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TELEVISION GUIDE: Kings
Re-imagining the Story of David
Quality: * * * * Acceptability: -1
PREMIERE: March 15, 2009
TIME: 48 minutes
STARRING: Christopher Egan, Ian McShane, Susanna Thompson, Sebastian Stan, Dylan Baker, and Wes Studi
DIRECTOR: Francis Lawrence
PRODUCERS: Barry Berg
EXECUTIVE PRODUCERS: Michael green, Francis Lawrence, John A. Smith, and Erwin Stoff
WRITER: Michael Green
DISTRIBUTOR: NBC TV
CONTENT: (BBB, CC, Ho, Ev, LL, VV, N, A, MMM) Very God-centered, Juedo-Christian worldview talking about God’s anointing and God’s miracles, with a prophetic black preacher, opposed by war mongers, corrupt officials and hedonists, plus homosexual character and a mention that God used evolution; 10 obscenities in the first episode, two obscenities in the second; warfare and violence including hospital scenes of bloody wounds and people dying; barroom scenes of couples kissing and Jonathan is clearly homosexual and rebuked by his father, plus David kisses; upper male nudity; drinking at state dinners; and, assassinations, corruption, bribery, blackmail.
INTENDED AUDIENCE: Teenagers and adults
REVIEWER: Tom Snyder
REVIEW: KINGS is a modern re-telling of the story of David.
The first episode opens with David’s brothers fighting the tanks of Gath, which are called Goliath. David comes to help them. When he hears the troops of Shiloh have been captured, he charges the tanks on foot, destroys them with a grenade and rescues Jonathan, the son of King Silas. Silas has rebuilt the kingdom from rubble. When he addresses his people, he always tells the story of how God anointed him. One day he saw a shadow over his head of butterflies, and they alighted on his head, forming a crown.
Silas has been faithful to the advice of the Reverend Samuel not to instigate war but to protect his people. However, he bends to the avarice of some of his confidants and decides to initiate attacks on Gath. Samuel declares that Silas has lost God’s favor and anoints David.
David becomes a great hero and Silas’s jealousy is incurred as he sees the butterflies alight on David’s head as a crown. Furthermore, Silas’s daughter falls in love with David.
In the second episode, Silas, thanks to David, makes peace with Gath. However, wary of David’s attentions, he commands Abner, his general, to get rid of David.
KINGS is a well produced re-telling of the biblical story of David. Ian McShane, the lead actor who plays Silas, is absolutely terrific. Some of the dialogue is a little arcane, but the story itself is very convincing and intriguing.
Regrettably, a few liberties have been taken. Jonathan is clearly homosexual. Silas, however, tells Jonathan he’s got to get over it if he wants to be king, a very politically incorrect speech. David appears at times to be less courageous than the David of the Bible, but his vulnerability makes him more sympathetic. Also, there are at least 10 obscenities in the first episode, though there are only two in the second episode. Finally, there is some bloody violence.
The good news is that God is clearly the hero of the series. It is God who calls Silas, and it is He who tells Samuel to anoint David. This theocentric perspective is itself a worthwhile reason to watch this entertaining series.
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