Cultural Arts Review – The Bible Miniseries

Posted on April 18, 2013 by



The new hit television series, The Bible, created by Mark Burnett, shown on the History channel, has broken records as being the most watched miniseries ever. The show had around 13.1 million viewers on its March third debut. This popular series recently had a marathon this past Easter as a way to get people into the Easter spirit. The Bible comprises of stories starting from Genesis going all the way to Revelation. The show uses live action and computer-generated imagery to set the scene for these biblical stories set in the past. The main purpose in creating this mini series was to educate viewers on the historical importance of the Bible, while also providing some entertainment.  This ten hour documentary drama explores the sacred texts including stories such as Noah’s journey in the ark, the Exodus, life of Jesus, and many more. The shows popularity is due in part to the large quantity of Christine families in the U.S. that tuned in. The miniseries episodes were enhanced using scripted action scenes and character drama used to keep excitement up and audiences tuned in. Recently, the History channel has been known for creating shows that are less than factual and in general void of our planets actual history. These new shows which do not involve our history is History Channels’ attempt to bring a wider range of viewers to the station. While the episodes may not factually represent every detail from the Bible to the point, the emotional connection people make with the show due to their religious affiliation helped build a strong fan base propelling the show to the most watched miniseries ever.

The intro to the episodes starts by announcing “This program is an adaptation of the Bibles stories. It endeavors to stay true to the spirit of the book”. Without delay, the show brings speculation to whether it stays true to the Bible and its stories. A perfect adaptation of the Bible may have proved to be more difficult than initially planned, but the main goal for the director was to make an interesting and educational series that will bring in the most viewers. Below the introduction a disclosure that states “Some scenes contain violence viewer discretion is advised” which holds true to the many violent scenes depicted in the Bible. The American populace enjoys their violence on television which can also be a contributing factor to the shows popularity. The cinematic scenes include many real life and heavy CGI shots in an attempt to get a mixture of real world and historical storytelling elements by using specific scenery. For example one scene shows the Earth covered in water as Noah’s Ark traverses the strong currents. The season spans over ten hours beginning with Noah’s adventure through the storm and finishing with Abraham reaching the Promised Land. Each of the stories include actors performing in front of CGI sets using props representing tools used thousands of years ago, which are used in an attempt to help viewers feel more invested in the time era. Because the stories are based off the texts from the Bible, interpretation and the meaning of the stories comes into play. The implications of creating a show based off the Bible are the tendencies to stretch the teachings of the book to fit the creator’s interpretation. While the show does exemplify the Christian religion by showcasing major characters and lessons from the Bible, the use of drama and actions scenes are played out to create a show anyone of any faith could find entertaining.

A show about the Christian religion remains a popular attraction that many people will tune into due to interest and the relation to their religion. The relationship people have with their religion tends to become strong while growing up with its guidance. When people have this type of relationship, it helps them relate with other people and media that showcases that common religion. The Bible miniseries on the History Channels can credit its success to the religious subject, the use of action and drama scenes relating to the Bible stories, and the high quality CGI. The show became a huge success in a matter of weeks by telling the stories so many are familiar and spreading the word of the Christian faith.

Alexander Grafton

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