This is not the article you thought it was (If you thought that I would spend my time trashing television, movies, etc.). Instead, it’s about how much I believe the pool of talent in the television and film industry has grown stronger in recent years. I know, I might be in the minority with this opinion but I’m OK with that.
Let me preface all of this with an understanding of where I’m coming from in terms of storytelling. I am in no way a master storyteller. Might not even be a good one. Who knows? What I am, like you, is a consumer of stories. We all are, in one form or another – be they books, television, or film (or music, and many other forms). I like to think I can tell a good story, and I work hard at it. Back a few years ago, I was part of an online Christian writers’ group. One of the main goals of all of us, explicitly, was to change the world’s opinion about stories created by Christians. There was (and sometimes still is) a predominant view that such stories were heavy on the cheesy side. Many of us held the same opinion. So, we wanted to create stories that would be considered great by most audiences and not just the polite church crowd.
Circumstances occurred and I had to put my writing aside for a time. I lost contact with most of that group, though I do catch some of them around on social media. When I returned to writing, I started doing a few freelance articles for an online magazine that I was put into contact with through that writers’ group. One assignment I had was to review a movie and interview the director. That brings us back around to the purpose of this post. The movie was The Resurection of Gavin Stone and the director was Dallas Jenkins, the man behind The Chosen. It was for the June 2017 issue of the magazine. I doubt he would remember, I’m not that great of an interviewer.
Now, before I move on, let me say that Christian made anything gets a bad rep. Sometimes deserved, sometimes not. However, they are not alone in this. There are a great many things I enjoyed growing up that have not stood the test of time. I won’t mention names, I have my opinions and I’m sure you have yours, too.
The point is, Christian or not, the storytellers behind the stories you and I get to consume lately deserve some praise. I think they are doing an amazing job. Television does not look the same as it once did. Movie as are getting smarter. Books are blowing my mind in New and creative ways. As a consumer of stories, I’m feasting (and I don’t consume half as much as the average person, honestly).
Now, I know there are and will be the arguments that Hollywood is out of original ideas and television is hyper-violent and oversexed. To a point, that might be. There are some shows I dont watch for those reasons. However, poorly written stories do not usually accompany those protests. Hollywood isnt out of ideas. They still want to make what makes them money. But, unless you’re not paying attention, the movies they are making are based on well-written books or comics. And, yes, comics are valuable to the storytelling world. There is a lot if groundbreaking thinga that have happened and continue to happen in the pages if comics.
What about The Chosen? Why did I choose it as my only named show for this post? When I interviewed Dallas Jenkins and reviewed his movie back in 2017, I had written that the movie was OK, but was still typical Christian movie material – meaning a little on the cheesy side. Better than a lot, but not the thing that would convince thebworld to take a chance on Christian stories. Dallas Jenkins, however, impreased me. He struck me as a creative that was passionate about stories that mattered, stories that people remembered because they were transformed by it. I also rememberwd him saying that streaming was the way to go.
I was hesitant at first to watch The Chosen, for the reasons I already mentioned. However, the reactions that people were having about it piqued my curiosity. Then one day, during Sunday school, the leader showed a clip. I was nearly in tears from it because it drew me in so well and made me connect to the characters so well. It was a well told story. Incredibly well told. My family and I started watching the entire show after that (we are caught up now) and everyone of us loves it.
The show is brilliant in its writing, the acting, and the entire production. I’m not a critic. I’m not any kund of authority on what make something good or doesn’t, but this show is good. Really good. And it is one that will stand the test of time.
Have you watched The Chosen? What are your thoughts? Do you have a show, movie, or book that you think the world needs to hear about? Tell us!