I have said before that I come late to the party where TV shows and movies were concerned. The second season of The Chosen has been out for some time, but I just recently binge-watched all eight episodes. I did not write a review of the first season because I thought Dallas Jenkins, et al., did a decent job of setting the stage. A few creative liberties were taken, but all in all, I gave those involved high marks for producing a series without political and/or social agendas that the entire family could watch.
Season Two of The Chosen followed this line of acceptable family viewing but added lots of emotion to the scenes. I don’t believe a single episode occurred without tears spilling over or at least glistening eyes. To counterbalance all the heartfelt sentiment taking place, the disciples bickered much more in Season Two, which I found a little unsettling.
I enjoyed the backstory created for the character Simon the Zealot the most, especially when his story crossed over to the man at the pool of Bethesda. Nathaniel’s storyline was also well done, and the ruined architectural project that led him to be sitting under the tree where Jesus saw him was a nice touch.
The issue of backsliding was handled appropriately within Mary’s story, but several other concerns, the type that often come up among believers, took place in conversations among multiple characters. While these types of conversations could take place, on the written page they would be criticized as info dumps. I thought they could have been presented more realistically in the show so they would not feel so contrived.
I did not care for the Torah bashing that I picked up on throughout Season Two. The Sabbath and dietary rules were the targets in this season, but then they always are when presented from a mainstream Christian perspective. I’m going to proceed with caution here because if one knows the truth, then one would have seen that everything Jesus said was in keeping with that truth. But if one falls on the “Torah is done away with” side, that viewer could easily, and quite mistakenly, have linked it to the disciples’ comments about how hard it is to keep all the rules and to be Jewish and come away more firmly entrenched in wrong thinking.
The scene that caused me the most concern was when Jesus was away, and the disciples were sitting around a campfire admitting that they broke certain rules. Again, the Sabbath and the dietary rules were on the chopping block. The first mistake the writers made was in presenting Torah and oral traditions as of the same importance, or maybe the show’s creators are ignorant of the difference. This is painfully evident in the “I ate meat and cheese” portion of the disciples’ conversation, and the error was that no distinction between Torah and oral traditions was made. I would think the disciples would have been cognizant of this, and if not, what a great opportunity to clear this up.
The second mistake I believe this portion of the episode made was the breaking of an actual Torah command to not eat pork. It was presented as if the event took place in the disciple’s childhood, but as an adult, he and the others acted immature and giggled about it. The commandment-breaking disciple went on to say how delicious the pork was, and the others were in awe of what he had done.
The last embarrassing portion of the campfire scene involved cleaning up a mess on the Sabbath. It was so ridiculously in error due to what can only be an overwhelming lack of understanding about Torah that I hesitate to mention what the mess was, which was actually quite juvenile in the writer’s choice of messes.
The worst thing about this whole scene was that I did not see an ounce of repentance displayed by the characters portraying the disciples. There was no mention of keeping Adonai’s commands out of obedience and love for Him, no mention of His love for us in His commands, and certainly no depiction of the freedom they bring to one’s life.
If I have the opportunity to watch The Chosen for free, I probably will, but it will be with my eyes wide open in case the anti-Torah message becomes blatant. And if I never view another episode, well that’s fine, too, because I know where I can enjoy all the stories in their entirety presented in truth. I will miss decent entertainment, but I cannot surrender truth for pleasure.