Saturday, January 07, 2006

the book of daniel

Okay, I need to get this off my chest, or perhaps I should say off my chasuble! I can poke fun at my Church and the foibles of faith with the best of 'em, and the name of my blog is no accident. I do so with reverence and regard for the serious nature of faith and spirituality. I suppose that Friday night's debut of the new TV show "The Book of Daniel," should be taken with a grain of salt, tongue in cheek and all that. But... the handling of what are very real issues in people's lives, and in the life of my Church (homosexuality, alzheimer's, substance abuse, marital fidelity, relational issues, women's ordination, embezzlement, bigotry...) was so flip that all of these things were trivialized. Any of these concerns could have been the focus of a single episode and dealt with honestly and sensitively, and with humor, but they were all tossed into one as though it were the only shot the writers had to take a stab at them. There was no real angst, no depth to the dilemmas being faced, no evidence of respect for appropriate boundaries and the challenges presented by them. The only really honest encounter was between a couple who were afraid to get married, and who, through conversations with the priest, came to the realization that they didn't have to get married. Even Jesus gave a "thumbs up" to that outcome, which was spot on. An opportunity to look at faith in the context of a clergy family in contemporary times has been wasted.

The show consultants could also have done a better job getting the technical aspects of liturgy and a priest's life right: a bishop doesn't wear one liturgical color and the priest another: the Nicene Creed isn't led from behind the altar, and the priest isn't called "Reverend."

Okay, I'm done now. Back to our regularly scheduled reality.

8 comments:

samtzmom said...

Interesting... I did TiVo it and planned on watching it today to see what a mess they probably made of it, and so I am not very surprised that it was everything you said it could have been, but was not. What is it about prime time TV that we have to just focus on the shock value and not the real issues. I used to adore Joan of Arcadia and was so sad when they pulled it off the air. It dealt with the issues of faith so beautifully. This show could have been a perfect opportunity to introduce faith to so many.

tiggerrules said...

Hi Anne...
I was wondering how you felt about the show. I did think they tried to put way too much into one show. It was overload big time and I wondered why they did that. I can't imagine that they can keep that up week after week and not lose everyone. I did find it interesting and actually my favorite parts were his discussions with Jesus. I think I'll tune in again just to see what they do with it. You're right though, they could have done so much more with it.
Maria

Gail said...

That's what blogs can be for, to air your peeves. Sounds like you have some legitimate ones. Years ago there was a show about stepfamilies and I watched it eagerly hoping it would address some real and very difficult issues that most stepfamilies face. The first episode was the typical "you're not my mother" scenario, the rest were useless as far as addressing issues and focused on the comedy only. Very disappointing. Anyway, I bet the producers/writers of that "daniel" show will be hearing from people like yourself about what they've done wrong. Maybe they'll improve the show, maybe they don't care. Time will tell.

Ruth said...

Obviously it has not aired here and may never be picked up. I kind of have to smile though at your annoyance at just how wrong it can be. I think drs and nurses may feel similiar about medical shows and I must say I have gringed at some of the things they put on tv about the industry I am in. So wrong and so misleading you wonder why they bother wasting our time, the time and hurting people all be it unwittingly. Like your response Anne, shows your commitment and values. Love you.

Jules said...

After hearing the reviews on a talk show or two and reading a couple from newspapers, I decided to take a pass on the show. I know I should have given it a chance but I didn't. When tv has a chance to make a difference and bypasses that for trivial moments, it has lost part of its purpose. Yes, tv should entertain but it can educate and offer opportunities for reflection at the same time. (stepping down off my soap box, putting it under my arm and walking into the sunset)

samtzmom said...

Oh my... well, I lasted all of about 20 minutes into it. I finally just hit the "delete" button once he was "going to the Catholics" for help in finding his BIL (Through what? The Italian Mafia?) What an absolute mess. To copy a phrase from a B'net poster, how many cliches can one fit on the tip of a pin? Anglican Knots Landing we don't need.

Pam in Moncton said...

I didn't see this and from what I'm reading just as well, probably! I don't watch much TV anyway. Seems like they missed the boat completely in making a program about faith.
Pam

DSMAMAROSE said...

I had hoped that this show would give the viewing public a much more rounded idea of who we are, and looked forward to watching the show. ( I love Aidan Quinn..)

You are absolutely right Anne, they did nothing to show who we are in a real sense,a body of Christians, trying to live the Word and dealing with many real challenges.

What we got were the worst kind of stereotypes applied to Episcopalians.A bunch of suburban yuppies, who drink too much, are obsessed with sex,out of touch with their kids and so on and so forth.......

There must be a way to inform those involved with the show of how we feel without giving them more free press...

Any suggestions?

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