Friday, March 20, 2009


Thanks to a crazy schedule and a weird snafu with my VCR, I only now got to watch the premiere episode of Kings. I've actually been chomping at the bit to see it all week, especially after I read this review in TIME magazine. I had seen bits and pieces about it over the past months but somehow, I had missed that this was all a retelling of the Saul and David story out of Samuel. At least until I read the review.

Now that I've seen the premiere, though, it would have been hard to miss. The King of Gilboa's kids' names, Jack and Michelle? Rev. Samuels, the King's spiritual advisor? Heck, even our plucky young hero's name, David Shepherd, is almost a bit too over the top for me. The fact that every tank from Gath had "Goliath" painted on its front made me laugh, and not in a good way.

But in spite of the over-the-top naming conventions, it was a good show. There's plenty of conflict brewing in just about every corner of Shiloh. Some of them are along obvious vectors, such as between King Silas and young David Shepherd, or between Samuels and Silas. Some took me by surprise, such as between crown prince Jack Benjamin and David.

That's perhaps what I'm looking forward to most. I mean, I know the source material pretty well. Occupational necessity. And while the writers obviously stuck pretty close to the Biblical stories, they veered away and introduced some new twists. Good for them. That will make the show fun to watch. Surprises, big and little.

I'm also curious about the reach of the show. How far will they go? Are we going to see David Shepherd fall for a woman named Abby at some point? Will he have an illicit affair with a woman named ... well, I'm at a loss for how to update "Bathsheba." Will we see future generations of Gilboan kings? Probably not the latter, but still. I'll be watching to see how it all works out in the end.

One final bit about this before I wrap this up. This past Sunday, when the show actually aired, I accidentally recorded "Extreme Home Makeover" instead. Thankfully, I was able to watch the whole thing on NBC's website. A neat trick. And a great way to catch up on an interesting new show.

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