Sunday, January 15, 2006

The Book of Daniel - Puleeeeze!

I have suffered through about one and a half episodes of NBC's The Book of Daniel. I couldn't make it through the second installment.

What a load of crap!

Let's get this straight. We have an Episcopal priest, Aiden Quinn, who routinely pops a copious amount of pills. His wife is a borderline alcoholic. His daughter is a drug dealer and inveterate liar. His son is gay. His adoptive Asian son is having sex with a 15 year old girl. (This girl's mother is a racial bigot.) His boss, Ellen Burstyn, the bishop, is having an affair with his still married father who is also a bishop. His mother has altheimers. His brother in-law stole over 3 million dollars of the church's money, but is now dead. The brother in-law's wife is a nut case and is having an affair with the woman who may have killed her husband, presumably for the money. Oh, yeah - this priest has regular conversations with jesus, who appears as a slightly emaciated, fair haired, anglo properly attired in white robes.

There is also an Italian catholic priest who, predictably, has mob connections. It goes on.

Gag! The whole premise is - to say the least - absurd. This priest has little business offering unction to anyone. Blowing his brains out would be the most merciful action to take. This series has taken prime time soap opera to yet a new, lower level. Added to all this is the fact that it is, at best, poorly written. The characters are predictable and all too familiar. I suppose that this is NBC's answer to Desparate Housewives. Each new round of such shows simply attempts to push the envelope just far enough to (lightly) shock and titillate without taking it so far as to insult or otherwise repel potential viewers. The press this show got before its debut guaranteed strong viewer numbers - at least for a few episodes. Our local NBC affiliate even had a group of clergymen (and woman) view the first episode and respond to it after. None seemed to be particularly upset about the show from a religious standpoint.

Obviously, my only complaint about its religious content is that it has any at all. Of all the programs in recent years having some kind of religious theme or which dealt in any way concerning the existence of god or an afterlife, the only one I found palatible was Showtime's Dead Like Me which was an irreverent take on the whole death thing. It really dealt more with life - specifically the life of Georgia Lass, a teenager, who is suddenly killed by a toilet seat falling out of the sky from the Russian Mir Space Station. She is recruited to be a Grim Reaper - one who prepares the way for others when meeting death. It, too, is ultimately absurd, but the writing was great and the humor hip and sardonic. Unfortunately, Showtime cancelled it after only a couple of seasons.

I don't much care whether The Book of Daniel succeeds or not. It will do what it does. If it makes money for those involved, then it will have done its job, I guess. But, I won't be going along for the ride.


1 comment:

jazzycat said...

I have not watched this show but from what you explained it may have had a bit too many skeletons in closets to be believable... It is hard to get Biblical theology in churches anymore let alone in the secular entertainment industry, which is why I have little to no interest in this stuff. BTW the rapture, which is in your blog title, is a term about the Biblical end times. There are many diverse interpretations of the end times (eschatology) and the popular view (that the book series Left Behind is based on) is not the one I believe is correct.

What denomination was your brother? I’ll bet y’all had some interesting discussions.