Sunday, January 08, 2006
It seems that everyone is talking about the new show on NBC, The Book of Daniel, and not always in a good way. Apparently, there are some Christian groups who are urging boycotts of the show and trying to get it cancelled, because the show doesn't portray the desired "perfect" image of a minister and his family. I taped the show, somewhat because of the subject matter, but (frankly) more because I've been a fan of Aidan Quinn for years now, even before Legends of the Fall. I watched the show yesterday and liked it. I watched it again today with the aim of making a few notes to share here. Not so much a review, exactly, more just some observations about the show.
As I said, overall I liked the show and will probably watch some more episodes to see how they develop some of the themes presented. That being said, here are a few observations that struck me as I watched the second time:
~The first scene opens with Daniel (Aidan Quinn's character) going to bail his daughter out of jail for possession of marijuana. Apparently she was selling it because she needed money for what seemed like a legitimate purpose to me, and that was the only plan she could think of to raise the money. First of all, Grace seems like a pretty smart girl--this was the best idea she could come up with? The money was for buying software to do animation, and she was afraid to tell her dad what she needed it for. This brings up the second observation: what's so embarrassing about wanting to be an animator that she couldn't tell her family about it?
Some of the things that "bothered" me about the show were not the things I've seen in the anti-"Daniel" comments on various websites. I mean, yeah, there's homosexuality, alcoholism (really, do all well-off women sit around drinking martinis all day?), hypocrisy, drug use, and teen-age sex all portrayed, and while I think it might be a bit over the top to portray of all those things being present in one family unit, I think of some of the families I know (mine included) and think, oh yeah... Anyway, there were some things that I didn't especially care for in the show, such as:
~The one Catholic priest in the show was practically a Goodfella, with his contacts within the mafia. I can't imagine that the Catholic Church or the Italian community will be pleased with this...
So, yeah, there are problems in the story, but I'm willing to give the show the benefit of the doubt for a few more episodes. If it turns out to be, as one blogger put it, Desperate Housewives in the rectory, then I'll have to rethink things. But above all, this show seems to be about a man, one who is trying to follow God in the best way he knows how, who has all the same problems as any other family, except that because of his "position", his problems are played out in front of the whole congregation. He doesn't have all the answers, but he's not afraid to admit that. That's got to be a good thing, image-wise, for the clergy, doncha think?
Hi, I'm Debi. Once in a while I have a thought and I like to write it down before it goes away. This is where I write it.
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