Netflix Sets The Seder Table For Passover With 'Moses' Miniseries

An upcoming docudrama about the life of Moses and last year’s sprawling series on the life of Jesus are the latest examples of the enduring presence of religious content on TV.

Both are testaments to the hold that religion, faith, spirituality and the humble belief in a higher power has had on humankind throughout its history. 

Religion and art, some have said, are the only things that really last. But TV? That remains to be seen.

Whether these two TV shows are works of art is up to each individual. The three-part “Testament: The Story of Moses” comes to Netflix March 28.

Holding it until Passover, which begins on the evening of April 22, might have been a nice touch, but here it is.



“Testament” is billed as a docudrama combining documentary elements such as interviews with historians and the like, with dramatic reenactments such as the descent of Moses from Mount Sinai with the tablets of the Ten Commandments (above photo -- Avi Azulay as the great lawgiver).

The show “explores the life of Moses and his rise from outcast and murderer to prophet and liberator of the Hebrews, from the banks of the Nile to Mount Sinai to the Red Sea,” says a Netflix description.

In case anyone has forgotten who Moses murdered, the story according to Exodus 2:11-15 is that he came upon an Egyptian savagely beating a Hebrew (presumably a slave).

Seeing no one else around, Moses -- by then a member of the Pharaoh’s inner circle -- beat the Egyptian to death and buried him in the sand.

Meanwhile, last year’s sprawling Christ series “The Chosen” aired for 26 Sundays on The CW from July to December.

This was a series that had already made a splash internationally before the Nexstar-owned CW picked it up. 

The 26 episodes represent three seasons of “The Chosen.” The third season ended with the miracle of Jesus walking on water. A fourth season is in the works.

While the Christmas season is known for the numerous music specials, perennials and dozens of new made-for-TV holiday movies, few if any Christmas shows focus squarely on the holiday’s central story, which is the birth of Christ.

By contrast, the Easter season on TV has long been characterized by occasional historical specials in which the crucifixion and death of Jesus are discussed within the historical context of the time the New Testament says they took place.

And of course, there is ABC’s annual airing of “The Ten Commandments” around the time of Easter and Passover. 

The 1956 movie clocks in at 220 minutes long (3 hours and 40 minutes), but gets much more air time on ABC for commercial breaks.

Among other things, “The Ten Commandments” established Charlton Heston as the popular culture’s enduring characterization of Moses against which all others will be compared for all time.

1 comment about "Netflix Sets The Seder Table For Passover With 'Moses' Miniseries".
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  1. David Scardino from TV & Film Content Development, March 19, 2024 at 3:49 p.m.

    Adam, these sound like episodes of the old "You Are There" program on CBS that I watched as a kid. As always, nothing really new.

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