Wednesday, April 13, 2005

Revelations: Omnium Finis Hic

I just finished watching the first installment of Revelations. It is a waste of time, I won't be watching any more of it. Here are some random thoughts about this mini-series.

The show is very broadly drawn and thumps you over the head with its symbolism. After the first episode you know exactly who is the Anti-Christ is and that Christ has returned in the form of an infant miraculously spared after a boat disaster and later baptised at Patmos (get it?).

The producers even milked the recent Terri Schiavo tragedy by including as a character a young girl, Olivia, who was in a persistent vegetative state as the result of a lightening strike. Olivia becomes as a conduit for messages from the deceased daughter of the one of the main characters, Dr. Massey. The writers were tasteless enough to include references to court battles to prevent taking her off life support so her organs could be harvested and scenes reminiscent of the protestors outside the hospice where Terri Schiavo died.

A young nun, Sister Josepha, is the other major character. She is portrayed as insufferably pious and arrogant as she pursues her own crusade to prove "the end of days" is near. She can't speak without spouting verses from the Bible--is that the producer's idea of how a religious person behaves?

NBC just doesn't get it. I think that the program the network chose to air just before the series, and the promos for other shows and movies shown during commercial breaks revealed their inability to identify religion separately from the paranormal, the supernatural and New Age thinking.

Prior to the show, NBC showed an episode of Dateline where the The DaVinci Code was discussed. That seems calculated to lure the target audience to the network and hope they will stay to watch Revelations. The problem is that the author of The DaVinci Code has claimed that his work of fiction is factual when it is demonstrably not and this has angered many faithful Christians.

During each commercial break the advertisements included promos for a TV show featuring a "psychic soccer mom" who said that her ability "comes from a higher place; the movies "The Amityville Horror" and "The Kingdom of Heaven" (not what you might think-it's about the Crusades). Neither mediums nor ghosts are part of the Christian (or Jewish) faith. In fact they are denounced in both the Old and New Testaments. The Crusades were wars fought for religion, power and national pride. "The Kingdom of God" is a curious title for a movie on that subject. Is this another attempt to attract the Christian audience to the theatres?

Someone clearly thinks that using a lot of Latin and chanting in the background lends authenticity and creates a religious mood to the piece. There is a lot of weather of the "dark and stormy night" variety with plenty of dramatic thunder and lightening at just the right moments.

Each segment of the hour began with a quote from the Bible that was designed to heighten the mood of foreboding and was chosen as a proof text to establish the theme of the segment. This is a really poor and irresponsible use of scripture. But hey, the producers never claimed they were responsible or that they were following scripture, did they?

Revelations has the a Latin subtitle (again with the Latin, because you know how Jesus spoke Latin!). Omnium Finis Imminet: translation: the end is near. (Yes, the website for the series translates this incorrectly).

As far as I am concerned, Omnium Finis Hic: the end is HERE.


will spotts said...

This is disappointing but not unexpected.

Good review, though.

SpookyRach said...

Just found your blog through your comment, thanks!

I agree whole-heartedly with you thoughts on this. The sad part is so many Christians are lapping this type of stuff up as if it were the Classic Comics version of the Bible. Drawn by Jeezus himself.