Derral Eves, executive producer of The Chosen, announced this week that the much-loved series is slated for seven seasons! The subsequent episodes will be filmed in Parker County, TX – Capernaum Village, etc. – and will portray the entire life of Jesus. Click this link to watch, share, and support the show! https://studios.vidangel.com/the-chosen
When Jesus first began His earthly ministry, He had already chosen those He would minister to and use to transform the world around them. They came from all walks of life: lower class fishermen, upper class religious leaders, well-to-do tax collectors, and lowly street prostitutes. Regardless of background or belief, Christ determined to use regular people to carry out His work…however, it couldn’t happen until they had life-altering experiences with Him.
Production Quality (2.5 points)
The highest independently crowdfunded effort in entertainment history has certainly paid off. There’s no question that a lot of hard work was put into making this first season, and it shows in nearly every aspect of it. Though the perspective camera work is a bit rough at first, it definitely gets better and isn’t noticeable at all in later episodes. Similarly, the lighting is realistically dark in many scenes, which was hard to perfect at first, but again, it greatly improves as it goes on. Other than the poorly animated opening sequence that has a great idea behind it, there are no other problems to point out in this nearly flawless production. The sets, locations, and props feel very realistic and authentic as the series creators demonstrate a clear commitment to looking at the characters in accurate cultural contexts. Video quality is crisp throughout, and audio quality is seamless, including a very engaging and creative soundtrack that reflects historical themes. As a whole, this production is a reflection of how this series is a much-needed breath of fresh air in the industry, and thankfully, the positive qualities didn’t stop with just this section.
Plot and Storyline Quality (3 points)
It would’ve been very easy to spend all the time on making the production worthwhile after all the money and time that was invested in it, but Dallas Jenkins and company refused to settle, yet the storyline is a major reason why this series will transform Christian culture and even reach outside the church. The reason why it’s so transformative is because it demonstrates a profound understanding of the real people who encountered Jesus and portrays them in very accessible, down-to-earth ways. These Bible characters are no longer “heroes of the faith”–they are imperfect people with backstories, motives, flashbacks, and personality tendencies just like us. Not only do they feel like everyday people, but the writers also wisely chose to focus on them in their cultural contexts as a heavy emphasis on Jewish tradition is subtly explored. The use of flashbacks to build character motive and backstory is also highly effective in helping us understand where they’re coming from and why they do what they do; this is often a missing ingredient in most depictions of Bible characters. Besides the characters being so well-developed, their subplots are interwoven very well as their stories realistically cross back and forth and creatively weave together to prepare for the next steps. Further, the psychological themes and artistic concepts of the series are presented in very natural ways without forcing too much on the audience while still being creative. In the end, there are many more positive aspects to highlight about this season (more than can be listed here), which is a very surprising feat in Christian entertainment. There’s no doubt that this is the best Christian series season to date, and it’s the first one to be inaugurated into the Hall of Fame.
Acting Quality (2.5 points)
The casting and acting of The Chosen show a commitment to cultural authenticity in more ways than one…where a fully cultural cast member couldn’t be used, correct accents were taught and coached, which adopted a model similar to the one used in Nativity Story. No matter what, dedication to effective coaching is evident as the cast members showcase subtle talent in their line delivery and emotional portrayals. While there are some minor costuming issues, it’s nothing much to write home about, and we can’t wait see how these recurring cast members will continue to shine in future seasons.
Continuity Quality (3 points)
Never before have we seen a Christian series (other than some parts of A.D.) that actually tries hard to interweave its subplots in ways that make them cross at appropriate times and keep the audience engaged in what may happen next. These are actually storylines you want to follow as the character arcs bend at realistic times and flow dynamically into each other. While it can be difficult to interest a Christian audience with familiar Biblical accounts, The Chosen sets up great backstories for well-known stories and provides great reasons for why things happen the way they do. In the end, there’s no question that this is the best Christian season to date.
Hence, The Chosen, Season 1 wins two x-factor points for re-watchability and for presenting important content in very audience-friendly ways. Dallas Jenkins and his team have established themselves as the future of Christian small screen entertainment, so your support of VidAngel is greatly appreciated (go to the link to watch the first season)! The more we support Christian entertainment that’s actually worthwhile and worthy of promoting to the people we know, the more likely it is we will see a real change in both the field and the culture as a whole. If you’ve already supported this first season, make sure to tell a friend that it’s well worth their time and money. We expect great things from this crew in the coming days.
Final Rating: 13 out of 14 points
As one teenager lies in a hospital bed waiting for a heart transplant, the lives of several families around the small town are impacted in different ways. One family waits for the father to return home from prison, while another prays for their son to live. The pastor’s family wants to know why he is rarely home, but all of them want to know where God is in all of the pain as they try to medicate their hurts with many different things that will not satisfy.
Production Quality (1.5 points)
The opening sequence of Saving the Tin Man is interesting, but it’s still a bit confusing. However, the soundtrack is definitely creative, even if there is a lot of shaky camera work and poor lighting in the beginning of this production. There are also some weird sound effects and some moments of randomly bad audio and loud background noises. Flashbacks are also of an odd quality, and the editing has a strange penchant for cutting to the characters being talked about. There are also quite of few awkward and even abrupt cuts and transitions. Nonetheless, there is definite improvement throughout in all production areas, which is enough to earn this section an average score.
Plot and Storyline Quality (.5 point)
Though this story tends to be a bit vague and artistic, it portrays the realistic struggles of the characters, even if they are a bit hard to access at times due to the fact that there are many of them. In fact, this plot has a hard time deciding on which character to wants to focus on, and thus elects to present their stories in an odd overlapping fashion. This makes the film very fractured and disjointed, and the sheer number of subplots hurts character development and makes dialogue too shallow. Also, the Christian message is a bit too trite at times. However, there is plenty of potential in this plot, and the ending is fairly though-provoking. With a bit more organization, this could have been a great film.
Acting Quality (2 points)
Portions of this section show an amateur nature, such as strange makeup work and some out of place line delivery. Other lines seem like they were done in only one take, while others are overly robotic and practiced. However, most mistakes are near the beginning and are mostly ironed out as the film proceeds. Thus, the acting becomes much better in the second half of the film, thus earning it an above-average score.
Movies like Saving the Tin Man are frustrating because it seems like they have the potential to go further than they do. Most of the time, movies like this one appear to be rushed, which prevents them from being all that they could be. With some improved production quality and a more focused plot, this film could have gone further. However, it will be interesting to see what this team does next.
Final Rating: 4 out of 10 points