Prime Time Jesus

"What is startling for me is how Anglo and well-sold this 'Jesus' is," says Humphries-Brooks, who teaches at Hamilton College in Clinton, N.Y. "This is really a multimedia Jesus." Humphries-Brooks was hoping for a little more ethnic authenticity. "Jeremy Sisto is a gorgeous Jesus," he says. "He's as white as they come." Despite some Hollywood liberties with tone and style, and at least one invented character, the powers behind Jesus believe that this production sticks pretty close to the Gospel accounts... Actually, the professor says this movie follows the same pattern as several predecessors, with a relatively unknown actor cast as Jesus, who is then surrounded by better-known actors playing the other parts... But controversial or not, you can bet that lots of people probably will watch it. Why do shows about jesus do so well? Partly, the reasons are sacred. "This is the defining religious figure for the West," says Humphries-Brooks. Partly the attraction is what he calls, "a nostalgia for the sort of secure stories we grew up with."
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