Posted by: wolferiver | March 21, 2009

The Book of Samuel

Woah!  What’s THIS show Kings doing on network TV?  It sure looks like something WAAAAY too good to be there.  It has scale, scope, subtlety and nuance.  And who knew that the story of David could be as fascinating as The Sopranos or Deadwood?  I mean, it’s an old and dead bible story, right?

Usually when a bible story appears on the screen, it’s depicted as holy and pious, with the events unfolding in a preordained fashion, starving the story of its drama.  These versions are almost always utterly unwatchable.  But this series, Kings, shows that these stories were about real humans with real passions.  It’s so well written and packed with drama that even though I already know what happens, I’m still left hanging and wondering what will happen in the end.  Will the pure of heart David be corrupted by the court in the end?

King Sauls Council Meeting

King Saul's Council Meeting

New York City is used as a backdrop to this story, and it isn’t often that one sees the majesty of the city the way it is shown in this series.  I don’t imagine that those who look upon The Big Apple as sin city would be pleased to see it as a backdrop to the story of Saul and David.  And using Al Swearingen as King Saul?  Shear genius!!  (Yeah, I know.  It’s really Ian McShane, playing a sly old bastard as only he can play one, except without all the profanity.)

This story is more Shakespeare than King James — including a version of Rosencrantz and Guildenstern.  Even so, if you really want to explore what the story of David is all about, this is a good start.  It is at the moment the best thing on TV, and I hope the network allows all the episodes to air.


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