Have you guys seen this series yet?
I’ll be honest. When I saw The Chosen advertisements pop up on my newsfeed (#targetmarket), I simply scrolled past. I mean, I am a Jesus freak through and through. But I was not on the edge of my seat waiting for another Jesus Hollywood-made-series that came across as amateur. Or dare I say it, another Jesus show with bad lighting, cheesy acting, and over-your-head scripts. Yet, it caught my attention that this was more about the humanity and brokenness of the disciples than anything else.
That’s not blasphemous. Jesus is still the protagonist, but It paints the vulnerability and relatability of a culture and people that don’t usually have the limelight. You can gather that by reading their description of Season 1.
“A charismatic fisherman drowning in debt. A troubled woman wrestling with real demons. A kind, gifted young man ostracized by his family and his people for working as a publican. In this ground-breaking first season of The Chosen see how Jesus reaches each of these and more as He works His first miracles and embarks on His ministry to change the world. See Him through the eyes of those who knew Him.”
Why did you decide to watch it?
Simple. The tried and true marketing magic of WORD-OF-MOUTH. My friends began raving about it and so I decided to check it out. And I was blown away. My fingers can’t type fast enough to pay-it-forward as quickly as possible. My goal in this blog/review is to rave about it loud enough so that you watch it yourself.
What makes it so good?
Let me count the ways. I have a million thoughts and most of them bring tears to my eyes. I will save my most personal thoughts for the end of this review. In the meantime, here is a snapshot of what mainstream sites are saying.
The Chosen received a 4.98/5 stars from over 2,500 audience reviewers.
To put that into perspective, the obnoxious documentary series Tiger King (which I’ve watched every episode because I, too, enjoy the shock factor) has only 566 audience reviews on Rotten Tomatoes. This show came out on Netflix in March 2020 and quickly became the #1 most watched show in the U.S. With that many eyes watching Joe Exotic, it only compelled 566 viewers to leave reviews (perhaps because most were too embarrassed to admit they watched the entire series, guilty as charged).
The Chosen has made a name for itself. It’s collected 4x the amount of reviews than the #1 show in the country. That says something.
IMDb (Internet Movie Database) is the “world’s most popular and authoritative source for movie, TV and celebrity content, designed to help fans explore the world of movies and shows and decide what to watch.” When they say “most popular content,” that is not reserved for most popular family-friendly, faith-based content. It’s everything out there. And The Chosen is ranked 9.9/10 from 4,613 people.
One enthusiastic reviewer said it’s the “Most ORIGINAL AND FACTUAL new series on the life of Christ.”
“I have viewed almost every program/movie on the life of Christ imaginable and this program and the following four episodes are the most factual, culturally and biblically correct I have ever seen… And the series contains humor! Finally a program that dares to portray Christ and those around him with humor… The writers, director and producers were able to make the series the way it should be made–factually, biblically and culturally correct with real feelings and real Christianity included. “
#1 Crowdfunded Media Project in History:
The show is the first original TV series on the life of Christ and, get this, it was 100% funded via Crowdfunding. They raised $10 million from more than 1,600 investors to produce Season 1. So far, there are eight episodes (each about 45 minutes long).
And guess what? They need $10 million more to producE Season 2.
As of today (April 14, 2020), their site shows they’ve raised almost $3 million from over 166,000 people.
How can you help fund the next season?
You can Pay-It-Forward in 2 places:
Credit card purchases: On their website: https://studios.vidangel.com/the-chosen/pay-it-forward
In App purchases: In The Chosen app, click the Pay-It-Forward icon.
You can choose to give a one-time donation or contribute monthly.
Is it 100% true to scripture?
The Chosen never contradicts scripture! That’s the beautiful part. It makes way for character development and plausible storylines, but it never opposes what is written in the Bible. Never ever. For example, we do not know anything about Simon Peter’s wife from the gospels. But the writer dove into her role by creatively pulling out what could be parts of her character based on having married a strong impulsive man like Simon Peter.
There are plenty of scenes that are not directly documented within the pages of the gospels. However, it does not make it blasphemous or offensive. No less does watching VeggieTales make you a heretic.
How can I watch it?
This is the tricky part. The Chosen is not on your standard streaming apps. You won’t find it conveniently on Netflix or Hulu. It was produced by an American streaming video company, VidAngel, that allows the user to skip distasteful content based on user preferences regarding profanity, nudity, sexual situations, and graphic violence. AKA a family-friendly Netflix.
And I am here for it. Love this idea.
You can watch The Chosen for free a few ways:
(For more detail on viewing options, read this Viewing Guide)
Nick and I watched it for free on YouTube: WATCH SEASON ONE
Each episode includes an intro from the Writer/Director/Producer, Dallas Jenkins, that you can watch to learn pretty cool happenings about production… or you can fast-forward to the episode.
Direct links below:
Episode 1: I Have Called You by Name https://youtu.be/Vyv1W-hsmx8
Episode 2: Shabbat https://youtu.be/zEc2zgJtp-4
Episode 3: Jesus loves the little children https://youtu.be/0xMfU-YY3Eo
Episode 4: The Rock on Which It Is Built https://youtu.be/Y-YFzEI8Gt0
Episode 5: The Wedding Gift https://youtu.be/GcvcDDrW0ss
Episode 6: Indescribable Compassion https://youtu.be/pGvWrSwIESs
Episode 7: Invitations https://youtu.be/K09a7l48VD0
Episode 8: I Am He https://youtu.be/8lk4yq1f6DY
Or The Chosen Mobile App (free)
Watch for free on their mobile app (from anywhere in the world)! You can get it here: www.thechosen.tv/app or search “The Chosen” in your Apple or Android app store. From the app, you can stream to your TV using another device, such as Roku, Apple TV, Fire TV, Android TV, Chromecast, etc.
First let me note: I am by no means an expert movie or TV show critic. I’ve never left a review on IMDb, Rotten Tomatoes, etc. As a matter of fact, I had to do some digging while writing this blog to even understand the significance of each rating.
That being said, I will gladly step outside my lane and experience to document these thoughts.
The Chosen was a much needed break from the brain numbing binge TV we’d been watching during quarantine. It was less of a break and more of a workout. My heart raced, my eyes watered, my hands tightened, and my head questioned how I could learn to love people like Jesus.
I’ve been a believer since childhood and very blessed to have been discipled by stellar leaders (Thanks Ricky and Mrs. Rebecca!). The story of Jesus is not new to me but I let it become dull. I knew God sent Him to earth, He lived flawlessly and then died a criminal’s death. These things were real to me. However, it wasn’t until last week that I considered the humanity of the disciples and their unique personalities. This grounded me.
One of my favorite lines (one I will never forget) is when Simon Peter tries to talk Jesus out of calling the Jewish tax collector, Matthew to follow Him. The writer took some creative license and brilliantly made Matthew’s character on the autism spectrum. Matthew is savvy with numbers, outcast by his family, unaccepted by the Jews and quirky as all get out.
Simon Peter said, “But Lord, he’s different,” and Jesus responds, “Get used to different.”
I came undone.
This and many more scenes brought my common thoughts to life. The Chosen is not a replacement for scripture. On the contrary, it points the audience to the gospels so we can meet these people on a personal basis.
1,000 stars from me.
Check it out for yourself and tell me your thoughts in the comments below!