Follow TV Tropes


Series / The Chosen (TV series)

Go To
"Get used to different."

Man with Leprosy: Please...please...please don't turn away from me.
Jesus: I won't.

The Chosen is a crowd-funded historical drama television series depicting the ministry of Jesus as seen through the eyes of His followers. The show boasts of being the first show to cover the events of the four Gospels across multiple seasons. One season has aired so far, though seven are planned, and the second season began its release schedule on April 4, 2021. The show is notable for delving into the lives and personalities of the disciples, even creating backstories that do not have a direct basis in The Bible.

Since 2020, the show has received an overwhelmingly positive response from the public (as of this writing, season 1 has a 100% rating on Rotten Tomatoes). This is largely due to the show's relatable portrayal of Jesus, its diverse cast, and its accessibility (how many TV shows upload ALL of their episodes to an app for free?).


Contains Examples Of:

  • Acting Unnatural: Said by Gaius to Matthew. As Matthew points out, "I am natural. I look exactly how I feel."
  • Adaptation Expansion: Loads of it. All of the disciples, including those who aren't really discussed beyond a brief mention in the source material.
  • Adaptational Job Change / Adaptational Skill: As part of the Adaptational Expansion, the disciples without canonical livelihoods receive new ones here, such as Thaddeus being a construction worker, Little James a choral singer, Nathaniel an architect, Thomas a caterer, etc.
  • Affably Evil: Quintus, who makes it clear he is much more on the legal and judicial side of Roman power rather than muscle, although he is not afraid to use it. See his interactions with Nicodemus and Matthew.
    • Averted to an extent with Gaius who comes off more as a Punch-Clock Villain in his interactions with Matthew and Quintus himself.
  • All Issues Are Political Issues: This is what Yanni is trying to convince Shmuel of after finding out Nicodemus more or less quashed the inquiry into Jesus. Shmuel sees it as a moral imperative and has a bit of a seething disgust at the notion of making everything political.
  • Ascended Extra: Many background characters from the Bible get expanded in this series, including but not limited to:
    • Eden: In the Bible, Simon Peter's wife is never named and is only assumed to exist based on the fact that he had a mother-in-law. In this series, she is a central part of season 1.
    • Thaddeus and Young James: These disciples get mentioned by name no more than 5 times each in the Gospels. Here, they get fully fleshed out backstories, personalities, and unique interactions with Jesus.
    • Zebedee and Salome: Big James and John's parents. In the Bible, Zebedee only appears during James and John's calling, being left behind as his sons join Jesus, while Salome is mentioned as one of the women who witnessed the crucifixion. In the series, they have many interactions with their sons and other characters, and the house where Jesus heals a paralythic man is theirs. They also attend the Sermon on the Mount.
  • A Boy and His X: Before joining Jesus, Matthew's only companion besides his assigned guard is a stray dog he befriends when he's unable to share a Sabbath meal with his family due to being ostracized for working with the Romans. It's symbolic of his position in society, as dogs in that time and place were seen as vermin and something to avoid. Much like tax collectors.
  • All-Loving Hero: Jesus, naturally.
    • Philip acts like this to the other disciples, even being kind to Matthew, who is sidelined by the rest, from the start. In the last episode of season 2, a clip of Philip is shown when Jesus, discussing the Beatitudes, mentions the "peacemakers".
  • Ambiguous Disorder / Disease by Any Other Name: Matthew is very good with numbers and was described as being a very intelligent child, but has trouble with social cues to the point of being ostracized. This leads to him becoming a tax collector. Dallas Jenkins, the creator/director, has confirmed that this version of Matthew has Asperger's, but this is never explicitly said in-universe because of the time period.
  • Assassin Outclassin': Atticus replaces the Roman magistrate on his weekly dinner reservation in order to kill Simon during the Zealots' assassination attempt.
  • As the Good Book Says...: All the time, and all over the place, both meta and in-text from the characters.
  • As You Know: When Thomas and Ramah arrive in Samaria, Matthew responds to their story of a tough journey by talking about the historical hatred between Jews and Samaritans. Thomas replies with a terse "I am aware".
  • Brass Balls: Matthew is praised by Quintus for having these, even as Gaius is all but expecting himself and Matthew to be killed for the latter's potential "disrespect"
  • Bunny-Ears Lawyer: John the Baptizer, a raggedly looking preacher wandering the wilds, who refuses to eat meat because its too much effort, jump-scares people arriving to meet with him, and enjoys aggravating government officials and leaders of the religious establishment. He is nevertheless devoted to following the will of God and supporting his cousin Jesus, and has a large following among the people as a teacher.
  • Call-Forward
    • In the first episode, Jesus reveals His identity to Mary Magdalene by saying her name. This happens again when she encounters the resurrected Jesus.
