Monday, March 11, 2013

The Gospel According to the History Channel, Review of Part 2

So the first episode wasn't so bad.  It wasn't great, but I've seen a lot worse.  So how did the next episode fare?  Here are my Top 10 random thoughts:

  1. Why take the multi-ethnic approach to casting the show?  In past Bible films, the actors have been too Caucasian.  But is it too much to ask audiences to accept a show with a mostly Middle-Eastern cast?  At least the Jewish roles should be played with Jewish-looking actors.
  2. Rahab doesn't get near enough credit for having faith and negotiating a deal for her family in Jericho.  Read Joshua 2; the original was more dramatic and made Rahab more noteworthy.
  3. I think Sampson's story is a hard one to tell.  I didn't like this version at all.
  4. It's amusing watching the show be discreet about things like sex, foreskins, and killing the messenger.  It might be inappropriate for television, but quite a bit of the Old Testament is very much "rated R."
  5. Ancient Israelites, especially David the shepherd boy, apparently had the whitest… teeth… ever.  But Goliath brandished a bronze Khopesh sickle-sword, so that was good.  However…
  6. The production obviously didn't bother (or couldn't afford) to make "hero" sword props, which are polished and sharpened for closeup shots.  The props used for fighting are often ugly, blunt replicas made out of rubber or wood, which looks okay when viewed a distance.  But the closeups of the weapons in this episode were obviously the same props used for the fighting, with dented edges as thick as the spine of magazine.
  7. Why do the kings get to visit the Ark of the Covenant?  It's supposed to be in the tabernacle.  To be fair, perhaps the Ark was traveling with the army at the time.  Maybe.
  8. I liked King Saul, though his part of the story (and Samuel's) was too brief and condensed.  In contrast, I thought the actors that portrayed David were both very mediocre.
  9. I really liked how they portrayed Uriah.
  10. To shorten the story we lost out on a bunch of important characters, like Gideon and the other judges, Hannah, Ruth and Boaz, David's other sons, David's other wives, and many others.

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