The Book of Daniel: a Review, of Sorts


Last night, I had every intention of watching the NBC show The Book of Daniel and delivering a review on this blog. I did watch the first hour of the show, but I have to confess that I am a HUGE fan of Battlestar Galactica and The Book of Daniel could not hold my interest enough to keep me from flipping channels.

I had heard a lot of controversy about The Book of Daniel but was unwilling to condemn it based on the protests (or praise it based on the hype). I should point out, also, that my background is in public relations and I don’t consider negative press to be a bad thing in and of itself. Many, like me, probably would never have heard of the show or watched it if not for the protests. Score one for public relations.

That being said, I do not agree with those who say that the show casts our Lord Jesus Christ in a bad light. It does, unfortunately, cast him in a bad show. The family is too dysfunctional, even for the purpose of satire.

Some may object and say that the depiction of Jesus is too tolerant of sin. Since we all fall short, it’s not a bad thing to imagine that Jesus is willing to give everyone another chance. We are all sinners, and he is still willing to speak to any of us. Some may object to his contemporary manner, but does anyone really think Christ speaks in King James English? Some may not like that he cracks jokes like a wise cracking fraternity brother, but the Bible contains examples of satire and sarcasm too.

So, what is the problem with the show that caused a minor stir among some Christians? Perhaps we have come to expect a jab from pop culture and braced ourselves for another. The real problem with the show is that it isn’t very good.

I may watch again, when it moves to a shorter format, and doesn’t conflict with Battlestar Galactica. I hope it gets better because I think it is good for those who may be seeking answers in life to see Jesus as a friend. For most believers, the show is not going to offer much of substance. However, if even one seeker finds Christ then maybe it isn’t so bad.

Maybe I shouldn’t be disappointed in the show, but I am. After so many efforts (real and imagined) of late to remove references to Jesus from our culture, it’s good to see him getting work at all. Funny that Jesus turns out to be the most redeeming character in the show, but redeemer has always been his role. He was born to play it.

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