I slid the DVD into the player wondering what to expect. I’d never seen a Mormon webshow before. What I watched was an intriguing, mysterious, and action-filled series about a BYU freshman who learns about suspicious connections he has to the Book of Mormon and the ancient societies described in it. It certainly caught my interest.
In thinking about the web series, though, I had difficulty deciding how much praise “The Book of Jer3miah” is really worthy of. Its characters are pretty shallow, for one thing. I was especially disappointed that we didn’t get to know Jeremiah better; I’d have liked to either hear more of his thought processes or see more outward expression from him. I did enjoy Porter, though—I felt like he was more enjoyable and three-dimensional than the other characters. And I liked the connection between him and his ancestor Orin Porter Rockwell, although it felt a little overdone.
I also had some issues with the plot. Jeremiah’s experience with being prompted to kill a man was identical enough to Nephi’s to—at least in my opinion—cheapen it. Again, I’d have preferred a more subtle connection between historical characters and “Jer3miah” characters. In addition, the fact that other BYU students, none of which could’ve been much older than 20, got so negatively involved in the conspiracy surrounding Jeremiah and his special mission seemed pretty unrealistic.
Overall, the episodes caught my attention, but not my admiration. I’m not sure that I would recommend it as literature or even particularly good entertainment. Not to say that “Jer3miah” is of terrible quality or not worth any consideration. It does seem to have an edge—if not a monopoly—on the Mormon Sci-Fi Thriller, and could perhaps spark the beginning of a new genre. But is “Jer3miah’s” novelty enough to redeem it?