Wednesday, August 5, 2009

Kings (episodes 1-13)

I finally finished watching this series today, and I have to say, I'm glad I tried it out.

Once again, going light on the spoilers: Kings is a story that takes place in a modern world just similar enough to our own to be familiar and understandable, but different enough that it never has to worry about tying itself into real world events.

In this modern world, the country of Gilboa has been united by their new King, Silas Benjamin. However Gilboa is now at war with its neighboring country, Gath. During the war, soldier David Shepherd finds himself brought into the lives of the royal family.

My first reaction was that this show was trying to play off of the success of Battlestar Galactica; in addition to being a world that's close-to-ours-but-not-quite, there's the shaky camera work, the ethereal moody music, the heavy references to God and His plan. And while I still think that's true, from what I've read the show is a modern take on the entire story of King David from the Bible in I Samuel. (The parallel of David standing up to a Goliath tank was pretty obvious, but I have to confess I never was very up on the Old Testament so I didn't recognize the other parts.) But while God is definitely a central character, it never feels heavy-handed. In fact, it even goes as far as to not get too specific about any one religion; there is a reference to Cain and Abel in one episode, but other than that there's nothing overt. I think that's intended to keep the "this is not your world" feel of the show, but it also gives it a wider appeal. God's will in this show is not about religion; it's about doing what's right.

Another interesting part of this show is even in the way the character's speak. The dialogue is written in such a way as to have a slight air of royalty about it; for example, instead of contracting "I will not" into "I won't," it's contracted into "I'll not." It has a lot of flair about it, and the cast, especially Ian McShane as King Silas, really needs to be given a lot of credit for being able to sell it and make it sound so natural. With dialogue like this, it could have easily turned into something stiff (Attack of the Clones, anyone?)

The show's been canceled, and while the last episode doesn't necessarily end all nice and tidy, all the characters are in place for an obvious conclusion, so I felt it was satisfying enough. And if I really want to know what happens next, I can always dig out my Bible!

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