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06 August 2007 @ 11:38 am
Rec: Book of Daniel  
Earlier this week, V and I were talking and he asked me if I had seen the short lived NBC show Book of Daniel. When I said I hadn’t, well, I thought the bitch was going to pop his head clean off. Keep in mind; this is the guy who recommended Rome to me. I got how many of you just on my f-list addicted? Not to mention people in my real life.

For those that know me, I go to hippy church. My husband and I are UU. Our church is full of laid back pot smoking liberals. I adore it. I was raised Catholic, went to Catholic school, two aunts that are nuns. Oh yeah, I have the guilt going on and the whole weird fascination with religious stuff. Especially Revelation mythos. Antichrist stuff, end of days, etc, just really turns my crank. In a purely intellectual way…yeaaaah.

But when a Scientologist (yes, V is part of that evil freaking cult but he claims it is for business reasons. Pfft. I say he is brainwashed) recommends a show about a priest to me, I sit up and take notice.

Rev. Daniel Webster (Adian Quinn, who’s blue eyes just pop in this in HD) is an Episcopal minister who has a couple of problems. First, he is addicted to Vicodin. Second, his stay at home wife (Susana Thompson) just might be an alcoholic. Third, his gay son still has one foot firmly planted in the closet (Neve Campbell’s brother, Christian who was most entertaining in Reefer Madness: The Musical). Fourth, his daughter (Alison Pill) is busted for selling pot to fund her budding career as a Manga artist. Fifth, his adopted son (Ivan Shaw) is dating a white girl whose parents do not approve of him being Asian. And oh yeah, Daniel talks to Jesus (Garrett Dillahunt). Not some true depiction, nope. He talks to the white guy in robes with long hair and a beard.

That is literally the tip of the iceberg of Daniel’s problems. The first episode opens with him picking his daughter, Grace up from the police station after she is busted for selling pot. It really just goes downhill for the guy from there. Judith, his wife, is bored being a stay at home mom, which is hilarious because they have a black housekeeper. I only say this because I would really like to see some non-ethnic housekeeper role one of these days. This is one of my few complaints with the show (the modern Jesus is another but then, I wondered through the whole show, was he actually seeing Jesus?). When my parents actually could afford a housekeeper, she was white and she went to college. Back to the show, the house keeper is smoking pot after stealing it from Grace.

We find out later that Judith’s sister, Victoria, was married to Charlie, the man who was doing the books for the church. Needless to say when Charlie and his secretary run off with the 3 million dollar fund for the new private school, Daniel feels the pressure to find the money from not only his local Bishop but from his father, the big head honcho.

And now we are only halfway through the first episode.

Unfortunately, this series was cancelled WAY too early. What cracks me up is that it was cancelled after pressures from Christian groups but when you watch it, it is amazing the amount of good morals that are weaved into each episode. In God’s Will, my favorite episode, Jesus talks to Daniel about forgiveness, about how it can take power away from guilt and shame. He also has some amazing things regarding death and what life is exactly. I needed a tissue from start to finish with this episode, it was that powerful.

There are great messages about addiction, racism, and class struggles. There is also a really touching story concerning Daniel, his ailing mother, and his father’s affair.

I think part of the reason that this show was under fire from American Family Association is because it dared to show a minister is something more (or less depending) than a man of God. Daniel Webster makes mistakes, he is fallible. When he steps away from his pulpit, takes off his robes, he is a man. In a society where we hold religious figures (and political figures) to a higher standard than the rest of society, a show that comes out and points to the basic flaws of every man can’t be tolerated.

This show also showed religion in a very compassionate and humane light. The commentary by the characters was very enlightened. It didn’t carry the sense of the archaic or the profane that several other religious series have. Also, the focus on the family is amazing in this. No matter what, the family is there. They are the core, the strength.

So another fantastic recommendation from V. Book of Daniel was hilarious at times, gut wrenching at others, but always always enjoyable. The chemistry of the cast is fantastic. I could believe that these people were a real family. It was more as if I was peeking into their lives via a reality show.

Book of Daniel is out on DVD for those that want to purchase it instead of say renting it or getting it through other means. The only sad part is it seems to completely lacking in any sort of fandom activity. :(

PS To those that haven’t seen Rome, go get it. Now. LOL (And I am also going to start watching FNL this week so might expect a review from me.)
 
 
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Heather: BTVS - Willow/Taraamericangrl69 on August 6th, 2007 07:59 pm (UTC)
I never saw it but I always heard my grandpa complain about it actually being aired. Though he hated it when Willow turned gay on Buffy so yeah.
Kelly: Buffy: W/T Beachxlivvielockex on August 7th, 2007 05:37 pm (UTC)
LOL Sounds like he might not be the most accurate judge then. Did he watch the show at all? Or just complained about it when he heard about it?
Heather: BTVS - Willow/Taraamericangrl69 on August 7th, 2007 06:11 pm (UTC)
No he never watched it. He's just like that about certain things. Though he complained when he saw an ad for Dead Like Me and actually thought it was another psychic show. I set him straight on that but sometimes he thinks he knows everything. It gets annoying at times.
Debdamnskippytoo on August 6th, 2007 11:43 pm (UTC)
I watched Book of Daniel and thoroughly enjoyed what there was of it. I can't stand when a show gets cut off mid-season, though. There are enough unfinished stories in my life, I don't need television adding to them which is why sometimes I'm more than a year late to fandom parties because I don't want to get addicted to iffy shows. ;)
Kelly: Cordy: Queen Cxlivvielockex on August 7th, 2007 05:39 pm (UTC)
I will be honest that I am in the same boat with you. I have learned not to watch anything on Fox unless it gets a full season because more times than I can count, they have cancelled a show I loved in the middle of the season.

Now I wait until for sure, a show has been renewed for a second season before I watch it. Sure, I might be late to the party but much less disappointment that way. :)