    • Peter getting cut on the ear by an angry Roman echoes the moment when he cuts off a man's ear during Christ's arrest.
    • Matthew is tasked with following Peter and writing down his observations. When he joins the disciples, he brings the notebook with him.
    • Certain scenes set up cultural norms that will later be challenged by Jesus. For example, in episode two, a dinner party guest tells his wife to get seats close to the head of the table (where the important people are). In the Gospels, Jesus specifically tells his disciples not to do this.
    • Jesus walking past the crucifixion victims in a somber fashion as he entered Jerusalem during the Feast of Tabernacles. One of the victims is even arrayed in the traditional crucifix manner.
    • Jesus being brought before the local Roman authority, Praetor Quintus, in season 2 may foreshadow his eventual arrest and encounter with Pontius Pilate. However Jesus is soon set free and leaves on rather good terms with Quintus.
  • Child Prodigy: Matthew knows less of the Hebrew scriptures than the other male disciples because he was skipped ahead in school and apprenticed out to a bookkeeper when he was 8. By 13 he had been employed by the Romans as a tax collector and was subsequently kicked out of the house by his father due to his new position.
  • The Cobbler's Children Have No Shoes: Discussed regarding Young James, who suffers from some form of partial paralysis, and hasn't been healed despite watching Jesus heal countless others. James admits that he believes Jesus would heal him if he asked, but says he doesn't feel it's the right time to do so.
    • It's a case of Real Life Writes the Plot as Little James' actor Jordan Walker Ross suffered from scoliosis as a child and has had multiple surgeries including spinal fusion.
  • Conditioned to Accept Horror: People walk past active crucifixions of multiple people by Roman authorities at the gates of Jerusalem and watch public beatings, with little more than an uncomfortable glance.
  • Cool Old Lady: Mother Mary. Also Simon's mother-in-law, Dasha, who immediately after being healed from her near death illness, is bustling around Simon and Eden's kitchen making snacks for the guests.
  • Crisis of Faith
    • Mary Magdalene struggling to beat her demonic possession by reading the words her father taught her, contemplating suicide only to have her attention caught by a bird flying and then healed by Jesus
    • Simon in his attempt to stave off ruin by fishing all night. His utterances about the history of Israel while alone on the boat drive home his inner turmoil.
    • Nathanial spends his introductory episode in the midst of one, after an accident at his worksite gets him blacklisted from the architectural job he'd been working towards his whole life.
  • Deadpan Snarker: Almost every character gets a snarky moment or two, but Andrew most of all:
    Simon: I have a plan. I met a guy-
    Andrew: Oh, wow, get the papyrusnote , Simon met a guy!
    • John the Baptist gets in a few noteworthy moments of this when Nicodemus comes to inquire about his experiences in Capernaum.
  • Diary: Matthew picks up the habit on their travels.
  • Driven to Suicide / Interrupted Suicide: Mary Magdalene is on the verge of jumping from a cliff before she's startled by a bird and follows it back to town, where she meets Jesus and is healed of her possession.
  • Dropping the Bombshell: Jesus sometimes does this to those He chooses as a way of letting them know that He is the Messiah:
    • Mary Magdalene is stopped dead in her tracks when Jesus, a complete stranger to her at this time, calls her by her real name. He then quotes Isaiah 43:1, which was part of a cherished memory of her father and was something of a Madness Mantra for her to try to stave off her demonic possession. He is not only revealing that He knows her, but that He gave those words to Isaiah.
    • With a few words, Jesus reveals that he knows all about Nathaniel and his Crisis of Faith, despite having never met him in person before then.
  • Elites Are More Glamorous: Atticus is essentially a Roman special operator, recognized as such by both other soldiers and Roman civilians.
  • Everyone Can See It: Even people who have just joined the group can tell Thomas is in love with Ramah, despite his own bewilderment on the topic whenever it's brought up.
  • Flashback / Flash Forward: Used occasionally, particularly at the beginning of episodes, to flesh out a story beat or specific character. These have ranged from flashbacks to events like the creation of Jacob's well, and forward to after Big James's execution in Acts of the Apostles
  • Foolish Sibling, Responsible Sibling: Simon (Peter) and Andrew are portrayed at this. Andrew tends to stick to the rules and avoids taking risks with their family possessions. Meanwhile, Simon is more impulsive and more willing to bend the rules to do what he needs to do.
  • Foregone Conclusion: Being based on some of the most heavily studied and discussed events in history, much of the story is this. Beyond Jesus's death and resurrection, Judas is going to betray them and pretty much all the canonical disciples will be martyred other than John, who will die of old age in exile.
    • Acknowledged by John in the Season 2 Flash Forward, as he sadly reflects on his brother's martyrdom with the understanding that he is only the first. It's partly the motivation for writing his gospel.
