Black Jesus

TV review by
Emily Ashby, Common Sense Media
Black Jesus TV Poster Image
Irreverent, edgy comedy puts the Savior in the inner city.

Parents say

age 18+
Based on 1 review

Kids say

age 17+
Based on 1 review

A lot or a little?

The parents' guide to what's in this TV show.

Positive Messages

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 & Representations

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

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. 

Sex

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. 

Language

"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. 

Consumerism
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. 

What 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.  

User Reviews

  • Parents say
  • Kids say
Adult Written byZack A. July 9, 2018

Should be cancelled!!!!

Mocks the Christian Jesus and the Jewish Jesus who is the Messiah of the World!!! It is blasphemous and mocks the Saviour! Therefore do not let your kids watc... Continue reading
Teen, 13 years old Written byTheProdigy November 18, 2015

Good show. N WORD IS NOT CENSORED!!!!

this review isn't like my other AS reviews. This show is only for 17+! The only word that is bleeped is F***!!!! I watched one episode and never watched it... Continue reading

What's the story?

BLACK JESUS follows the modern-day Son of God (Gerald "Slink" Johnson), who in this imagining is a long-haired, robe-wearing African-American in Compton, California. His messages of kindness and forgiveness often fall on the deaf ears of those around him, but that doesn't stop him from trying to spread the word among his friends and neighbors as they hang out on street corners smoking and drinking. Created by Aaron McGruder (The Boondocks) and Mike Clattenburg (Trailer Park Boys), this series ponders what it would be like if Jesus surrounded himself with the socially marginalized in the inner city rather than only those in Galilee.

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. 

Talk to your kids about ...

  • Families can talk about what this show tries to accomplish. Does it cross a line of decorum in poking fun at Jesus Christ? Are its intentions to debunk faith, or does it merely attempt to present faith in a different way? 

  • What stereotypes are at play among these characters? How do they reflect society's impression of racial and socio-economic divides? Is it ever appropriate to use stereotypes in comedy? Is the show's use of the "N" word OK, given the predominantly African-American cast?

  • How has the Internet changed the entertainment industry? Have you seen the Black Jesus clips on YouTube? Do you think this show transitions well to a sitcom format? What defines good entertainment?

TV details

For kids who love comedy

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