The Book of Daniel

We watched this controversial new show out of curiosity. For those not familiar with the storyline, “The Book of Daniel” is a new NBC show starring Aidan Quinn as The Rev. Daniel Webster. Daniel is an Episcopalian minister with a gay son, a daughter who gets arrested in the opening for selling pot, a brother in law who has just absconded with $3.2 million in church funds, and a pill popping habit. On top of this he sees and talks with Jesus Christ. (Garret Dillahunt) Therein lies part of the controversy this show is already causing. Without having seen it a many people are up in arms over the depiction of Jesus in a weekly television show.
Jesus, as portrayed by Dillahunt uses humor, empathy, and love. When Daniel asks Him to solve a problem, Jesus advises, but makes Daniel look within for answers. Instead of giving Daniel a specific answer to a problem, Jesus comforts him and offers advice.
     Several TV stations have refused to air the program, and that is their right certainly, but condemning this program without even giving it a look , in my opinion is the same as judging a book by it’s cover.
     I suspect the show will not last through it’s 13 episodes that have been filmed, but I for one am intrigued enough to give it a chance.
     A couple of seasons back, CBS ran a series called” Joan of Arcadia, which starred Amber Tamblyn as a 15 year old high school freshman who saw God, in various forms. Sometimes it was a “Cute Guy” other times He would appear as an old lady. Sometimes He was even a child.  The show was slow to pick up an audience but managed to last 2 seasons before the network dumped it. Again my opinion is that canceling “Joan” was a loss for quality television.
     Is “Book of Daniel” quality television? I don’t know it’s hard to say from one episode. I hope NBC gives it a chance for us to find out. I hope the network doesn’t bow to pressure from people who have not or will not watch it, to decide for the rest of us.

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