Just one little observation of the History Channel’s upcoming miniseries bonanza, The Bible, which will be premiering on March 3rd. Part of me says this network has learned their lesson after the immense success of Hatfields & McCoys, but the other part of me says this is still the History Channel, and is destined to make some kind of glorious mistake. No, we are not talking about the guy who portrayed General Barksdale in Gettysburg looking like an Elvis Presley impersonator, or even their obsession with that family of inbred, toothless hicks sailing around swamps in the middle of nowhere blasting alligator brains out with shotguns. We are talking about something that matters to a lot of people, and that is the treatment of the greatest story ever written, which is sacred to hundreds of millions of people around the world. Now, I am not going to pick apart the teaser or even the extended look trailer scene-by-scene, but something that caught my eyes and ears was the portrayal of Jesus and his apostles (aside from the guy playing Moses looking like the lead singer of a death metal band).
If you watch the extended trailer and listen closely, you will find that Jesus and his followers are sporting British accents. Why is this a big deal? It’s not, really, but it just established the fact that I will not be able to take any of those scenes seriously. I do not expect total authenticity here (I have learned my lesson), so a tall, white, light-brown haired Jesus with a perfectly manicured beard does not bother me that much, even though the real Jesus would have barely been over five feet tall, had dark skin, dark hair, and looked something like those pesky Muslims who Christian conservatives just love to hate—it’s not like accuracy matters anymore. But the British accent? Well, that just does it for me, especially since the actor playing the part is from Portugal! Meaning he is talking like that intentionally! When the apostle in the trailer asks him, “What are we going to do?”, to which Jesus responds, “We’re going to change the world”, I was almost expecting a Monty Python skit to break out. Better yet, maybe they will serve tea and scones at the last supper. I’ll stop being so negative. The crucifixion scene should be fun. Always look on the bright side of life!
PS: All we need now is for Bill O’Reilly to put the icing on top of the cake of absurdity and write a book titled Killing Jesus or something like that. Oh wait, he is. Somebody wake me up!