Review: All Hail “Kings,” a Great New Show!


All photos courtesy: NBC

This article contains plot points from Sunday night’s premiere of Kings as well as minor spoilers from the next two episodes.  

Last night’s two-hour premiere of Kingswas top-notch television – smart, original, and thoroughly engrossing – and it will end up reshaping the television landscape in much the way Lost and Buffy the Vampire Slayer did.

The first half of the above sentence is definitely true. The second half may be true if American audiences are willing to give this daring new show a chance.

But that’s a big “if.” TV audiences have never seen anything quite like Kings.

The show is a retelling of the biblical story of King David, set in an alternate timeline where medieval kingdoms coexist with modern technology. In this alternate universe, the king has a “court” in a glass skyscraper. And “petitions to the king” coexist with cell-phones and hand grenades.

Ian McShane (right) as King Silas

“King of all I survey,” King Silas (Deadwood’s Ian McShane) says at one point, “and I still can’t find an office chair that doesn’t give me back spasms.”

The language of the show, meanwhile, is an interesting blend of contemporary and “arch.” A courtly scribe even follows the king, writing hagiography – on a mobile electronic device, of course.

If all this isn’t challenging enough for TV-viewers, the show also features a major gay character in the form of the kingdom’s prince (see our article on the character here).

Sebastian Stan as Prince Jack

In the world of Kings, King Silas was chosen, seemingly by God, to rule. But an endless war has sapped the kingdom’s resolve, and corruption threatens to undermine the palace from within.

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