Of course tight-assed Christians are pissed off about the new TV show, the Book of Daniel. This is no surprise. Of course they want it banned from television; this is what they do. The American Christian can’t handle any sort of alternate look at his or her religion. They just can’t take it. Anything other than a rosy, happy picture of their hypocritical, bullshit religion is not tolerated.
But let’s put aside my disdain for those complete fuckheads for one minute shall we? The Book of Daniel, NBC’s bewildering stab at a prime time dramedy (ala Desperate Housewives and such) isn’t really bad as a television show. It’s just not my bag, but I watched it nonetheless because Christian assholes drew my attention to it. Had these jerks not made such a stink, this show could be cancelled soon. But no, they had to raise their indignant fists to the air and proclaim that their 2,000 year old religion, one they are so sure is correct that they’ll cram it down anyone’s throat, has been derailed by an OK TV that no one is going to watch six weeks from now. Heaven will be jam packed with the dumbest pricks apparently.
The Book of Daniel is about an Episcopalian minister whose wife might drink too much, his one son is gay, the other is a horny, adopted Chinese kid and the daughter got busted for selling pot because she want to fund her animation career (?). Yeah, it sounds a bit over the top, but this is television and would you really want to watch this if everyone was normal? Oh and the minister has a slight pain killer addiction.
The reason why 7th Heaven is so shitty is not because it’s about a minister and the bland story, but because everyone on the show is so damn perfect, you can’t relate to them. I don’t need my TV characters to be sick freaks; I just want them to normal and have essentially normal problems like real people. The characters on the Book of Daniel, while a little extreme, seem to be a normal American family.
Oh yeah, then there’s the Jesus thing.
The minister talks to Jesus. No, not like someone praying he doesn’t get herpes from the skank he just banged, he really talks to Jesus. Jesus is in the car with him, outside his house while he smokes a cigar, and generally everywhere he needs a little breather from life. Jesus scolds him for taking the pain meds but is compassionate when he needs advice on how to deal with some of the problems presented in the show.
Christians are hitting the roof over this because only they can dictate who can actually talk to Jesus. They have the market cornered on the man/god and they’ll be damned if some gay-condoning, pill poppin’, Chinese son havin’ minister is going to claim to speak to the guy. Bush can claim to talk to God, so why can’t an actual minister? Bush is a bad man and no one bats an eye when he claims God told him to invade the Middle East. That’s fucking crazy talk as far as I’m concerned, but no one seems to care.
Jesus is kind of the like the Buddy Christ from Kevin Smith’s Dogma. In fact, at one point, he even gives the double thumbs up to the minister, just like Buddy Christ. It’s really comical actually but he’s never meant as a joke. This Jesus is a good guy, just like you’re supposed to believe. He’s caring and nice and just wants the best for his followers. He seems like that stoned friend who always knows the right thing to say.
A side note: Me and Aaron Mikulich had and idea for a show well over 10 years ago called “Hola Jesus” (pronounced like the Spanish Hay-soos) where Jesus lives with a guy in his apartment. I only wish we had written it up because obviously someone would have given it a long look and I’d be a famous TV producer right now. Oh well.
The characters that do come off as bad are the rich couple who are the evil, know-it-all members of the church who are constantly pushing the minister in directions they want him to go. They are supposed to be good, church going people but they really represent the classic hypocritical Christian that is alright with whatever you do, as long as it doesn’t conflict with what they think is right. As in: y’all can be gay, just don’t go sticking your dick up no ass, kind of people. These are the kind of people who will protest a show like this and if there is a hell, they’ll be there.
So with that unflattering stereotype presented in the show, why are these jack offs protesting characters that actually have faith and want to be good folk? Because the type of person who would protest this is so insecure in their shaky religion that they have to go on the attack just to keep their lame beliefs afloat. It’s like the bully who’s one punch to the jaw away from being exposed for the pussy that his is; the American Christian claws and fights every inch of the way to live in that sweet state of denial they’ve enjoyed for all this time. Life must be good there.
Is the show good? Eh. It’s alright. As far as TV shows of this ilk, it’s not bad. Really the hook is the guy hangs out with Jesus. I kind of look at Jesus as a made up character as it is, so I don’t see any problem with it. It’s kind of like My Favorite Martian or Mr. Ed but with the Son of God instead of a talking horse.
Hey, the guy could do worse in the imaginary friend category. He could be talking to someone that’s telling him to kill and invade Iraq. And while that would make great television, we don’t want that to see that do we? Well, somebody sure likes that idea. And I’m sure they’re waving a flag and raising a stink about the Book of Daniel as we speak. More WAR in 06!