Eli is done with the street life of being a gangsta. He has found faith in Christ and wants to make a new life for himself and his family, but the old life keeps calling him back in the form of gang lord Prime, who has Eli’s brother in his clutches. Will Eli be able to escape the bondage of the streets and live the life God wants him to live? Will his brother be pulled into the old life Eli used to live?
Production Quality (1 point)
Unfortunately, Young Disciple suffers from a severe lack of adequate funding, as well as mismanagement of the resources that were at hand. This is evident in the cheap video quality and the weird camera angles, as well as the poor audio quality and the odd sound effects used throughout. The lighting is also not what it should, as the sets and very cheap and limited. There aren’t many locations to speak of, and the soundtrack is too loud at times. While there is some improvement throughout the season, it’s not enough to overcome this series’ very rough beginning. Also, the editing is very raw, thus rounding out an underwhelming effort.
Plot and Storyline Quality (.5 point)
While Young Disciple attempts to portray realistic characters and the struggles and circumstances they go through, the delivery is lacking. While the creators of this series likely meant well with what they were doing, the presentation very much hurts their intentions. Dialogue is too lazy, and most conversations tend to meander and even repeat themselves over time. Too many scenes appear to be grasping for content rather than trying to develop the characters. Besides this, there are too many side characters and subplots that are hard to follow or understand. The storyline of this series is confusing and is too disorganized to be understood easily, even though there was plenty of potential here. Unfortunately, this series just misses the mark all the way around.
Acting Quality (.5 point)
Though this amateur cast is definitely trying, they really would have benefitted from some much-improved coaching and development. There are too many sequences of yelling and juvenile arguing. Too often, emotions seem very flat and pedestrian. Line delivery is inconsistent at best. It’s unfortunate that this section continues to demonstrate the theme of mismanagement in this series.
Continuity Quality (.5 point)
Besides the oddly abrupt episode endings, Young Disciple has story and character arcs that are very hard to follow, even though they can be interesting at times and actually demonstrate some potential. Moreover, this series tends to adapt the one-thing-after-the-next episode model that creates a storyline without much continuity. Thus, this rounds out an overall disappointing experience.
Though Young Disciple was underfunded, this does not mean it had to be this bad. It seems like the writers were trying to make something big in the storyline, but its delivery is off the mark. Had this plot been much stronger and had there been more continuity in the series, Young Disciple could have overcome its shortcomings and stood out as a creative series. As it is, it certainly deals with some pertinent issues that need to be portrayed in Christian films and series, but not like this. Perhaps they will have better luck next time.
Final Rating: 2.5 out of 14 points