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Contemplate This on the Tree of Woe

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Tuesday, July 7, 2009 04:04 PM
On the Viewer - Kings (Episode 1 - "Goliath, Parts 1 and 2")
 by Fëanor

I was curious about this show when I first heard about it, but never got around to watching it while it was actually on TV. Then I saw that it had made its way to Hulu and decided to try it out. It's a clever reimagining of old Bible stories, updated and set in the modern age. The performances are quite good. Christopher Egan, who plays David, reminds me of Matt Damon. But it's Ian McShane who really stands out as King Silas. The man gives a good speech! But he's perhaps even better when he doesn't talk at all. I particularly like the scene where he's wrapping up a session in the council room and one of his people stands up a bit too early. He stares the guy back into his seat with this incredible look on his face. Then the King stands up. Then everybody else can stand up. Another amazing scene: when the King subtly and casually orders an assassination. I also like when, the next morning, he says, "Evolution is just one of God's many tools. Like me."

But it's not just the acting that's good. It's an intriguing story. The dialog is well written. The war scenes are tense and thrilling. The characters are intriguing. The drama is powerful. A particular interesting part of story centers on Silas' son Jack, who's jealous of the favor Silas bestows on David. Silas can't stand Jack because he's gay. Silas tells him, "For a King it's not possible. Not possible. We give up what we want when we want power... You cannot be what God made you. Not if you mean to take my place."

And suddenly it becomes clear that the mighty King is not as much in charge as he seems, and even he must bow to the people with the money. Darker and darker secrets keep seeping out about the King. Even David gets a glimpse at his rage and his shabbiness.

And then God forsakes Silas. The Reverend: "They are all your children, Silas.... God wishes a man after His own heart. You have none."

David: "Everyone thinks I'm brave. But I'm not."
Eli: "Be brave now."

I love how the King rewrites history by telling his secretary/recorder/stenographer, "The King's brother-in-law concragulated him on the truce."

I also love the camaraderie David's established with the palace guards. Although how they got that piano in his little apartment I'll never know!

And the ending, where the crown of butterflies is passed, is just breathtaking. I mean, wow. Just... wow.

This is an absolutely brilliant piece of television. Which kind of pisses me off, because that means I have to watch the rest of the show now.
Tagged (?): Kings (Not), On the Viewer (Not), TV (Not)
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