The Bible is the History Channel's five-part, ten-hour miniseries, conceived by husband and wife producers Mark Burnett and Roma Downey. Or, as the press release proclaims:
From Genesis to Revelation, HISTORY will illuminate the Bible, re-telling the stories as they unfold and revealing new insights into these iconic characters in context of the Bible. The series will feature some of the most famous stories ever written from Noah’s Ark and the Exodus to Daniel in the Lion’s Den to the crucifixion and resurrection of Jesus.
“The Bible is a sacred text that continues to challenge and inspire,” said Mark Burnett. “We’ve been working on this project for the past two years and are deeply humbled to be given this once in a generation opportunity to breathe new visual life into the Bible’s profound stories. The Bible gives meaning and purpose to billions of people around the world, and sparks the curiosity of millions more.”
I can't hate on a miniseries nowadays, endangered species that it is--let alone one with a score by no less than Hans Zimmer and narrated by current Voice Of Authority Keith David. That said, if the first part (which aired last week and will air again tonight before the second part) is an accurate gauge of the whole, the ambitious scope of the production far outstrips its grasp; it takes a greatest-hits/FF>> approach to events, which screws with their dramatic impact (the first part, for instance, opened with Noah on the Ark during the Flood relating the Seven Days of Creation and Adam and Eve in the Garden of Eden). And the occasional low/no-budget moments trip it up, as do some...interesting...creative spins on things. Such as an angel busting out slo-mo Trinity skills on suckers in Sodom, or the burning bush the size of a Mack truck, or how most of Moses confronting Rameses and the Ten Plagues of Egypt ends up as a bizarrely (and unintentionally funny, IMO--I'm going to hell) sort of montage.
OTOH, there was at least one fairly decent bit in Part One: Abraham's story, although it was handled in a slightly soapy fashion in places (Abraham's wife Sarah encourages him to sleep with Hagar, which resulted in Ishmael--and Sarah and Hagar bitchface each other up until Hagar's exit later in the show), was the one thing they largely left to proceed at a modest pace. And the actors, largely unknowns in North America, are uniformly okay--not great, except perhaps the folks portraying Abraham and Sarah and Moses, but okay.
The astonishing part is that in spite of its shortcomings Part One scored insane ratings for History Channel. Maybe folks were just that tired of Pawn Stars, I don't know...