So iTunes is just one of the best things created since awesomeness came to the earth. Steve told me today that the pilot of the new TV show Kings was on it for free. I downloaded the hour and a half episode of the new NBC show episode titled, "Goliath" and watched it with my roommates. For those who don't know, Kings is a modern retelling of the story of King David. It's set in a fictional kingdom that functions much like how we'd imagine a place like England would if they had a king, but the setting is a mix between New York and Chicago. The architecture shots of the capital, known as Shiloh (Hebrew lovers, look it up), are incredible and truly set the stage for the show. A closer look behind the scenes also reveals some fascination stuff. Producer an director Francis Lawrence (who directed films like Constantine and I am Legend) is Catholic. Former Heroes producer Michael Green is Jewish. And another major producer (his name slips my memory, though I did hear him speak at a panel at USC last) is one of the few Muslim producers in television.
I've been curious about this show for some time and I must say, I was not let down. My roommates and myself watched it with the biblical story in mind and found that it truly set up the source material well. Few characters have the same names as in the Bible, save the lead, David Shepard (get it?) and Rev. Samuel. David's relationship with the king is one of love and confusion. Rev. Samuel is stern. The show doesn't shy away from using the name of God. Even Jonathan's character is gay, something that brings much disappointment to the king. This is a controversial debate in the David story. Some say King Saul's son was gay and others say the love he had for David was brotherly love, not romantic love. Either way, taking a side makes for great drama. The production is also wonderful, and there's a lot of butterflies throughout the pilot. At the end of the episode, butterflies (the king's favorite image to evoke in the public) land on David's head in the form of a crowd.
Watching this show, I couldn't help but see similarities between Saul's character and President Bush. We have a king who uses the rhetoric of "God" to unite people, though those close to him roll their eyes at it, but he does many things God would not approve. Rev. Samuel approaches the king and tells him he is no longer in the Lord's favor. We see a man who loves his country but doesn't admit his shortcomings. In one scene, the king's daughter proposes health care reform, but the king wants to end the war and not worry about such things. Hmmm...shameless! The king is even controlled my a brother-in-law with a substantial amount of gold. Sounds a lot like the accusations against Bush's millions in the oil business.
It's refreshing to see that as Battlestar Galactica comes to an end, there are still shows worth checking out. While most TV producers are content adding to the legion of cop and hospital shows, it's nice to see that the medium of television can still pump out an original idea. Let's see if it lasts.