Television: Human, None Too Human

CBS's biblical mini-series Jesus, reverent of the deity, loses the man

There's an instructive scene early in Jesus (CBS, May 14 and 17, 9 p.m. E.T.) in which Roman soldiers insist that their insignia be displayed in Jerusalem's temple and the priests vow to die rather than let graven images inside. TV producers might do well to observe a similar proscription when it comes to the Bible, given their tendency to engrave religion as a greeting-card punch line (God, the Devil and Bob) or a pious, thundering bore.

Jesus wants to find a middle ground between irreverence and irrelevance, promising a Saviour (Jeremy Sisto) who laughs and emotes like the blue-collar rabble...

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