“Kings” Deserves a Gold Crown – But Does the Character of the Gay Son?

This article contains major plot points from the first four hours of Kings.  

In last night’s two-hour premiere, the new NBC show Kings revealed that one of its major characters is gay (see our review here).

We sat down with the show’s creator, Michael Green, a former writer and producer on Heroes and Everwood, to ask about the show, its gaycharacter, and why you just might be able to give him a call if something aboutthe show doesn’t make sense.

Michael Green

AfterElton: I loved the pilot. I love alternative worlds and I read a lot of alternative fiction.
Michael Green:
Oh, great. There are people, some people – not everyone isinto that. I grew up reading comics and probably some of the similar stuff you did so there’s sort of a shorthand vocabulary for people who are used to alternate universe stuff, but one of the challenges or sort of fun parts of this show, trying to get it off the ground, is explaining it to people who are not. So, I could say to you, “Oh, you know. Gotham City,”and you would go, “Okay, I get it.” It’s in America, but I couldn’t tell you what state it’s in…Most people, they ask me questions and I say, “Give it five minutes and if you still have a problem, you can call me on the phone at home.”Generally after five minutes they understand the physics of the world.

AE: I think your average American isstill going to be . . .
MG:
I’m not giving the average American my home phone number. [Laughs]

AE: Fair enough. It was pretty clear to me, maybe because I read this sort of stuff.
MG:
I have been writing television long enough to realize you have to give credit to your audience because you write for the audience you hope are watching it, which are people who are willing to pay attention and lean forward and not be doing three other things. You write shows for people who get invested in them enough to pay attention and sort of learn the rules and one thing I enjoy doing is not giving it all away in the first – like something that you sort of parse out slowly over time.

AE: Regarding Jack, the gay prince.When did you decide to go with that character? What was your thinking with that? What drew you to it? 
MG: It’s very hard to describe how any idea comes from because it just sort of comes when you’re devising something, you just let things wash over you and you sort of are attracted to ones that are most intriguing. There are a few things that went into Jack.

First of all, just looking for interesting character dynamics, you have this monarchy and you want to think, well what would be something that would be difficult for someone to be dealing with or interesting for someone to be dealing with, and secondly, there are a lot of – when you read the biblical text that this is inspired by, there is a reading to be had – I can’t say whether it’s the right or wrong – but there is a reading to be had where Jonathan, Saul’s son, was madly in love with David. There are several lines repeated – he loved him as he loved himself, their souls were intertwined together, constantly promising each other, and Jonathan especially David,undying love and devotion.

So when I spend my time sort of going through the text and gleaning things that interest me, that was something that I just thought, what if we went that route? What if we let that be what it’s hard not to see sometimes in it? Just the same, literally thousands, two thousands years of biblical scholarship has been spent trying to keep people from reading into those texts. You know, the Middle Ages, I believe there was no vellum that wasn’t scribbled with some sort of apologia for their love being a pure form of Greco-Roman brothers-in-arms sort of thing. And that’s a legitimate reading, too, but my approach isn’t religious as a storyteller. My approach is what would make the most interesting story and that’s what it was. It seemed the thing to do at the time.

Sebastian Stan as Prince Jack

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