  • Foreseeing My Death: Jesus spends the entire series aware of the date he's walking towards, and indirectly acknowledge or references it in conversation from time to time from the very beginning of the series onwards.
  • Friend to All Children: Jesus.
  • Funny Spoon: When the demoniac interrupts them while they're cooking, Thomas grabs the knife. Matthew grabs... the wooden soup spoon.
  • God Before Dogma: Nicodemus's stance on the new street-preacher puts him somewhat at odds with the rest of the Sanhedrin.
  • Good Smells Good: Somewhat inverted, according to the demon possessing Caleb, those who have come into contact with Jesus (or even just someone who themselves interacted with Jesus) smell 'putrid' from holiness. Presumably a non-demonic entity that could smell holiness wouldn't find it so revolting.
  • Greater-Scope Villain:
    • Pontius Pilate, the governor of Judea.
    • Caiaphas, the high priest who will eventually conspire to kill Jesus.
  • Handy Man: Jesus's day job, so to speak, which he continues doing throughout his travels, such as leaving the crowds in Samaria in order to help fix a man's wagon axle.
  • Happily Married: Simon and Eden, despite the former's penchant (prior to his calling) for gambling and beating the snot out of her brothers.
  • Heroic BSoD: Mary Magdalene was assaulted by a Roman soldier in uniform, and later seeing one in the street gives her a panic attack.
  • Horror Doesn't Settle for Simple Tuesday: The assassination attempt on the Roman magistrate is scheduled to occur during the Feast of Booths.
  • Hot-Blooded: James and John are given the nickname "the Sons of Thunder" after trying to get Jesus to smite some Samaritans they got in a fight with.
  • I Have No Son!: Invoked literally by Matthew when discussing with Gaius his status within his family as a tax collector. Apparently, this occurred around the time Matthew was 13.
  • "I Know You're in There Somewhere" Fight: Mary Magdelene attempts this on the demonically possessed Caleb, trying to get the man to speak to them over the demon. This does not work until Jesus arrives and immediately exorcises him.
  • In-Series Nickname: Simon almost always refers to John the Baptizer as "Creepy John." This is in part to differentiate him from John the apostle, but also to show Simon's Deadpan Snarker personality. The Flash Forward in the first episode of season two shows that he's still using the nickname long after John's death.
  • I Should Write a Book About This: The prologue of the Season 2 opener shows a meeting of Jesus's disciples taking place many years after his death in which they begin to compile stories and events for the Gospels.
  • Jesus Was Way Cool: He will save you from your demons and dance at a wedding. He is also a Friend to All Children and cracks a joke from time to time.
  • Just a Stupid Accent: Almost all the characters speak in English with Middle Eastern accents.
  • Les Collaborateurs: How tax-collectors are viewed in Roman-occupied Israel.
  • Momma's Boy: Jesus, to an extent. His relationship with Mary has a loving tenderness to it.
  • My Significance Sense Is Tingling: A downplayed example, due to her past experience being possessed, the presence of the demon Belial appears to trigger a migraine for Mary Magdelene, heralding the arrival of the demonically possessed Caleb before the other disciples present hears his howling.
  • Mystical Pregnancy: Discussed, with both Jesus and John the Baptizer having been born this way. (Their real life counterparts being two trope makers, with they and their mothers serving as the current page image.)
  • Never Learned to Read: Ramah, being a young woman, was eager to learn so she could study Torah. Averted with Mary Magdalene, whose father had taught her as a child.
  • Not What It Looks Like: While compiling his gospel John asks Mary Magdalene to describe her first meeting with Jesus, and she says he held her hand, then tells John to leave that part out, because "it isn't what it sounds like" and "people will get confused", a bit of a Take That! at those who believe Mary Magdalene and Jesus were married or sexually involved.
  • Obnoxious In-Laws: Simon sees his brothers-in-law as this, and vice versa, getting in repeated fights both verbal and physical with each other. Averted with his mother-in-law, who he's fond of.
  • O.C. Stand-in: Many of the characters are at least mentioned in the Bible but, as stated above, don't receive much elaboration beyond that in the source material or historical record; logically, much of their personalities and character arcs are this. Other characters, such as Ramah or Shmuel, are more whole cloth original characters, only stand-ins in the sense that they are part of groups that had more members than just those who are individually mentioned in the Bible.
  • The Oner: The opening scene of season 2, episode 3 is an impressive 15-minute tracking shot.
  • One Steve Limit: Folks familiar with the Gospels will have seen this coming. Shown or mentioned in the show alone are: Mary Magdalene, Mary the mother of Jesus, and Mary Salome; the Apostle John and John the Baptizer; Simon (Peter) and Simon the Zealot; two Joshuas (and Jesus' own name is derived from Joshua), and a gaggle of background characters named Sara. Actively discussed with the two Apostles James and Simon.
    Yanni: Our people really need a better variety of names.
    • Also referenced when Simon the Zealot is called.

