Review: The Book of Daniel

You want a one-word summary review of NBC-TV's The Book of Daniel?


I'd read and heard about all the pre-premiere hubbub about this show from Christian groups. After sitting through the two hour premiere, I can understand what all the shouting is about.

The show focuses on the family of an Episcopal priest, where it seems the only "normal" person in the family is the gay son. The priest has a Vicodin addiction, the wife seems to be an alcoholic, there is a daughter who is selling drugs and an adopted son who acts like he was actually raised in the home of one of the producers or writers of the show instead of a Christian home.

This review may piss people off, but I don't care because the show pissed me off. To me it represents the twisted outlook and values coming out of Hollywood, and the fact that they think that everyone must be as screwed up as they are.

I was over at reading user reviews of the show and was stunned at the overwhelmingly positive tone. Tell me that the media and the public school system isn't working to portray the Christian church in a negative light, as a bunch of superstitious hyprocrites, and I'll tell you that you don't have a clue. People are actually buying into the fact that this is an accurate (albeit exaggerated) portrayal of a typical Christian pastor.

What a crock.

Without fail, every character that could be held up in a positive light as a representative of the church ended up having the rug pulled out from under them. Ellen Burstyn as a Bishop initially comes across as a traditional figure, but quickly degenerates into a political animal bumming Vicodin from our "hero" Daniel (Aidan Quinn) and then sleeping with another Bishop (Daniel's father) whose long-time wife is suffering from Alzheimers.

The main thread of the episode(s) was the embezzlement of over 3 million dollars that belonged to the church for the construction of a new school by Daniel's brother-in-law, who has run off with his young secretary, who it turns out is having a lesbian affair with the wife. Daniel contacts his Catholic priest friend who of course has ties to the Mafia to help locate the money.

Do I really need to go on? The only person that was portrayed in anything even approaching a flattering manner (besides the gay son) was Jesus (who appeared sporadically and seemed more like a laid back surfer than anything else), to talk with Daniel.

According to writer/producer Jack Kenny (who happens to be gay... shocking!) the family of his life partner was his inspiration for the show. Here's a quote:

"Although none of them are priests or takes Vicodin that I know of, they're northeastern WASPs, they've very loving, yet they have that conservatism

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