Friday, January 06, 2006

The Book of Daniel.. Surprisingly Episcopal

It's the raucous, not the meek, who are inheriting the earth in NBC's prime-time provocation, "The Book of Daniel," which has its premiere tonight. And the flock of the Rev. Daniel Webster (Aidan Quinn), an Episcopal minister in Westchester County, N.Y., seems to be following his outrageously wayward lead. Their errant behavior has a few NBC affiliates in the heartland debating the supposed disrespect in depicting churchgoers who indulge in worldly delights.

The real mark against "The Book of Daniel" is not any antipathy it might show toward the family or sympathy for the devil. The real objection is that it's just not very good.

it's sporting to christen a lead character Daniel Webster, and have him consult with Jesus rather than debate the devil, the television show's creator, Jack Kenny, falls far short of a worthy homage to this orator. Plus, the musings of Jesus (Garret Dillahunt) are decidedly, uninspiringly earthbound. ("Boy, you never know, do you?" Jesus mutters from the sidelines, when one character reveals a lesbian relationship.)

Women priests, lots of gay people, affairs, drugs... while the Catholics gossip and eat dinner with the mob. How stereotypical is that?

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