  • Only Known by Their Nickname: Philip had to apologize for not knowing who Thomas was; he relates that after all the months of traveling with John the Baptist, no one knew anyone else's name, just nicknames and aliases.
  • Pals with Jesus: The premise of the show, really.
  • Pass the Popcorn: Two children who brought a bowl of snacks to hear Jesus speak at Zebedee's house. Matthew at first refuses their offer to share, but reaches over and grabs some when Jesus heals the paralyzed man from the roof.
  • Related in the Adaptation: Simon the Zealot and the lame man at the Pool of Bethesda (given the name Jesse here) are brothers.
  • Running Gag: Pretty much anytime Jesus's hometown of Nazareth is mentioned, someone will make a bewildered or insulting comment about it, and generally about someone like Jesus coming from there.
  • Sibling Team: Simon and Andrew, as well as James and John, work together and get in trouble together. James and John even receive a nickname, "The Sons of Thunder", underlining this.
  • Sleepy Head: Phillip can fall asleep anywhere, at the drop of a hat, which he attributes to having been on the run with John the Baptist and needing to be able to grab sleep when one can.
  • The Smurfette Principle: Mary Magdalene is the only female disciple in the travelling group at the end of season one. Downplayed, as Ramah joins the group early in the second season, although it is commented upon by Ramah's father, who's concerned about her and Thomas running off with a bunch of unknown men.
    Ramah: And a woman!
    • In late season 2 the group is joined by an Ethiopian woman called Tamar, further downplaying the trope.
  • Strange Minds Think Alike: Thomas and Matthew both have a habit of number crunching at the drop of a hat, even for rhetorical questions like "What are the odds we run into the angry Pharisee from Capernaum all the way over in Jerusalem?"
  • There Was a Door: Justified when the paralyzed man's friends tore a hole in Zebedee's ceiling, as the entrances to the building were crowded with people blocking the way to the person they knew could heal their friend. Not that Zebedee was particularly thrilled about the hole in his roof.
  • Too Much Alike: Thomas's dislike of Matthew is attributed in-universe to be at least in part due to this trope. They are noted to be quite similar, considered by the others to be the smartest of the disciples, as well as sharing a habit of running the odds for any given situation.
  • Traumatic C-Section: Simon the Zealot was cut from his mother after she died in childbirth, the midwife holding a knife up to his mother's stomach before the scene cuts away to the baby being held by his brother.
  • Very Loosely Based on a True Story: The Samaritan Melech is guilt-ridden over mugging a Jewish traveler and leaving the man for dead on the side of the road. Jesus says the traveler did survive because someone stopped to help him, implying that in the show the parable of the Good Samaritan was inspired by an actual event, although to what degree the event and parable are meant to line up isn't elaborated on.
  • Wham Line: At the end of the season two finale, Simon meets someone who is very interested to learn more about Jesus. After Simon introduces himself, the stranger does the same: "Judas."
  • Your Terrorists Are Our Freedom Fighters: The Zealots.


Video Example(s):



At the end of his rope and about to be arrested by Rome, Simon questions whether God really cares about his people, bringing up all the times they were enslaved or captured.

How well does it match the trope?

5 (2 votes)

Example of:

Main / CrisisOfFaith

Media sources: