Last night I was excited to be able to watch the new, “controversial” television show “The Book of Daniel”. Let me tell you that it is probably one of my new favorite shows this year. Definitely favorite drama, but I don’t know that it can surpass “My Name is Earl” (though it is awfully close).
The premise of this show is an episcopalian priest who’s family is well… typical. They have the same kind of problems that other families have… maybe a little exaggerated. Daughter is selling drugs (but not using them), one son is gay, another son (who is adopted) is involved with a wealthy parishioners daughter. Daniel’s mother has alzheimers, his dad may be having an affair, his sister in law is a lesbian and may have killed her husband in order to get 3 million dollars Daniel’s church had raised for a new episicopal school. The mom has an alcohol problem and Daniel is struggling with an addiction to painkillers after back surgery.
Ok, well, its probably a little exaggerated, but still.
Jesus shows up and talks to Daniel throughout the show. I heard one lady from some conservative christian group (who had not seen the show) remark that the jesus portrayed in the show will not be the Jesus she worships. I don’t know if Jesus is talking to her too and telling her that, but the Jesus that was portrayed in TBOD is probably the best portrayal of Christ I’ve seen in a while (and that includes the 700 club, and trinity broadcasting network). Jesus encourages Daniel to do the right thing, gives him advice, and listens to what he has to say. He’s not uber judgemental like the Jesus that the far right displays, but he’s not all tolerant like those on the left would think. He lets Daniel know subtlely that his painkiller problem isn’t a good thing, but he doesn’t get enraged. He is gentle and a friend, willing to listen.
I thought the show was great, and I think everyone shoudl watch it. We live in a world that has not been completely transformed. People sin, people struggle, and Jesus isn’t sitting there with a book checking off what you do and don’t. He wants you to make the right decisions, but he doesn’t blow a gasket when you don’t. This show tries to portray Jesus as caring, nurturing, and Daniel as a guy with a good heart who tries to do the right thing, but, like us, isn’t always successful.