So I got the chance to watch the first part of The Bible tonight, which I approached with a fair amount of caution. The impossibility of doing all of the stories in the Bible justice makes it hard to expect any effort to cover the scriptures end to end, as the title suggests, to truly succeed. And yet, I’m curious just how far this series will go.
I’d say the show was entertaining enough, though inaccurate in some places. I have to admit I found it especially weird watching Abraham wield the sword like Conan the Barbarian, and the angels sent to bring judgment on the Sodom slicing through its inhabitants. I suppose we need some sort of imagination in these stories, so these liberties could possibly be excused. But it did make me feel weird. More than weird, actually.
I did, however, like the Abraham section of the story. Especially some of Sarah’s short, but memorable scenes. The stories surrounding Abraham and Sarah were great. Abraham was sympathetic and down to earth, which made him feel more real to me than anyone else in the first part of the movie. And Sarah, the same. Both very relatable. Both very likable.
When we move to Moses, I am fascinated with the younger version of Pharaoh, but he has a very short time on the screen. The older Pharaoh feels different than the young, ambitious version of Pharaoh. I didn’t like him nearly as much. The same could be said for Moses, really, but the “older” Moses holds his own.
There are some great special effects in the movie, and some “meh” ones as well. I’d hope for a new imagining of the Red Sea split, but not much there. But the burning bush was pretty spectacular. I was hoping of a pillar of fire, but no go there. I was also hoping for something more horrifying with the Passover, but I suppose what happened was fine. All in all, the pace was so fast, it was hard to savor any of the moments. Understandable, because there is so much to cover in so little time. But the show felt rushed, and I wish it could have slowed down just a taste. Perhaps it will in the next parts.
I suppose you may be wondering why I am judging the show as a show, but I am left with no other real choice. This is not a movie made to teach, or even educate people about the story of the Bible (though God’s promise to Abraham is rightfully threaded throughout the stories). It is meant to entertain. And on that front, I’d say the show is absolutely watchable. And judging by the twitter-sphere, I’d say it was pretty well received. Sure some twitter folks made snide remarks here and there, but they mostly come from folks who would not be happy about any move titled The Bible, no matter how it is made. Then again, I suppose you could say the same for those who really liked it.
I’ll be checking into the next episode next Sunday for sure! Sort makes me think about how achievable The Bible could be as a weekly show, a al “Lost.” Hmm… now there’s an idea.
Tell me what you think about the first part of the series!