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Have Cheetah,Will View #109 – “The Stranger – The Complete Series” (2007)

It’s 1:40 am

After watching the last movie we watched and reviewed,the cheetah suggested we drift back into something a little kinder and gentler and I couldn’t have agreed more.
I said we should review the “The Stranger” TV series which was based on the ““The Perfect Stranger”” films we have already written about.  Paladin agreed and so we are and better yet,so are you!!

 

PS2

After Kelly’s Filmworks filmed and distributed the first two “Perfect Stranger” films to unexpected critical acclaim and strong sales,they decided to try to make a TV series based on the films with Jefferson Moore as Jesus popping up when he was needed.
Because this was a wholly independent production,the budget for “The Stranger” is extremely limited. There would be no action or high priced special effects like on “Highway to Heaven” or “Touched By An Angel”.
No,The Stranger would be small set pieces where Jesus would interact with that episode’s guest and talk about faith,salvation,the importance of family,if God exists.
Kelly Filmwork’s has taken a page from Jack Webb and Woody Allen and uses a small core of actors in different parts in each episode. The actors for the most part are not professionally trained but are more often then not members of the church where Kelly and Jefferson Moore attend. So while maybe the acting isn’t polished,it does come from the heart and that really helps when watching this series.
“The Stranger” filmed only seven episodes,I not sure if it was budget woes or the inability to find a TV home that ended production so early. But the seven episodes produced are a interesting mixed bag with some episodes being better then others.
A lot of thing has to do with the film crew itself as they were learning as they went along. This is way a few episodes weren’t quite as smooth as some of the others.
The titles of the episodes are based on several encounters or parables that Jesus told during his time on earth. While the episodes are only 30 minutes apiece,one of the best best and right things that Jefferson Moore did right is not wrap things up in a pretty bow and glow,while it may appear that the person the Jesus talks to may have taken that first step forward,there is no guarantee what the future will be for each one.
“The Stranger” did try for a bit of melodrama once,in the episode “The Prodigal Son”,what appears to be Satan shows up and attempts to keep the main character hooked on drugs and even giving the downtrodden man a bottle full of pills. Since this was the only time this happened,its unclear if it was a one time “tryout” or would the Devil pop up in later episodes? I think it would have been a distraction as the dynamic of the 1 on 1 would have been lost and I’m not sure the little acting troupe could have handled doing any real dramatics.
The two best episodes in our opinion were “Mary and Martha”,a tale that has Jesus visiting a struggling diner in Alabama in order to show two sisters  that while working hard is a good thing,taking time off to praise God is also important. His wise words help start to heal the relationship between the two sisters. He also spends time sitting at his table to talk with other folks throughout the day.
The strongest episode is “Thomas” about a radio talk show host who has nothing but disdain for God and his followers. When he issues a “challenge” that Jesus call the station and answer questions,he gets his wish and we find out just why the host is so angry and bitter. You can imagine this wasn’t a easy or comfortable watch for me because I could relate to the man on many levels.  The episode is a great example of what “The Stranger” could have been.

PS4

So did the cheetah and I enjoy “The Stranger”? Yeah,we did.  The first two “Perfect Stranger” movies were done very well,the third one was terrible and we will not be looking at that one. In the case of Kelly’s Filmworks,we’re rather stay positive!
“The Stranger” ran for 7 episodes and would be rated “G”. There are no special features
on the DVD release.

You can buy “The Stranger” by going to the Kelly’s Filmworks website.

We gave this little series a thumbs/paw up.

What do you think of faith based movies and TV shows? Are they too “Hollywood” now or can a small indie company like “Kelly’s Filmworks” carve out a niche in the market?
Leave a comment below,we love to hear from you

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26 thoughts on “Have Cheetah,Will View #109 – “The Stranger – The Complete Series” (2007)

    • I admit,I had a little higher hopes that this would be on the same level as the first “The Perfect Stranger” film but I also understand why they weren’t. I think if Kelly’s Filmworks were to shoot this today,it would be MUCH better.

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  1. Ooh great to know that you enjoyed the first two, shame the third was a let down but I often think that sometimes producers should know when to stop and go out on a high rather than putting out a dud finale!

    Liked by 1 person

    • Yeah,that is why I decided not to review the 3rd movie. The lack of chemistry between the leads plus very weak production values,why bother.
      The series had promise which I think could have evolved if it was shown on a smaller network….but the production/budget issues wouldn’t work on a Hallmark Channel platform….

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  2. It’s so rare that a movie turned TV show actually works! I can only name a few. I’ve never heard of this tv show honestly though x

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    • True….you have a good point but I think if the pacing was just a little tighter w/less wasted shots,”The Stranger” would have had chance. It pretty much did what the first two movies managed to do. I still have a few of the Kelly’s Filmworks library to look at.

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  3. Glad to know that you found the first two enjoyable. I haven’t actually heard of this one but I’m looking for new options to watch and spend time in the evenings.

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  4. I have to admit I don’t really do faith-based programmes, for a few reasons. I do like they have kept the same person playing Jesus as who did in the movies, keeping things continuous can be a big thing and sometimes small budget shows make big waves.

    Liked by 1 person

    • I’m with you about faith based films,when they get “Hollywood-ized” it’s a complete turn-off because all they want to do is make money and any potential message is completely lost. It’s why I like Kelly’s Filmworks but no longer will watch the Kendrick brothers projects.

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  5. I’m always amazed why Jesus isn’t depicted physically as he should be. He appears to be blond, ginger, brunette and everything thing else. Still, I think when you do these types of series or films they either come off corny or homogenized.

    Liked by 1 person

    • Good point. There was a old American TV show called “Good Times” back in the 70s. One of the episodes was “Black Jesus” because eldest son drew a mural that show Jesus as black. It sure raised the hackles of whitey American even though it was historically correct.

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  6. I guess two out of three isn’t so bad especially as it was a conversion of a film! I’d admit faith based shows are my thing as I don’t believe but I am more than aware of others and their faith and respect them for that.

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  7. I don’t really watch faith based films or faith based TV shows but this does sound interesting – it’s good that it made the jump from film to TV ok, not all TV shows manage to keep people interested after making that jump

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    • Actually in the US market,it’s quite common for this to happen. While often times it doesn’t work,sometimes a show will get lucky and become a hit like “Buffy the Vampire Slayer” which started as a movie. Currently “Lethal Weapon” is now a TV series on Fox.
      But it like catching lightening in a bottle!

      Liked by 1 person

  8. It is common for the third or fourth sequels to be terrible, too bad the third movie is a waste. The take on The Prodigal son seems quite interesting form what I have just read.

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  9. I’ve never really enjoyed faith based tv shoes or films. That said we don’t get many over here in the UK. I’m glad you enjoyed it though x

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