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I started watching The Messiah on Netflix, expecting one of those movies that leave you with the equivalent of the coating on your tongue after eating cheese doodles. But I saw it had a pretty good cast, and given the locales, it had to have a decent budget, so I was hoping the writing was decent. I was disappointed..again.

Then when I saw the producers were Mark Burnett and Roma Downey, a husband and wife set of ‘evangelicals’ worth half a billion dollars, that kind of explained everything. Mark is currently head of MGM Productions, which has only produced one decent thing in the last three years (any idea what that is? Here’s a hint – Get Shorty) Apparently, Mark wrested control from the previous head in a nasty bait and switch thing, so he is a dirt bag, and Roma likes to play the Virgin Mary in other biblical movies. Should have done my homework before wasting 6 hours watching this production.

Here it is in a nutshell; this guy who looks like your Sunday school book’s rendition of Jesus purportedly saves Damascus in 2019 from ISIS (how’s that for a stretch from reality?) by summoning a month-long sandstorm. Then he drags his followers over to the border with Israel and dumps them to go to Jordan and then to Texas where he purportedly saves a girl from a tornado who will become his Mary Magdalene. Then he drags a flotilla of ‘believers’ to D.C. and talks to the president. Then an Israeli guy grabs him before he can talk on a rich televangelist’s tv show, but the plane they’re on gets hit by a missile, crashes, and he resurrects the Israelis from the dead. The end. Oh, and Michelle Monaghan plays a CIA gal with a dad with Alzheimer’s who gets flooded out in Miami, and keeps chasing Jesus to reveal that he’s a fake. But that plot line just gets left hanging. I must be kidding, right? Sorry, no..that is how Season 1 ends. Clearly there is an expectation of a Season 2.

Goodness knows what it cost to make – a bundle, I expect. How Netflix recoups their investment in these movies is beyond me, but somehow they do. I shall try to be more discerning in the future, but here’s my defense. There is so little out there now that is worth watching, that it is necessary to take risks to be entertained. That’s it in a nutshell. And that is sad. Even PBS has greatly reduced their programming, even with Joan Kroc’s bequest, so it must be going to salaries instead of production. Shame on them!

So I can only conclude that, as previously discussed, for the rest of my lifetime, America will be dominated by the religious right until it is no more. Adams, Jefferson and Jackson are rolling in their tombs at the idea that we’ve been taken over by religious zealotry. But I doubt they’d be surprised – none of them probably thought we’d last this long anyway. Sigh.

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