I don’t generally watch television dramas — I’ve never seen “24,” “Heroes,” “Numb3rs,” “West Wing,” or “CSI” anywhere. I did watch one episode of “Lost” several years ago, but it got weird rather quickly.
Even so, when I learned that NBC had planned an ambitious new Sunday night drama called “Kings” — to be based on a modern revisioning of the biblical Saul and David story, I looked forward to it with some anticipation. King Saul of the tribe of Benjamin is a modern king named Silas Benjamin, and he’s portrayed as even more hollow and misguided than the original. Instead of being torn by inner demons, however, he’s jerked around by a rich patron whose money financed his kingdom of Gilboa.
Although the king claims the anointing of God (indicated by a heaven-sent crown of butterflies), he badly misleads the country in a war against neighboring Gath, and is rejected, not by the old prophet Samuel, but by an African-American preacher named Rev. Samuels.
There is still a hero, however, one David Shepherd (above left), who proves that the enemy’s tanks (called “Goliaths”) can be defeated, and who brokers peace when defeat seems imminent. David is brought to the capital of Shiloh (a new skyscraper in a remodeled New York), where he falls in love with the king’s daughter Michelle (standing in for Mical). Though he saves the life of the king’s son (Jack rather than Jonathan), Jack bears deep resentment rather than the close friendship of the biblical story, in which Jonathan helped to protect David.
I don’t know if I’ll continue to watch. I appreciate NBC’s risk of aiming big, but given my general lack of interest in TV dramas, I’m not sure there are enough biblical connections to keep me watching.
What about you?