Skip to comments.'Book of Daniel' fails in biblical proportions
Posted on 01/13/2006 9:38:18 AM PST by devane617
It's no secret NBC has become a laughing stock of the airwaves, and "The Book of Daniel" is just one more reason to shamelessly snicker.
The one-hour Friday night show, which airs at 10 p.m., is the floundering network's attempt to compete with "Desperate Housewives" and other deviously clever dramas that have surfaced over the last couple of seasons.
However, "Daniel" is one book that needs to be shredded after watching last Friday's two-hour premiere. (The show debuted poorly, attracting 9 million viewers, to finish third in its network slot, according to Nielsen Media Research.)
It's sad, really, that creator Jack Kenny, who was behind forgettables such as "Caroline in the City" and "Maggie," can't get with the program but insists on staying in the game. While the majority of today's dramas offer characters and plots that salute the viewer's intelligence while adding a dose of social statement and a dash of whimsy, "Daniel" overdoses on social taboos with characters who offer no warmth and only alienate the audience.
The show centers around the Websters, a one-dimensional family with more problems than Freud would know what to do with. The father, Daniel, played by Aidan Quinn, is an Episcopalian priest whose sermons are intended to justify his sailor's vocabulary, poor parenting skills and addiction to prescription medication. Since he's supposed to anchor the show, a Jesus character often talks to him.
But even that doesn't redeem this televised disaster.
Daniel is married to Judith, played by Susanna Thompson, a woman who seems to have a drink surgically attached to her hand. Whenever an issue arises in the family, she heads for the bottle. Nice throwback to the 1960s, don't you think?
The Websters have three kids. Peter, played by Christian Campbell, is a 23-year-old gay son who is hovering over the threshold of the closet.
Adam, played by Ivan Shaw, is the couple's oversexed 16-year-old adopted Chinese son. He's supposed to be the show's poster boy for racism as the parents of his girlfriend, played by Leven Rambin, are against the match because of their prejudices, not because they have a problem with their teenage daughter's promiscuity.
This story line is especially disappointing because Rambin's exemplary portrayal of autistic teen Lily Montgomery on "All My Children" has earned her an Emmy pre-nomination. But on "Daniel" she's just relegated to the back seat of a car.
Allison Pill plays the angst-riddled 16-year-old daughter Grace who dabbles in drug dealing to support her Japanese animation hobby. Can this be real?
Additional subplots, such as involving the Mafia to find stolen church funds and church bishops having an affair, make this show comparable to "The Colbys" of the 1980s. Not only because the show fails to catch up with the 21st century, but you'd only watch to see how bad it can get.
"The Book of Daniel" is one more example of the NBC peacock's wilting plume, because Must See TV, it ain't.
Another, ANOTHER, attempt to marginalize faith... FAILED!!
I agree with this.
I didn't watch it, but listened to Laura Ingraham's critique on Monday. Sounds like a show that's going to sink like a rock.
Most TV bites from what I can tell. I saw for the very first time both "Smallville" and "Malcome in the Middle" last night. We had them up on the big screens in the control room. They were dumber than a box of rocks IMHO.
(Why I rarely watch TV)
"My Name is Earl" has a good message. Substitute Karma for God and there you have it. Same network, right?
I have to say I LOVE 'Earl'... next to The Office, the funniest comedy on TV... salient word COMEDY.
Well, three cheers for the Awl-benny Herrel.
Now if NBC could only figure out how get "The Book of Daniel" out of network television (too many red states!) and establish distribution to those theatres that are showing "Brokeback Mountain". Hmmm.
I dunno, except for the main character's occupation being episcopal priest, isn't this kind of a typical, mainstream Hollywood family?
Looks like you are real familiar with Awl-benny.
We saw a promo spot for it last night. the voice-over says, "Everyone is talking about 'The Book of Daniel'", then proceeds to show clips from the show.
No mention that all the "talking" is about how vile it is and how it's ratings are tanking.
I am wondering if there is any significance to the main character being named Daniel Webster.
That's cawz I wuz brought up in Ocilla watching Grady Shadburn on WALB-TV. Ocilla is just t'other side of Ty Ty and Tifton. Or you could go by Sycamore and stay for awhile at One-Stop Denham's
Trying to get the audience by putting on something more depraved than the other channel...
Doesn't the book of Daniel have prophesies about sin, hell, and damnation? That seems more symbolic than his name.
bashes religion and families?
Sounds like it fits the the dem's and lib's view of "family values".
They better rally around this quick if it's going to be saved.
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