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Sergio Di Zio
Taking place around the turn of the millennium, this four part series follows three entwining tales based on the Biblical story of the birth of Jesus Christ. In Nazareth, Joseph, a carpenter, courts teenager Mary. Meanwhile in Bethlehem, a shepherd called Thomas struggles under heavy taxation. And somewhere to the East, Magi gather to discuss the signs of a great event they see foretold in the stars. All their lives are brought together when Mary is visited by an angel and told she will give birth to the son of God. Written by
Finally a retelling that does justice to the Joseph character
I agree with the other reviewers. This retelling of the Christian nativity story is a very pleasant surprise. No one is surrounded by any weird glows; schmaltzy music does not swell every three minutes. Angels are not accompanied by sparkly fog. The storyline contains no surprises, of course. The biggest liberty the screenwriters take is to speed up the wise men's arrival.
I've always wondered why nativity retellings didn't make more of the Joseph character. This one finally does, and it turns out that treating Joseph as a three-dimensional character central to the plot worked even better than I thought it would. This Joseph is fully believable and just as conflicted and confused as one would expect. He is a good man who wants to be good to his word and who fully expected his fiancée to be true to hers. This treatment made me realize that Joseph's story is probably more relevant to regular humans than those of the other characters. Joseph is fully human, non-divine, non-chosen, no one special--a regular Joe (sorry!) just like you and me. He had the choice to trust and risk looking like a world-class chump, or to protect his pride by refusing to trust. That's a dilemma that is worth watching, even if you know how the story comes out in the end.
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