Jesus's words in the Bible. But I have relatives who want to watch season 1, so if I watch it with them, maybe I'll either come up with some examples or recant my previous position. 

I agree that background characters should have their own lives and not all be related to the main ones. It's more that I feel the show isn't as good at writing the characters who don't connect to the main story. For example, in the episode about the wedding at Cana, there's this whole conflict between the bride and groom and their in-laws, which is the least interesting part of that episode by a long shot. And I think a good part of the reason I found it so dull is because I knew the wedding was going to go off fine and the conflict would be resolved. 

Anyway, I really liked the season 2 premiere. While parts of it were less interesting than others, none of it was dull. My favorite part was the flashforward about the writing of the gospel of John. (I guess it's a bit of a backhanded compliment that my favorite part was a scene that took place years after the main events, but oh well.) I loved the nerdy humor in it. I'd rank it with my favorite episodes of season 1. It might be even better than they were actually.

 

For better or worse-for who knows what may unfold from a chrysalis?-hope was left behind.
-The God Beneath the Sea by Leon Garfield & Edward Blishen check out my new blog!

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Posted : April 9, 2021 8:22 am
johobbit liked
GracePevensie15
(@gracepevensie15)
Member Friend of NarniaWeb

I just started watching The Chosen last week, and I’m OBSESSED! It’s such a good show. Although some of the story lines might not be exactly accurate, I think it’s a great representation of what the first century looked like. And I truly love the characters in The Chosen. I think the way they developed Peter as a character is so good.

Even though I’m only a few episodes in, this show has really changed how I look at the story of Jesus. It’s been reminding me of how Jesus was truly human. He had emotions just like we do. He was fully God and fully man.

I’m super excited to finish season one and dive into season two!

Life is short, live it well ♥️

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Posted : April 9, 2021 10:22 pm
Varnafinde
(@varna)
Princess of the Noldor and Royal Overseer of the Talk About Narnia forum Moderator

I should watch this. When I have time. I may even have seen the first episode a couple of years ago (?), but never found the time to continue.

Discussing it with other NarniaWebbers should be interesting. Eventually.


(avi artwork by Henning Janssen)

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Posted : April 13, 2021 1:51 pm
fantasia
(@fantasia)
Member Admin

I hope you get the chance to watch it sometime @Varna. Smile   The nice thing is that the longest episodes are an hour, but I think there are only two, maybe three of those? Most of them are shorter.

@Glenwit and @gracepevensie15, how far along are you?

I watched S2E2 last night. It was good!

Spoiler
I really liked Phillip, it was refreshing to have a mature, KIND character. Smile And well played on the backstory for Nathanael. When you finally get to the verses Jesus says to Nathanael in the Bible, they make total sense in the show. The downside is that I had kids crawling all over me while I was watching E2 and one of my kiddos was asking a bazillion questions (mainly she was having trouble distinguishing between the two actors that played Jesus and Phillip), so
overall I would rank this episode somewhere down around S1E2. Nice for backstories, nice for character building, but would have liked to see a bit more... something. Not sure what.

After this episode concluded, I shut off the livestream because A. Dallas had teased that there was going to be some sneak preview footage of Ep 3 and I'm avoiding spoilers and much as possible, and B. I had to get my kids to bed. About 45 minutes later I checked and saw that the live stream was still going...what??? When it finished, I took a peek to see what was taking them so long, and low and behold, they had played the entire Episode 3. Shocked Grin Didn't see that coming. Since it was short and sweet (relatively speaking), I went ahead and watched it (very, very late at night...hehe), and this one really hit me hard.

Spoiler
I liked the debates of prophecy between the disciples trying to figure out how Jesus was going to take out the Roman invasion, I liked their interpretation of Mary's thoughts on raising a baby Son of God, I liked the James the Less talking with Thomas about his issues and whether to talk to Jesus about it, I liked Phillip and Matthew's talk about the Psalm David wrote, I liked hearing about how all these Jewish boys went to school until a certain age and then had to quit to work their jobs and so they weren't "educated". And then of course the very end was pretty incredible and hard-hitting.

Needless to say I didn't sleep a lot last night. The conversations and dialogue from this episode kept replaying over and over in my head and I was just laying there trying to overanalyze it all instead of sleeping. Tongue So kudos to the filmmakers, this was hands down my favorite episode from Season 2 so far. 
I did kind of wish that
Spoiler
they had given all of Simon Peter's anger/lines to Simon the Zealot instead. I think that would have made more sense.
...my one and only complaint. Wink  

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Posted : April 14, 2021 10:20 am
johobbit liked
johobbit
(@jo)
SO mod; WC captain Moderator

^ Good to read, @fantasia!

We watched Season 1, episode 1 last Sunday in between our family video chats, so we just barely squeezed it in. Giggle This was my second viewing, and it did draw me in, but since there is a lot being introduced, I almost feel I need to see it yet again. Hoping we can watch episode 2 this Sunday or the week after.

To be honest, I am not overly fond how they are portraying Peter. 

Spoiler
Spoiler
He is a favourite Bible character of mine and it's only that I have always pictured him a larger man with not so much of an attitude, shall we say. The Passion of the Christ's Peter appeals to my sensibilities more. I know the Scriptural accounts present him as impulsive and headstrong, which I appreciate because I can relate to that so much, haha, but it seems Chosen's Peter also has a bit of a haughtiness that does fit my long-standing personal perception of him. And it's that arrogant tendency that rubs me the wrong way somehow.
But I shall see how his character builds as the episodes go on.

I think I am going to like Nicodemus' character!

7,237 posts from Forum 1.0

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Posted : April 14, 2021 10:40 am
fantasia
(@fantasia)
Member Admin
Posted by: @jo

This was my second viewing, and it did draw me in, but since there is a lot being introduced, I almost feel I need to see it yet again.

To be honest with you, I think you would do better continuing on. Because as the character lines grow, it makes things that happen in Ep 1 make a LOT more sense. 

Posted by: @jo

To be honest, I am not overly fond how they are portraying Peter. 

I have this exact same debate with myself constantly. He's currently my least favorite on the show and one of my favorites in the Bible. As you well know, I hate (yes, I use the word hate) when filmmakers throw characters under the bus for the purpose of drama. However, I'm almost willing to make an exception with this series for the simple reason when I go back and read Peter in the Bible and read his good moments and bad moments, I don't think their interpretation is necessarily wrong.
The REASON I like Peter so well in the Bible is he's the one most likely to DO things, (Matthew 16:16-17, 22-23; Matthew 14:28-31, the list goes on and on) then he messes up, but then he gets back up and carries on. So the impulsiveness? Yes. The attitude? Well he cuts off the guard's ear. Tongue And I don't know that there's enough in the Bible for or against. 
So I'm officially on the fence with him in the show, and I will make my final determination once I see the direction they end up going. 

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Posted : April 14, 2021 11:06 am
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