Catholic Culture Liturgical Living
Catholic Culture Liturgical Living

The Chosen, an Education in Meditation

By Criteria: The Catholic Film Podcast ( bio - articles - email ) | Mar 26, 2021 | In Criteria: The Catholic Film Podcast

Listen to this podcast on: Apple Podcasts | Spotify | RSS feed | YouTube Channel

This is a listener-supported podcast! Thanks for your help!

In anticipation of Season 2 of The Chosen, the popular TV series based on the Gospels, Thomas and James take a look back at Season 1 and what made it so remarkable. They are joined by Brother Joshua Vargas, a filmmaker, artist, and novice at the Oratory in Philadelphia.

The show’s two greatest strengths are its writing, which James calls “an education in meditation on the Gospels”, and Jonathan Roumie’s outstanding, childlike yet masculine performance as Jesus, which Br. Joshua considers “equally as compelling” as Jim Caviezel’s in The Passion of the Christ. (Thomas previously interviewed Jonathan on the Catholic Culture Podcast—link below.)

The show’s writers have done an excellent job fleshing out the terse Gospel stories without losing their essence. They seamlessly interweave direct quotes from the New Testament, original writing, and Old Testament references, and pick up on minor details and references from the Gospels, sometimes building them into larger subplots or just using them as minor character details (such as Peter being a slow runner). They cleverly use traditional TV episode structure to incorporate biblical foreshadowing and parallelism. And they make the world of Jews in first-century Palestine come alive.

Any artistic rendering of a perfect human being, let alone a Divine Person, inevitably falls short in certain ways, or makes sacrifices in choosing to emphasize certain aspects of Christ. Pasolini’s The Gospel According to St. Matthew portrays Jesus’s stern side. Gibson’s The Passion of the Christ focuses on His physical sufferings. The Chosen, with the luxury of multiple seasons ahead, opts for a more well-rounded portrayal, yet also makes a point of making Jesus more accessible to a modern American audience.

This is a laudable goal, and yet a certain amount of the Son of God’s majesty and mystery is lost in adaptation; however, this may be something which is developed in future seasons. Thankfully, the first season does not ring false on a theological level, with one significant exception.

Season 2 of The Chosen premieres on Easter Sunday.


Thomas’s interview with Jonathan Roumie on the Catholic Culture Podcast

The Chosen on Apple App Store

The Chosen on Google Play

Follow Art by Joshua Vargas on Facebook

Buy Brother Joshua’s work on Etsy

Criteria is hosted by Thomas V. Mirus and James T. Majewski.

Thomas is Director of Podcasts for and hosts the Catholic Culture Podcast. See full bio.

James is the Director of Customer Relations for as well as the host and narrator for Catholic Culture Audiobooks. See full bio.

Sound Off! supporters weigh in.

All comments are moderated. To lighten our editing burden, only current donors are allowed to Sound Off. If you are a current donor, log in to see the comment form; otherwise please support our work, and Sound Off!

There are no comments yet for this item.