thecosmicdance ([personal profile] thecosmicdance) wrote2013-04-09 02:59 pm

Attempting to Watch The Bible pt 4

My last entry never crossposted.

Attempting to Watch The Bible pt 3
what happens when you try to find an angel in the Alps

It's not so much that the production wasn't very good. It's the fact that so many people apparently loved it and its ratings were higher than most other previous tv productions based on the same material. Which means that, sadly, people totally will watch blatantly religious shows, as long as those shows don't expect them to think or know stuff or have standards and swap out all deep conversation and relational plots for stabbings and beheadings and eye gougings.

I didn't want to watch it with my family because I was worried that they'd love it and that would be awkward. But when I posted my negative opinions of it on Facebook, my dad read them and admitted he agreed (in general though, those posts were a dud. Never bothering with something like that again). Which is interesting, because my dad is a white, rural, man who is intellectually curious but also a very blue collar, right wing leaning, action movie fan, making him the person The History Channel thinks is its ideal audience. And my dad does love their shows, like Pawn Stars, Top Guns, The Vikings, etc. On the other hand, he's also an ex soldier (Vietnam era Marine), a black belt in kung fu, and a pastor. Now, if I thought those fight scenes were hilarious, imagine what someone with actual martial arts and combat training might think of them, and then add in that person being a professional theologian. My dad thought it was all made of as much FAIL as I did. He said he didn't finish watching, and when I said I kept getting bored, he laughed and agreed.

There are two episodes left, I think, and I guess I'll try to watch them but I kinda know how this story ends.

It's all done from a blatantly Christian pov. Meaning, all stories prior to the birth of Jesus are interpreted from the perspective that everything is leading up to Jesus. Now, I know that I'm supposed to believe this, and I want to and it does add a certain narrative coherence to an otherwise somewhat scattered plot...If you're reading/watching this as if it was a novel, then it's much easier to follow if you see that it is going somewhere specific. But I also think it is very rude to insist on acting as if the other stories have no real value on their own and to act as if this view is a universally acknowledged truth when actually, only a third of The People of the Book adhere to it. The series's treatment of the New Testament material has much higher production values, better acting, etc, as if they were just rushing through the other stuff to get to Jesus.

I'm actually angry about how badly my favorite story was treated. And how all stories with a female lead character whose name is not Mary were jettisoned, and most female characters were actually diminished or even removed, from all the other stories wherever possible. It misrepresents The Bible's view of women and is guara-fricking-teed- to not lead to any women unfamiliar with the actual Bible ever picking one up. And it's symptomatic of a disturbing new trend in conservative Christian scholarship and teaching.

I want to make a fan vid response, featuring clips of every woman in The Bible who has been interpreted on film. I don't know how I'll get all the footage (I don't know where or how to ask for people to send me copies of footage or anything, downloading doesn't work for me anymore and I don't have Netflix right now). But I do have a couple songs picked out and it's a project I've wanted to do for a long time, way before this miniseries aired.