Tuesday, January 10, 2006


I was hoping for some of that Divine intervention while watching my tape from Friday of 'The Book of Daniel'. I was hoping to find something to link it to another show.

But the closest I got was mention of Bishop Congreve's resume - that she holds a chair in Divinity at Yale. Yale, in New Haven, Ct., is one of the most popular schools for Toobworld characters ever; most significantly on 'The Gilmore Girls' the last few years. There have been more than a dozen shows in which a major character had connections to Yale:

'St. Elsewhere'
'Mad About You'
'The Gilmore Girls'
'Stark Raving Mad'
'The Sopranos'
'Beggars and Choosers'
'For Love Or Money'
'My Favorite Martian'
'The Associates'
'Married People'
'Six Feet Under'
'Breaking News'
'The Lyons' Den'
'Will & Grace'
'The West Wing'
'As the World Turns'
'Route 66'
'The Adventures Of Briscoe County Jr.' (Judge Gatt, not Briscoe)

What's great about Yale is that it's Ivy League, but not really so pretentious with that haughty stuck-up blue-blood attitude you get from Harvard characters (like Thurston Howell III).

But it's also a real school, and thus just that much fun as a link for Toobworld. It's like saying 'Taxi' and 'CSI:NY' are connected because they're both set in NYC. ('Taxi' is connected to 'Law & Order', though, since the Sunshine Cab Co. appeared in an 'L&O' episode.)

For most of 'The Book of Daniel', I felt there there far too many moments that had the air of being too scripted. Like when Grace found her gay brother Peter (And we were never allowed to forget he was gay!) trying to chat up a prospective boyfriend in church. She teased him with "Don't forget to show him your -#" just as their Grandfather (the Bishop!) shouted "Peter!"

Too scripted and over-acted was my complaint regarding the third sibling, the adopted son of Chinese descent. I just didn't find him as a character to be believable; I couldn't see past the actor acting. (I had no trouble believing his circumstances to be possible.)

I've heard that there are Episcopalian ministers who are embracing the show (It's about their faith.) and urging their congregations to watch it. The ones who should be upset are the Catholics, as the show suggested there's quite a close connection to the Church and the Mafia.

Here's a Toobworld puzzle: Why is it that when you see a Catholic priest on TV, he's always addressed by his first name? Father Tim ('Soap'), Father Brian ('The Mary Tyler Moore Show') and now Father Frank in this (played by Dan Hedaya).

I did enjoy the gimmick of ending each segment of the show by freezing the frame into a stained-glass window. It was reminiscent of how each quarter of 'The Wild, Wild West' ended. Only with the window, we'd get to see all of the panels in advance, so after a while I was amusing myself by trying to guess the situation and/or the characters involved in the glass depiction. (The easiest was Reverend Webster chasing the woman through a cemetary. I guessed Bishop Congreve when they showed a woman in a car; it turned out to be "Mrs. Darth Vader", a church leader.)

Reverend Don Wildmon can blow it out his ass. As a Catholic, I didn't find anything wrong with the portrayal of Jesus in the two-hour pilot. In fact, Jesus - and His camaraderie with Reverend Webster - was the only really interesting and believable part of the show. I could have done with less of the family histrionics and just spent more time hanging out with these two guys as they bantered.

I hope they take in a movie together. It would be really interesting to get His take on 'Brokeback Mountain'.....

It was obvious that His appearance to Daniel was a manifestation of Reverend Webster's inner turmoil and how his conversations with God played out. I'll bet a lot of people don't even "speak" to Jesus, and so the visualization of Webster's conversations must have seemed blasphemous - when in reality, they were just being envious.

And I think a lot of these holier than thou fruitcakes who claim to speak for God and want you to fear the Lord are really only interested in getting you to fear them instead.

By the end of the two hours, once I learned that it would be showing on Fridays at 10 pm, I was tempted to put it aside as 'Monk' will be returning this coming Friday. Sure, that's repeated several times during the week, and yeah, even the next morning usually; but I'd much rather watch a tape of 'Monk' while eating my Clusters cereal after my overnight shift than 'The Book of Daniel'.

Then again.... It is such a limited run, and 'Monk' does repeat...... I probably will stick it out with 'The Book of Daniel' for the next six weeks.

Just so I can stick it to the American Family Association in my own small way.....


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