Evil popular on Netflix

Covid-19 is a global experience that has resulted in millions turning to the television for entertainment, discovering new programs many of us would have never found had this “Stay Home” experience not happened.

jesus-lukeNetflix is one of the most popular choices. Whereas the number two rated series Ozark is appealing to the masses to watch evil, the four Gospels produced by Brent Ryan Green is offering the Good News from Jesus in an accessible and very understandable form.  I have read the four Gospels many times, but have never identified the many similarities of the narratives until watching this production.

Whether you are a Christian or not, I highly recommend everyone watch these well-produced recreations of the four Gospel stories. Unlike every other production of the Bible stories that I have seen in my lifetime, Green presents the Gospel stories narrated word-for-word with visual support by recreating the scenes. The characters don’t speak. They just act out the scene.

However that visual support is extremely helpful! We are visual learners. When you watch each of the Gospel stories, you will see, and hear, the consistent story of Jesus life being told by four different writers. That consistency has great impact!  The Gospels of Matthew, Mark and Luke are so similar, the producer was able to use the same footage for most of the stories in each Gospel.

These four Gospel accounts are important and can truly change each viewer’s life for the better. Yet, the series on Netflix that is far more popular, currently the second most-watched production on the streaming service, is Ozark.

jason-bateman-522670-1-402In 30 episodes, Ozark presents the story of a greatly challenged family from Naperville. One bad decision by forensic accountant Marty Bryd (Jason Bateman) results in him working with a Mexican drug cartel and the Kansas City mob, while fending off criminal and psychopathic hillbillies in the Ozark region of Missouri, and trying to avoid being arrested by the FBI.  You know, it’s the typical life of an accountant.

If you look on IMDB, the number one rated star in in the world is Julia Garner who plays an Ozark local, living in trailers with her two cousins and two uncles, while her father is off in jail. Julia Garner is an excellent young actress to be sure, portraying a foul-mouthed, violent 20-something with a record.

julia-garnerHer appeal is that her poor upbringing, father and circumstances created her nasty side. When Marty Byrde comes into her life, he gives her the opportunity to show her brains and talent and make a better life for herself. Better may not be accurate, because her managerial duties include running a strip joint and riverboat gambling casino, each of which is laundering drug cartel money. You know, it’s the typical life of a 20-something Ozark local.

tom-pelphreyThe number two rated star on IMDB is Tom Pelphrey who plays Ben Davis, the brother of Marty’s wife, Wendy Byrde (Laura Linney).  Ben Davis is a bipolar substitute teacher and after losing his cool in the classroom, he throws all his students phones into a tree grinder, then beats the hell out of one of the workers who tries to stop him. So he ends up in the Ozarks with his sister and her “normal” American family. That’s where he meets Ruth and becomes her boyfriend, taking him right up to number two on IMDB.

Conversely, Selva Rasalingam plays Jesus in the four Gospel accounts and his IMDB rating is 40,127. The next highest is Mourad Zaoui who plays John the Baptist and comes in at 55,867. Perhaps the fact the Gospel stories were produced in 2014 and 2015 is responsible. But, don’t forget, the first shall come last and the last shall come first.jesus

There is obviously a fascination watching evil. But there is also an opportunity to watch the truly good and actually help improve your life.  I hope you will accept my invitation to watch one, or all four of the Gospels, on Netflix.  Happy Easter!


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