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Wednesday, February 04, 2009

The Book of Daniel

- Daniel and Jesus

This week's DVD rental was the first disc of a now defunct tv series from 2006 called The Book of Daniel, which starred Aidan Quinn as a progressive Episcopal priest, the Reverend Daniel Webster. I think the intent of the show was to be sort of like Six Feet Under but they may have tried a little too hard ..... they cast a show that makes the Plantagenet family dynamics in The Lion in Winter look boring ;).

The show was pretty much doomed from the word go because conservative religious groups really hated it and complained about it, causing some stations to refuse to show it. I mostly like the show, but even I had to wince at the one depiction I saw of a Catholic priest - he would have been more at home in the movie Goodfellas :) I saw in Wikipedia, though, that the Rev. Susan Russell, who's blog I like to visit, liked the show - some of the scenes were filmed at her church, All Saints Church in Pasadena, California - so maybe I'm being too harsh.

There was one thing about it I did really like, and interestingly, it's one of the main things most critics hated - the depiction of Jesus. Daniel and Jesus have lots of conversations in the show and to me it seemed so Ignatian :) Here's what Wikipedia says ....

Struggling to be a good husband, father, and minister, Webster regularly sees and talks with a classic-looking, white-skinned, white-robed and bearded Jesus (Garret Dillahunt), who nonetheless is rather unconventional. Daniel's Jesus appears only to him and openly questions modern interpretations of church teachings, reminding Daniel of his own strengths and weaknesses ..... some critics have objected to what they see as Jesus's portrayal as a somewhat disinterested hippie character.

So, rent it at your own peril, but you may find the Jesus/Daniel part worth the rest of it, as I did.


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