Sunday, 8 February 2009

Last Night’s TV: Jesus Job-Swap

Jesus Job-Swap, the latest reality TV show from the makers of Wife Swap, Trading Places and Let’s Make a Koala the Mayor of Innsbruck for a Week and See What Happens, debuted last night on DBC. It takes a well-worn premise – two people switch jobs for a while - and stitches a little new life into it: one of the people swapping jobs is Jesus Christ, son of God and major player on the religious scene.

Saturday’s episode had Jesus swapping roles with Delores, owner of a small catering firm in California. As with most shows of this ilk, both participants were built up for a fall from the beginning, with the producers showing each of them oozing bravado and confidence at the task ahead. Jesus, for example, is unfazed by the prospect of having to cater a wedding reception for five hundred people the following week. “Five hundred people?” he asks, unimpressed. “I’ve had to feed ten times that before. No worries,” he laughs.

Delores was equally ebullient from the onset, quoting her “excellent man-management skills” as reasons why she’s more than qualified for the role of Son of God. She does warn, however, that while God may be the all-knowing, all-seeing creator of the universe, “He’s going to have to learn that I don’t take crap from anyone.”

But, as is always the case with these shows, neither Jesus nor Delores has an easy ride. In the course of the hour-long programme, the American woman learns that being figurehead for a belief system is no mean feat. Conversely, Jesus gets to know that the catering business isn’t a breeze, even for a man worshipped by millions of devotees.

It’s during these scenes that the best moments in Jesus Job-Swap arise. When the irate newlyweds confront the Son of God over his deviation from the agreed menu at their reception, it’s car-crash television; I couldn’t look away. As the bride violently asked why the steak tartare and scalloped potatoes had been replaced by a simple bread-and-fish meal, I thought for all the world that she was going to punch the earthly incarnation of the Creator. Luckily, fate intervened and an earthquake interrupted the fight.

Delores didn’t have it any easier, either. All the way through the episode she has to repeatedly tell her new boss that “you can treat your own son like that, Mister, but you can’t treat me like that!” She also becomes extremely fatigued at the task of making her face miraculously appear in food products, and in doing so, realises that being the Son of God isn’t all lambs and magic wine tricks. “There’s some self-sacrifice in this job, you know,” she tells the camera, wearily.

And ultimately, as with most shows of this genre, both participants learn many things about their switchee and about themselves, which in turn gives the viewer a sense of accomplishment and closure. Both Jesus and Delores realise things that we, the external viewers, could already tell. Delores becomes nicer to her staff and doesn’t insist on working them as hard, while Jesus resolves to stand up for himself more, especially when it comes to his Dad.

Jesus Job-Swap is another great reality TV show that promises to be essential viewing throughout. I haven’t enjoyed the company of Jesus this much since the time I sat on his lap in a shopping mall at Christmastime, all those years ago. And next week’s episode, in which Christ swaps roles with a Muslim cleric, promises to be even more volatile than this one!

Jesus Job-Swap is shown on DBC (Satellite Channel 148 between the Washroom Channel and the Bob Hope Underpants Auction Channel), Saturdays, 10:00pm, from now until Armageddon (six weeks tomorrow).

15 comments:

i am playing outside said...

awesome.

Auburn Kat said...

We don't get that channel here in Buffalo...

Sentir said...

Sounds interesting, but is this show (and the channel) imaginary too? I googled/wikied a little but not much info.

tracey said...

Sweet idea for a blog. But then I read your favourite band is Hootie and the Blowfish so your opinions are worthless.

The Imaginary Reviewer said...

IAPO: Many thanks!

AK: Yeah, it's pretty rare, sadly.

Sentir: That's pretty much the premise, yes! Glad you like it!

Tracey: You're the first person to ever comment on my profile, and the first person (as far as I'm aware) to take my profile seriously. (Hint: everything in there is a pun based on the word 'review'...I'm obsessed with reviews, y'see)

BeckEye said...

From now until Armageddon. Just like American Idol!

This is sheer brilliance, sir. I could seriously see this as a skit on a sketch comedy show. Perhaps we should put our heads together with some of the other cool kids in the Blogosphere,come up with something to pitch to the network and all get stinking rich.

popomaticjeff said...

I've heard there are some real gems to be found on the Bob Hope Underpants Auction Channel. I have to call my cable provider to get that added to my line up.

FMIR said...

Dude, I was totally a guest at that wedding. Awkward!

I mean, I thought the 7 grain bread Jesus produced was pretty tasty. It's not like it was fresh out of the oven tasty, but that's what happens when you don't bother using a stove.

Personally, I think Jesus' biggest downfall was his choice of fish. Mackerel? Really? He should have gone with a more interesting fish - like Chilean Sea Bass. It's endangered, but if he's creating it out of nothing, he's not depleting the ocean, right?

Tony Spunk said...

Dude, I'm not being funny or nothin' but I think I KNOW Delores. In the biblical sense. I can honestly say I do not know JESUS that way.

I know a little Mexican dude who claims to be Jesus however.

ÄsK AliCë said...

Best review yet

Distributorcap said...

you think jesus wants to do the weather?

Adamgv said...

Check out this new Christian band that just released their first album. From what I heard on the samples site, they sound really good.

Introducing the new Christian National Anthem: Guns & Jesus.

Tell All!!!

http://ccrg.info/cas.htm

Gwen said...

I saw that episode of "Mayor of Innsbruck" and that koala balanced the budget, arranged for all the streets to be repaired, lowered taxes, and increased literacy in his one-week as Mayor.

Michelle Roger said...

Okay this made me squirt my drink through my nose. This is the biggest compliment I can give. Few are the blogs that make me do that.

Tip for the day: don't drink and laugh. It makes your keyboard very sticky!

Ana said...

I'm laughing at these old post and your new tumblr :) .
Great job :D !