During Lent, Sidney and I committed to doing something we had wanted to do for several months. We watched “The Chosen,” a television drama about Jesus set through the eyes of his disciples. The series came highly recommended from our friends in our young adult Catholic group and it was praised by Fr. Jeff Lewis, our priest at St. Mary, who recognized its excellence in a homily.
They weren’t kidding.
“The Chosen” is different from other multimedia works on Jesus because of its focused and unique point of view. You would be hard pressed to pinpoint another production that develops the disciples so well and provides a feasible examination of what they might have been thinking as they were called by Jesus.
But the series also stands out because of its depiction of Jesus. God’s Son is portrayed as a compassionate, humorous, and sympathetic Messiah. He is a gravitating figure and a good listener. Many people say that Jonathan Roumie, who portrays Jesus, delivers a performance that resonates with them on a level that past Jesus performances couldn’t reach. I also admire Roumie’s portrayal and I appreciated the evolution of his role as he started to take a stronger stance on matters in the second season.
One thing that you should know is that the series does take some liberties. All dialogue isn’t transported out of the bible nor are all scenes. But supplemental dialogue and scenes are centered around actual scripture and not thrown in with randomness or disregard.
There are so many powerful scenes throughout the episodes. Several times I was reduced to flowing tears. After reading the gospels for more than three decades and then to see some of the events and miracles brought to life in such a beautiful and authentic way had a profound impact on me.
As I have mentioned, the characters and personalities of the disciples are developed throughout the episodes. Some of the best scenes are discussions among the “Chosen” as they debate how to best help Jesus and decipher his teachings. The characters of Peter and Matthew are especially intriguing in the series with the latter my favorite disciple in the show. As a tax collector who is admittedly a little out of touch, he has a long road toward acceptance with his fellow disciples. It is very intriguing to watch him try to make headway.
Even the villains are fascinating to watch. Quintus, a Roman magistrate, and Gaius, a Roman centurion, play compelling roles who face their own struggles over who this Jesus guy actually is and the threat that he could possibly pose.
As we journey through the Easter season, perhaps watching “The Chosen” would be a good way to mark it. What would be better than completing both seasons before Pentecost Sunday comes around on June 5? I know we have countless options when it comes to streaming, but I think watching “The Chosen” on Peacock (the first season is available) is a best bet. Give it a try. Don’t Blink.