Did we like it?
Good God, no. This so-called comedy drama about an unconventional priest was hellish from start to finish.
What was good about it?
• Grieving widow Victoria’s “somebody stop that bitch” outburst at the funeral of her philandering husband.
• American friends say it does get better – but we’re not sure it’s worth the time investment.
What was bad about it?
• Aidan Quinn can’t carry the show as painkiller-addicted Episcopal priest Daniel Webster who has links to the Mafia and gets visits from Jesus Christ (the stereotyped white man with long hair, a beard and a white robe – with a touch of surfer dude attitude added), who passes on mindless platitudes (“Life is hard – that’s why there’s such a good reward at the end of it”) and prevents the priest from smoking.
• The priest’s teenage children seemed to have been sketched by someone who has never met a teenager – there’s the floppy haired gay boy (he’ll never get a shag with that hair – but then TV gays rarely go looking for shags, do they?), the drug-dealing manga artist girl (off the rails but soon put back on the straight and narrow) and the adopted Oriental boy who thinks he’s a stud/comedian but is just an appalling specimen.
• Other characters were odious, too, including Ellen Burstyn’s bolshy female bishop, Daniel’s boozing wife and the sinister churchman Roger
• The squabbling over Sunday lunch (which had been preceded by a sung grace). Not a patch on the infighting among the Mitchells at the Queen Vic.
• There was no credibility in the crazy, mixed-up world that The Book Of Daniel sought to convey. It should have learned lessons from Six Feet Under (all of it) or Desperate Housewives (series one only).