Kings

11/08/2009

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Starring: Ian McShane, Christopher Egan, Dylan Baker, Susanna Thompson, Allison Miller
Created by: Michael Green
Airdate: 2009 (Spring and Summer)
Network: NBC

I have a love/hate relationship with NBC and one hour dramas...actually cancel that, I have a hate/hate relationship. During the past four or so years, they have routinely canceled at least one show that I have become obsessed with after barely one season. First, it was Surface, then it was Journeyman. Studio 60 I discovered after the fact, but for argument's sake, I'll add it to the list. The latest casualty is Kings, which lasted 12 episodes from its debut in March, to its hiatus, to its airing of episodes in the Summer in the dead Saturday slot, and until it was killed and murdered and slapped in the face. Being as it is so fresh on my mind, there will be some bitterness, much like the audio commentary on The Weird Al Show DVD set. You have been warned.

Kings is a modern day retelling of the old Bible story of David and Goliath. In this universe, Gilboa is the biggest country in the World, run by King Silas (Ian McShane). Silas's son Jack (Sebastian Stan) is saved during a war with its rival Gath by a good ol' country boy named David (Christopher Egan) from the Gath tanks known as Goliaths (modern day retelling!). This makes David a national hero, and he is brought to the capital of Gilboa, Shiloh, to be congratulated by Silas and his royal family, including Jack, his wife and Queen Rose (Susanna Thompson), and his very lovely daughter Michelle (Allison Miller). David is convinced to help the King and becomes entwined in their lives, falling for Michselle, as God slowly lets Silas and the resident pastor Ephram Samuels (Eamonn Walker) know that David will one day succeed Silas as King of Gilboa.

There are dozens of other sub-plots that go along with it, which will pretty much ruin the show should I go into them, but one is necessary to explain: Silas's brother in law William Cross (Dylan Baker) helped fund Silas's kingship and growth of Gilboa and through out the show plans a coup to take over the throne once Silas decides not to abide by his rules anymore.

Although only 12 episodes long, there is so much going on in the show that it is almost impossible to really encapsulate. It's essentially a prime time soap opera about the royal family and the workings of a modern monarchy with biblical and religious undertones and it works so amazingly well that it will leave you spellbound.

The acting and dialogue is so top notch that it almost astounds me that this ever was even on a real network. Everyone, and I mean everyone, gives a knockout performance each episode and keeps the show from getting too melodramatic. Ian McShane is absolutely amazing as King Silas, making my jaw drop by how amazing he is. I had only seen him in Death Race, where he didn't exactly give 100 percent, so I had no idea he could be so good, but he proved me wrong. Christopher Egan also handles his own as the other major lead, the hero David, mixing his boyishness naivity, his painful love for Michelle, and being torn between serving his country and doing what is right. Egan deserves a future, no doubt about it.

The rest of the cast, as said before, nails it out of the park. Eamonn Walker, as God's voice on Earth Reverend Samuels, is definitely my favorite out of the bunch. He commands respect whenever he is on-screen and is so captivating that you can't help but be enthralled. Dylan Baker also makes a great turn as William Cross, the main villain of the show, further showing why he is a great talent.

The show itself just takes hold of you. It's interesting, the acting and writing is flat out amazing, and each episode feels like you've just watched a well-produced film. I've never seen a show like this, and thanks to the ratings and NBC's reluctance to hold onto a show that doesn't suck, I doubt I ever will again.

Out of the NBC dramas they have canceled in recent years, this one is the biggest crime of them all. Do yourself a favor and rent Kings on Netflix, or catch some of the episodes on hulu. You will not have time to regret it, you'll be too into the show waiting to see what happens next. Then maybe after, we can all petition NBC to either bring it back, or give a 2 hour TV movie finale to wrap the show up. It deserves at least that.
 


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