The Book of Daniel
The mob won't give Daniel back the church funds unless he lets their favorite construction company — the Vaporellis — build the St. Barnabas school. I'd say that entitles Reverend Webster to three Vicodins, but then, I'm not Jesus (who notes that three pills are "a new record" for our beleaguered priest). "I don't think this will kill me," Daniel tells the Savior. However, his confusing the Vaporelli brothers with a gay couple just might do him in — though that Vaporelli on the left did dress nicely. Somehow, it didn't surprise me that Yoda the computer genius turned out to be an obnoxious adolescent letch, nor was I bowled over that Jessie ran off with Victoria's jewelry. It's this overabundance of whimsy that's turning this potentially pointed drama into a ratings-starved curio. It's too bad the show doesn't take exception to the kind of blinkered "Christian" thought process that inspired Pat Robertson to blame New Orleans for Hurricane Katrina. Defending Monty Python, the BBC's director general Hugh Carleton Greene said, "There are some one would wish to offend," and with the exception of James Dobson, I can't think of a better gentleman to start with. Polemics aside, when Daniel sticks to the beguiling interaction between the priest and Jesus, it shines; when it throws in the kitchen sink, it's a drag. I feel for Adam, too, but c'mon, his thing with Caroline isn't the first star-crossed mixed-race romance. I have to admit that I really hate her parents — few can play a puritanical stuffed-shirt with the flair of Dylan Baker. Also, Susanna Thompson is dynamite as Judith. For all their familial dysfunction, she and Daniel make a truly loving, sexy couple. Sure, Judith could ease up on the martinis, but with a pushy mother — who won't even give her the deed to her own home! — and a dingbat sister, can we really blame the woman for drowning her sorrows so religiously?