The Book of Daniel? Meh.

Current Affairs

The whole thing was a big bowl of “meh.” It was totally unrealistic. I couldn’t recognize any of the characters in the story. The Bishop characters were insulting. I’ve never known a bishop like the ones portrayed.

My biggest beef though is that the writing was pretty awful. Not one of the characters was sympathetic. It wasn’t played broadly enough to be farce and it wasn’t realistic enough to be satire. I’m not sure exactly what the writers were going for, but whatever it was, they shouldn’t have.

The clergy families I know don’t live in multi-million dollar homes. They don’t have housekeepers. The RC clergy friends I have aren’t smarmy nor do they have mafia connections. Bishops do not ignore the rules about embezzlement nor have I ever known one to cajole drugs out of their clergy. Very few of the clergy that I know can afford to send their children to prep at the schools the church runs. There was no sense of the sort of quiet heroic dedication I see in the lives of so many of the people I know who have given their lives to the service of the Church.

As someone else wrote – does the world think that the Church is so ethically challenged that at the theft of more than 3 million dollars, the Church officials would hesitate for a moment in calling the police? Certainly not in my experience. Having had to witness a number of clergy disciplinary hearings and trials, that sort of behavior is not what I’ve seen at all.

I thought the portrayal of Jesus was the least insulting part of the show. I never got the sense that Jesus was meant to be seen as more than a personal hallucination of the title character. It was certainly not the incarnate and risen Lord of my life. What’s the old line? “Your God is too small.” Fits here.

Maybe it will get better later on, but I don’t have high hopes.

As a friend and I agreed – the only moderately realistic moment was the scene in the hospital at the moment of death. 3 minutes out of 120 is not a very good ratio.

The Author

Episcopal bishop, dad, astronomer, erstwhile dancer...