Kings - A Television Review
It's coming. By the time you read this, it will already have happened.
By the time you read this, my beloved Battlestar Galactica will be a thing of the past. I will have stayed up into the wee hours of the morning to watch the three-hour finale. By the time you read this, I will already know the truth.
But, alas, with BSG gone, I need a new show, a new banner. Not somthing simply for entertainment. For that, I have Law & Order, House and NCIS. No, I need something thought provoking and relevant. Something to make me stare at the calendar week after week and wait for the next episode. Something I can ponder the hidden meanings and plot twists. Is Kings such as show?
Kings takes place in the fictional Kingdom of Gilboa. After a long "War of Unification," a king has arisen. His name is Silas, and he has founded Gilboah and it's capital, Shiloh, based on a vision he received (he believes) from God. Thus begins this modern telling of the story of David. Silias, you see, is a modern-day Saul, and Gilboah is a modern-day kingdom of the Israelites.
We also meet young David Shepherd. (the analogies here are pretty blatant.) David is a mechanic from a small family in a rural town. (I don't know exactly where Gilboa is, but there's a lot of caucasians there.) David lives with his mother, who's name is - wait for it - Jesse. David soon joins the army, and fights in the war against Gath. (The biblical Gilboa Valley was the site of the war between the Israelites and the Philistines.) When a group of soldiers are taken hostage, David sheds his battle armor (which doesn't fit very well) and takes on the "Goliath" tanks with one small hand grenade (and I assume five smooth stones).
David is a hero, because he rescued Silas' son Jack. He is taken to Shiloh, and meets Silas' daughter Michelle. Silas is power-hungry, and adulterer, and possibly out of his mind. Thus begins the intrigue.
There are plenty of biblical allusions. Besides Silas's two kids, Jack and Michelle (Jonathan and Michal) the royal family's name is Benjamin. The king's religious advisor is Reverend Samuels (Samuel), who "annoints" David when he is still a youth. Of course, our David gets annointed with a gold Rolex, but let's not pick nits. Silas' military advisor is General Abner (Abner). There is his wife, Queen Rose (Ahinoam) and his mistress Helen (Rizpah).
By the end of the pilot, Silas sees David as a political threat. In fact, the same vision of butterflies forming a crown about Silas that launched the kingdom happens to David at the end.
Despite the rather obvious biblical allusions, the show was well written, brilliantly acted and stunningly photographed. Personally, I would like the biblical references a little less obvious. I'd like to ask myself questions like "Is the reverend supposed to be Samuel?" "Was his touching David's head an annointing?" Of course, being a pastor, I have a leg up on Scripture stuff; perhaps for some, the show will lead them into the Bible to seek answers. One can only hope.
I don't think that (at this point) Kings will fascinate me like BSG has done for five years. But, it certainly has potential. I'd like to see young David on the run from Silas, using his wits to seek God's plan for him, and see Silas' hubris get the best of him. But, unlike BSG, I know how this story ends.
Kings is on Sunday nights on NBC.