By Noah Michelson
The new NBC show, Kings, is an ambitious undertaking. Not only does it take place in alternate universe, but it's a modern rewriting of the biblical story of David. The setting is Gilboa, a country just recently united under King Silas (Ian McShane, an altogether menacing presence), fighting a stalemate war with their Northern neighbor, Gath. David Shepherd (Christopher Egan), a simple country boy, comes along, rescues the King's son, Jack (Gossip Girl's Sebastian Stan), blows up the tank, Goliath, and wins the adoration of the masses. Even the King is impressed. And when the King likes you, you get invited to be the centerpiece at swanky palace parties and offered cushy military liaison jobs upon receiving a great big promotion.
But that's not the interesting bit. Seeing as the premise has biblical roots, there are tensions between the church and state (or monarchy, in this case). Reverend Samuels (Eamonn Walker, yet again playing a religious leader) befriends the young David and holds his own in the face of the will of the King and the will of the corporation that looms over the new nation. Show writer-producer Michael Green, also held his own when questioned by a conservative Christian magazine about making Jack (aka Jonathan) gay.
MICHAEL GREEN: That depends on how you define Christian community. Most of them we have heard from so far have been extremely positive about it. But I know that there are some people who think that any representation of any gay character on any network or cable show is wrong. And anyone who thinks that a gay character is not welcome on television is perfectly welcome not to watch my show.
You tell them, Michael!
We can't help but be thankful that the show-runners went in an unpopular direction, because the following scene features an intense conversation between King Silas and his son, about his Jake's "best-hidden" proclivities:
Essentially, it's thoughtful, well-made, and employs a cast of great actors. Now let's all pray that it -- like all the other good shows -- doesn't get canceled prematurely.
-- OLGA BAS
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