thecosmicdance ([personal profile] thecosmicdance) wrote2013-04-05 08:02 pm

Attempting to Watch The Bible pt 3

I'm actually going back to the Noah, Abraham and Moses stories, just because I'm doing this in the order I watched the episodes.

it doesn't start with Adam and Eve, or even Cain and Abel. It starts with Noah. On the boat. And that's honestly all I remember of it.

Abraham immediately recognizes the angels and bows to them. It's not hard, they aren't even bothering to hide their otherworldliness. But one lesson of that scene originally is about how Abraham had no idea they were angels, but he offered them all of his hospitality anyway. You know, you should always be nice to strangers in case they're really sent from God. The theme of the sacredness of hospitality continues with Sodom- a city so wicked that its people tried to gang rape angels. So don't try to gang rape people in case they turn out to be violent creatures with superpowers employed by Semitic war gods/The Lord of All Creation.

The angels, interestingly, remind me a lot of the angels on Supernatural. Which is not a complaint, just an observation.

But they do neatly avoid the whole Sarah and Hagar thing. By introducing the situation after Abraham and Sarah already forced sex on her to get a child he now doesn't want because he has one with his wife...

They skip Jacob and Joseph. WHO DOES THAT? People who also skip Gideon, and Deborah, and Ruth, and Solomon and Esther and ...

The Moses story has really great production values compared to most of their other OT stories, almost like they blew half their budget on it... On a story that's already been filmed twice (one live action, one animated) to overwhelming critical acclaim both times, and the previous live action version is one of the most popular movie classics in the history of English language cinema. So popular its lead actor was still getting speaking engagements with religious groups when he was elderly. Both movies are so popular one or the other are shown every year around Passover. What I'm trying to say here, is that their efforts are redundant. This new version adds nothing to the Moses fandom.

The Egyptians just randomly go around flogging their slaves. I guess, you see anyone who might possibly be a slave, you flog them mercilessly no matter what they're doing. Because that doesn't impact productivity at all. It's exactly the kind of intelligent thinking you get in a stable, prosperous economy that will remain one for thousands of years.

The women really are mostly missing from this story. It's a disturbing contrast to how obviously present and involved they are in The Prince of Egypt.

I do think the way they portray angels is interesting. And the bit where the angel protects them in Sodom was, admittedly, pretty cool, especially since it's the first and last time this show will have decent fight choreography.

I think the entire idea of covering the whole Bible in a six part mini series was a bad idea. The thing is, you can't. That's why no one ever does it. It's too much stuff to cram into a movie or mini series. You'd have to do a huge, expensive, Game of Thrones style tv series that lasted for years, in order to do The Bible right. Many of these stories, in order to be truly compelling, need to be their own stand alone productions.

Otherwise, it doesn't make much sense to anyone who isn't already familiar with how it goes and why it's important. They start the thing with quotes from Jesus and blatant spoilers about what happens to him. And yeah, hard to believe there's a viewer out there who doesn't know, but first rule of Spoiler Etiquette is you don't assume everyone knows. But by showing clips of the Crucifixion, it marks this film out as one aimed at people who already know how it ends , people to whom this symbolism and seemingly random shots of a man being ritually tortured to death automatically communicates very specific things.