The Idiot Code
Da Vinci around the dial
By Devin D. O’Leary
Are you one of those rabid history-headed readers who plowed through Dan Brown’s gazillion-selling novel The Da Vinci Code like a German tourist at a Las Vegas buffet line? Have you read all the “true story” books that have sprung up in its wake? (Plug in “Da Vinci Code” at Amazon.com and you’ll be greeted with 233 different titles--from “The Gospel Code” to “The Diet Code.”) Finally, are you champing at the bit to see Ron Howard’s big-buck adaptation of the book, hitting movie theaters on May 19? If so, sit tight--TV has got you covered.
As always, television networks are quick to jump on a trend, and The Da Vinci Code is the trendiest trend to hit our planet in many a moon. In this week leading up to the release of The Da Vinci Code, the idiot box is simply packed with Da Vinci-related material.
On Thursday (May 11), you can check out “Da Vinci’s Inquest” (WGN 11 p.m.). Actually, it’s a cop/coroner show that airs every night on WGN and doesn’t actually have anything to do with the suddenly famous 15th century artist/inventor. Still, it’s got “Da Vinci” in the title. Later on that night, there’s an episode of the classic superhero cartoon “The Tick” (Toon Disney 2 a.m.) The ep, titled “Leonardo Da Vinci and his Fightin’ Genius Time Commandos,” does feature Leonardo Da Vinci, but doesn’t offer much in the way of Biblical scholarship.
On Sunday (May 14), “The Real Da Vinci Code” (Discovery 5 p.m.) purports to tell us the “real” history behind Brown’s fictional novel. “Da Vinci’s Lost Code” (Discovery 8 p.m.) focuses on a single painting, which was bought 25 years ago, which may be one of Leonardo's works, which may therefore contain elements of the Da Vinci Code, which may or may not be real in the first place. On the opposite end of the spectrum, evangelical chat show “The Coral Ridge Hour” (KAZQ-22 9 p.m.) will present an episode titled “The Da Vinci Delusion,” which probably doesn’t think too highly of Brown’s sacrilegious interpretation of Biblical history.
On Monday (May 15) “Searching for Da Vinci’s Secret” (Travel 3 p.m.) takes a global perspective on the theory, traveling to Da Vinci’s hometown in Italy and looking for clues about the location of the Holy Grail. In “Beyond the Da Vinci Code” (History 6 p.m.) author Dan Brown puts forth his “astonishing” hypothesis that tries to link a mystery to the life of Jesus. “Da Vinci’s Code” (National Geographic 6 p.m.) explores the “facts and falsehoods” presented in Dan Brown’s book. “Digging for the Truth” (History 8 p.m.) presents “The Da Vinci Code: Bloodlines” in which archaeologist Josh Bernstein searches for evidence behind Brown’s controversial theory.
On Tuesday (May 16) you can take a break from all the history with Hudson Hawk (Comedy Central 7 p.m.), the notorious box office bomb in which Bruce Willis plays a cat burglar who gets mixed up in a plot to steal Da Vinci artifacts. There’s nothing in it about Jesus, but is does have Sandra Bernhard.