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October 22, 2014

The Book of Daniel: Assignation

by Michael Sciannamea, posted Jan 21st 2006 12:21PM

When you tune in to an original series on HBO, Showtime, Cinemax, etc., you pretty much know that the subject matter will be much more "adult" and less shocking so you can focus on the storyline itself.

The Book of Daniel on NBC is different. I can't quite figure out if I'm watching this show because the storyline itself is interesting or that the producers and writers are interested in shocking network television viewers and we're all giggling over what they're able to get away with. It sort of reminds me of a daytime soap on extra-strength steroids.

This week we saw Reverend Daniel Webster's son Adam sneaking off to be with his girlfriend Caroline Paxton who was placed in the Queens Cross Preparation School by her parents as a method to keep her away from him. Adam ends up missing the groundbreaking of Daniel's pet project, the St. Barnabus school, which is being built by the mob-connected Vaporelli Brothers construction company.

In the last episode, it was learned that the Websters don't really own their home--Judith (Daniel's wife) finds out that her domineering mother still holds the deed to the house. As a result, the family could use some extra cash, and she decides to go back to work as a political consultant for Daniel's brother Worth who, interestingly, has asked her to marry him years ago. Meanwhile, we see that Nora Paxton, who has expressed extreme dissatisfaction over Adam and Caroline's romance, is spying on them from another part of the restaurant.

Later, the Websters' son Peter, who is gay, ends up having sex with Adele, the niece of Bishop Beatrice, in the back of a car. We also see that Daniel's father, Bertram, is struggling with his wife's Alzheimer's disease, and wants his affair with Beatrice to expand, but she has reservations about it. Simultaneously, Daniel finds out that one of the Vaporelli brothers is gay, but is told to keep it quiet because homosexuality is not exactly tolerated in the Mafia. Later on, Adam is locked out of his girlfriend's room at the school, and Daniel is forced to pick him up and vows to be more of a father to him than a friend.

Let's not forget that Jesus showed up a few times, and says that he's more of a "one-liner kind of guy."

As I said earlier, I'm not quite sure if I watch this show because I like it or that I'm curious to see how many wacky, "controversial" subplots can be fit into an hour of network television time. I think this show has great potential, but it has to find some solid footing first.

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Teena

Hey, I've already heard this show is cancelled from the American Family Association. Is this true?? I don't see anything, anywhere on the web to validate this. E me if someone knows where I can get information on the cancellation. Thanks.

January 24 2006 at 4:47 PM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply
Elliott

I was watching and I got this really wierd feeling when Beatrice smiled. It was just... wierd. Then I realized that it was the same smile of Sarah Goldfarb from Requiem for a Dream. Creepy...

January 23 2006 at 1:02 PM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply
Tom Hoey

Awful, just one of the worst shows to come out in years. Not the actors fault...awful storyline and dialogue. Awful.

January 22 2006 at 2:39 PM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply
Sharon

Going to Church doesn't make you any more of a Christian then going to McDonald's makes you a hamburger. For God's sake it is just TV, and soposed to be entertainment, then again... so is Springer...

January 22 2006 at 11:02 AM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply
Niklas

Why did they skip the fourth episode? It couldn't have been a very eventful episode, since almost everything made perfectly sense in this one.

January 21 2006 at 5:04 PM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply
Justin Craig

The show has much redemptive value in that is shakes people from their complacency. It does personify a deity that helps some folks to relate to it. I think that the shock value is a kind of mental house cleaning for those that need to dwell more in understanding than in judgment. After all, wasn't that Chist's message?

January 21 2006 at 4:31 PM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply
dr. andrew drake

As a doctor of mental health, I know that the majority of people who watch television have a very short attention span that is a reason for needed plot twists. As for the "Christ" angle of it, to alot of religious people it may seem sacraligious, but to the "unchurched", it brings the deity to a personal level.

January 21 2006 at 3:23 PM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply
dr. andrew drake

As a doctor of mental health, I know that the majority of people who watch television have a very short attention span that is a reason for needed plot twists. As for the "Christ" angle of it, to alot of religious people it may seem sacraligious, but to the "unchurched", it brings the deity to a personal level.

January 21 2006 at 3:22 PM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply
BC19

Don't forget NBC skipped the fourth episode (which they advertised in the previews last week) and skipped right over to the fifth episode.

January 21 2006 at 2:40 PM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply
Brent McKee

David, if you tried to watch it on ABC you are bound to be disappointed, since the series is broadcast on NBC.

January 21 2006 at 2:38 PM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply

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