(S01E02) - "You're just one boy. What good can you do here against all that?"
Kings is a show about a lot of things: love, money, greed, power, guys in suits that cost more than one year of college tuition. Mostly it's about action and consequences. So if the show's premiere episode was about war as a consequence, then naturally the next episode should be about its root cause: politics.
We finally get a taste of the aristocracy from the inside in the second episode. All the scheming and conniving that makes the greatest primetime soap operas and dramas like The Shield and The West Wing so great to watch. The fun comes from figuring how people like Vic Mackey and President Bartlet are going to get themselves out one bear trap without chewing their own foot off and choking on the marrow.
In Kings' case, however, the plot seems to have found its way out of one bear trap and inadvertently stepped right into another.
(S01E01) - "We give up what we want when we want power."
The two-part premiere of NBC's new political morality drama Kings kicks off in ways you would expect.
It's not just a political soap opera. It's a war epic. It's a family drama. It's a historical fantasy, even though such a thing sounds completely improbable. At times, it's even a comedy. All of these genres get their chance to shine in the show's first episode, "Goliath," and not all of them work, but they make for an interesting mix of television conventions.
My television has missed Ian McShane since Deadwood went buh-bye. His cunning and devious but seemingly moralistic portrayal of Al Swearengen made for a great complex character who could be a villian or an angel, depending on the situation and how evil you are.
He's born to play gruff badasses with gravely voices and icy cold stares that could land a bruise without him lifting a finger. That complex character has returned in McShane's new utopian morality drama Kings, much more toned down, of course.
After all, this is NBC, network television. They have enough money troubles without having the FCC breathing down their neck.
A few weeks ago, I was invited, along with a number of writers from websites and blogs (including our friends at AOL TV), to screen the two-hour premiere of NBC's new Blblical-themed fantasy soap, Kings. The show, which premieres on Sunday, March 15, has gotten a lot of hype since the Peacock network introduced it last summer. That hype was mostly due to its star, Ian McShane. Everyone knew that the former Deadwood star would bring a stern intensity to the show; heck, his orneriness during the summer TCA session for the show alone made people look forward to his performance.
Alas, the bloggers wouldn't get a chance to question McShane during the post-screening Q&A; they did get a chance to speak to creator Michael Green and co-stars Susanna Thompson, Allison Miller, Dylan Baker, and Eamonn Walker. Some choice quotes and video of the session are after the jump.
So, you can imagine what happens when you combine McShane's orneriness with a group of cranky critics who've been put through a long day by the folks at NBC on the last day of the press tour (there will be a day of set visits on Tueday, but no ballroom press conferences). The last panel is for McShane's new mid-season show, Kings, and the critics have been made extra cranky by the fact that, like all of NBC's new shows, they haven't seen the pilot for it yet. Mix in a somewhat hard-to-grasp premise. Stir liberally, and you get some momentary fireworks that woke up the collected critics at the very end of a long day.
McShane, who was a memorable, dirty-mouthed proprietor of a seedy saloon on HBO's Deadwood, will be King Silas on Kings. The Universal project is said to be set in modern times, although its based on a story from the Old Testament, King David (remember Richard Gere in the movie of the same name?)
Just because there's a writers strike doesn't mean the networks aren't buying new shows!
Just before the strike announcement, NBC made a deal for a new drama titled Kings, which is described as "a contemporary soap loosely based on the story of King David, the Biblical king of Israel." There's really something funny about that description.
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