A Lot or a Little?
What you will—and won't—find in this TV show.
This show's shtick intentionally jumbles the messages its content sends, yielding morally confusing but funny moments. Stereotypes are rampant in the mostly African-American cast and urban setting, and Black Jesus is a wild contradiction who's at alternate times offensive and inspiring in his messages of kindness and compassion.
Positive Role Models
Black Jesus walks contradicting paths in his messages about kindness and his willingness to engage in illegal and amoral activities such as drug runs. Even when his actions are suspect, his intentions are good, which makes him a confusing behavioral model. Other characters are more singular in their actions and often make poor decisions.
Violence & Scariness
Guns are commonplace, and they're used to threaten and coerce people. In one scene, for instance, men hold them to the heads of teens so they can steal drugs from them.
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Sex, Romance & Nudity
Men comment on women's appearances, pointing out what makes them "hot." There's a lot of flirting as well, with Black Jesus being one of the most overt about it.
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"S--t," "ass," "Goddamn," "bitch," "damn," and "hell" are heard a lot. Many characters refer to each other as the "N" word. Only "f--k" is muted.
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Drinking, Drugs & Smoking
Adults are frequently shown with beer in hand, and many smoke pot as well. Some also are involved in distributing drugs. This kind of behavior rarely yields negative consequences.
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Parents Need to Know
Parents need to know that the irreverent humor in Black Jesus isn't for kids and won't appeal to all adults, but its unique portrayal of modern-day Jesus' efforts to spread the good news is both humorous and heartwarming, even if it is brimming with racial and socio-economic stereotypes that portray inner-city people of color as carefree and lazy. The show is laced with strong language ("s--t," "ass," "hell," and "Goddamn"; only "f--k" is edited), and the mostly African-American characters frequently use the "N" word with each other. All the main characters drink, smoke, and use recreational drugs such as pot, and they're often at odds with the law. On the other hand, Black Jesus appeals to them at their level and in their language, and his messages are solid, even if his presentation is a little rough around the edges.
Is It Any Good?
A TV version of a popular YouTube character, Black Jesus is so simple it's almost complex, which makes it mildly confusing for those who watch. The concept is easy to grasp: What if Jesus returned today as the antithesis of what popular opinion portrays him to be? On one hand, the show's irreverent trampling of Christianity's sacred beliefs about the Son of God's impeccable moral character is laugh-out-loud funny; on the other hand, this nontraditional portrayal still manages to reflect many of the Biblical savior's original messages, despite the bearer's pot-smoking, insult-slinging trappings.
Clearly this isn't a show for teens who won't see past the superficial absurdity to its better messages, and the rampant language is a strong deterrent for this age group. But adults will see it better for what it is -- a comical supposition of how modern-day Jesus's charismatic messages might fall on our ears today. Would new takes on Jesus quotes such as "He not know what the f--k he do" and "You do realize I died for you, right?" impress themselves upon us, or would we write them off because of the messenger's delivery? If nothing else, Black Jesus makes you look at long-held beliefs about Christianity in a different way, and even believers will see that the character's redemptive qualities outweigh his questionable moral fiber in this uniquely comical reimagining.
Did we miss something on diversity?
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