That’s all I can say about the pilot episode for the latest NBC series, “Kings.”
Well, that and I’m very impressed and hoping that NBC doesn’t have to cancel this show.
(By the way, there are spoiler’s behind the cut.)
Anyway, the show focuses on the country of Gilboa, which is ruled by King Silas Benjamin (Ian McShane), that is at war with the neighboring country of Gath. Two years after the capital city is founded, David Shepherd (Chris Egan) finds himself on the front lines of the war. News comes that there has been a unit taken hostage. Shepherd defies orders to rescue some of the captured soldiers. He rescues them and either blows up a tank or does something that I’m not revealing due to spoilers. I’m not sure at the moment. Anyway, the fact that he blew up a tank (Goliath, to be precise) has landed on the front page of every newspaper in Gilboa. On top of that, he rescued the king’s son, Jack Benjamin (Sebastian Stan). Instead of being court marshaled, he gets a banquet and honored by Silas. Oh, and a nice promotion.
He also manages to catch the eye of the king’s daughter, Michelle (Allison Miller). A ceasefire with Gath occurs and people are dancing in the streets. But then the Silas’ brother-in-law is like “I gave you the money, bitch. Start the war again.” (Note: my words, not the show’s.) So the war with Gath starts up again and David’s brother is killed when he, Silas and General Abner (Wes Studi) are at the battlefield. David goes on a dramatic Shakespearian-esque tirade and peace is in the talks again. But then Reverend Samuels (Eamonn Walker) says that Silas has lost favor with God.
Oh, and the two best parts are that it seems as though Jack is gay, which displeases Silas because of how appearances have to be kept, which is what the queen, Rose (Susanna Thompson), is in the business of. The second part is that Silas mentions twice that a swarm of butterflies came around him one day and formed a crown on his head, which is what prompted him to found Gilboa. I’ll let you guess who gets a crown of butterflies after Samuels’ tells Silas he’s lost favor with God.
The show apparently was intended to be an explicit retelling of the story of King David, which I first read the comparison in Alessandra Stanley’s review in Friday’s New York Times and thought it was just Alessandra Stanley being Alessandra Stanley. It’s there, but with very clear modern adaptations.
The show itself feels like a film or an HBO mini-series, actually. In the first fifteen minutes of the show, there really wasn’t much talking, just a lot of action. How it’s filmed with the shots and close-ups also gives it that feel.
And that might be what turns most audiences off from the show.
Yet the show has it’s perks. This family seems to have more juicy secrets, manipulation, and plotting going on than all of the characters on “Gossip Girl.” (On a side note, Sebastian Stan was on “Gossip Girl” for a bit.) It has interesting parallels to our current society (we don’t know where Gilboa is and when this takes place, but it pretty much seems like a parallel universe America with New York City as the capital). Early in the episode, Michelle even proposes a health care reform, which Silas does an awesome job of dismissing.
The ad for what’s coming up also seems like it will just keep getting better. The reviews also make it sound like it will get better.
Oh, and Ian McShane was making breakfast in the episode. Yes, that’s right, Ian McShane made breakfast as a part of the episode. That was probably the most awesome part of the episode, him making breakfast. I’m totally hoping that there are more scenes with him making breakfast.
Come on people, I cried while David was giving a very dramatic speech about the death of his brother. I cried while watching television. That in itself is an epic event.
But to be honest, those that can appreciate this will enjoy it. And besides, it’s up against “Extreme Makeover: Home Edition” (depressing), “Amazing Race” (don’t get me started on reality TV), and “The Simpsons” (which keeps sucking) and “King of the Hill” (cancelled).
Watch it on Hulu.com. Try it try it, if you please.
I’m honestly thinking that it’s one of the best things on TV right now. It will either make you go “WTF?” or you’ll be hooked.