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CrimsonLine wrote:

: The character on this show has puppy-dog eyes, gets misty all the time, and is riven with inner conflict. But he never actually does anything bold, or courageous, or even active.

Well, I haven't seen anything but the pilot so far, but I think the bit there where he challenges someone from the enemy's side to meet him in the middle of the battlefield is sort of up there. I mean, sort of. It's sort of courageous, and certainly sort of bold. Admittedly, there was also something grief-strickenly suicidal about it, but the fact that he accomplished something there wasn't QUITE as accidental as, say, that scene at the beginning of Dances with Wolves where Kevin Costner attempts suicide by enemy fire and ends up helping his side win the day (or whatever; it's been 19 years since I saw that film).

The broader point stands, though. The David of the Bible is a hero because he kicks ass. The David of the TV show is a hero because he waves a white flag.

"Sympathy must precede belligerence. First I must understand the other, as it were, from the inside; then I can critique it from the outside. So many people skip right to the latter." -- Steven D. Greydanus
Now blogging at Patheos.com. I can also still be found at Facebook, Twitter and Flickr. See also my film journal.

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He does a couple of heroic things in the pilot, and I think one semi-heroic, bold thing in the first episode, but it peters out after that.

In case you were wondering, my name is spelled "Denes House," but it's pronounced "Throatwobbler Mangrove."
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He does a couple of heroic things in the pilot, and I think one semi-heroic, bold thing in the first episode, but it peters out after that.

A person would think y'all had never watched a series with a developing narrative arc and dynamic characters. The series is based on 1-2 Samuel, it's not a verse-by-verse modernization. There can be different kinds of heroism, not all necessarily involve physical violence. Green seems to be taking a realistic approach--not that scripture isn't real--but an approach that treats the supernatural elements as true but with possible natural explanations. And even in 1 Samuel, David supports Saul as the chosen king for a time while Saul tries to kill him. Then he went off and hid for a while among the Philistines, and did some pretty indefensible things, although never actually attacking his homeland. However, unless this show is going to turn into a series about literal war--which I doubt--all the stuff about war between the Philistines/Gath/Gilboa/Israel will probably be translated into metaphorical conflicts and tests. This modern version of David has to grow up before he's ready to face Silas.

ETA: This just in--starting April 18, Kings rescheduled to Saturday. Bad news.

Edited by BethR

There is this difference between the growth of some human beings and that of others: in the one case it is a continuous dying, in the other a continuous resurrection. (George MacDonald, The Princess and Curdie)

Isn't narrative structure enough of an ideology for art? (Greg Wright)

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Speaking of 1-2 Samuel, this article on the Bible as literature seems apropos. Regarding James Wood's analysis of the Bible in How Literature Works:

Beyond the question of style, however, it seems clear that Wood, like so many readers of the Bible, simply expects the Bible to be dominated by thoroughly religious concerns, to the exclusion of any literary artfulness, and then proceeds to find those concerns even where they seem not to be. How else to explain his claim that David, lacking inner thoughts, "speaks to God, and his soliloquies are prayers," when in fact the books of Samuel record, over some three dozen chapters, only two or three prayers of David's, the longest of which (in II Samuel 22) is more notable for its poetic line articulation, its metaphorical imagery, and its claim to martial prowess than for any spiritual content? Or the idea, quoted above, that David's "opaqueness" as a character is due to his transparency to God, "who is his real audience"? Even if God were David's "real audience" within the world of the story (an assumption that I do not think actually holds, since David is consistently portrayed as artfully playing to his various human audiences), as a literary character his audience is, as with any literary character, the reader.

And what can be made of Wood's homiletically tinged statement that David has "no past, to speak of, and no memory, for it is God's memory that counts, which never forgets"? It is hard to imagine such a statement arising naturally from a close reading of the grittily realistic story of David.

There is this difference between the growth of some human beings and that of others: in the one case it is a continuous dying, in the other a continuous resurrection. (George MacDonald, The Princess and Curdie)

Isn't narrative structure enough of an ideology for art? (Greg Wright)

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Variety is reporting that the ratings challenged Kings will be moving to NBC's Saturday night 8pm timeslot, a slot that has been reserved this past season for showing repeat airings of dramas such as Law & Order and ER.

Formerly Baal_T'shuvah

"Everyone has the right to make an ass out of themselves. You just can't let the world judge you too much." - Maude 
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Variety is reporting that the ratings challenged Kings will be moving to NBC's Saturday night 8pm timeslot, a slot that has been reserved this past season for showing repeat airings of dramas such as Law & Order and ER.

Yes, I posted that a couple days ago. On the other hand, since NBC/Universal also owns the SciFi channel, some bright person seems to have said "Hey, let's re-run Kings on SciFi! It's set in an alternate universe, right?" Shock me when I discovered episodes 1-4 scheduled from 11 p.m. last night. I don't know if that's a good thing or not.

Beth R

There is this difference between the growth of some human beings and that of others: in the one case it is a continuous dying, in the other a continuous resurrection. (George MacDonald, The Princess and Curdie)

Isn't narrative structure enough of an ideology for art? (Greg Wright)

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  • 2 weeks later...

Bah. No more Kings until June.

NBC Tuesday said it was pulling the drama from its lineup, effective immediately. The network had recently moved the show from Sunday to Saturday nights at 8.

"Kings" is still set to finish out its run of original episodes, but not until June, long after the official season has ended. The show will return to Saturdays at 8 on June 13, airing its series finale on July 25.

Starting this week, NBC is slotting reruns of "Law & Order: SVU" in the 8 p.m. Saturday slot

Just what the world needs--more L&O reruns. I think I'll write to the network...

ETA: Somewhat belated review of Kings by Michael Weiss at City Journal:

What a shame, then, that NBC’s terrific new drama Kings, a modern reimagining of the story of David, has struggled with low ratings and rumors of early cancellation, as if to fulfill some dire prophecy about God and prime time.

Much of the appeal of Kings lies in its source material. The English critic Duff Cooper once remarked that the biblical David must have been based on a real person, because what nation would ever invent such a compromised hero? Warrior, poet, musician, brigand, politician, tyrant, Lothario, polygamist, paterfamilias—Tony Soprano had nothing on the King of Israel. And though the series bears only a superficial plot resemblance to the Book of Samuel, it remains essentially true to its complicated moral spirit.

Edited by BethR

There is this difference between the growth of some human beings and that of others: in the one case it is a continuous dying, in the other a continuous resurrection. (George MacDonald, The Princess and Curdie)

Isn't narrative structure enough of an ideology for art? (Greg Wright)

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  • 4 weeks later...

If anyone has the power, please, please remove the previous spam post? Thank you!

There is this difference between the growth of some human beings and that of others: in the one case it is a continuous dying, in the other a continuous resurrection. (George MacDonald, The Princess and Curdie)

Isn't narrative structure enough of an ideology for art? (Greg Wright)

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Done.

By a terribly sad twist of fate, IMAGE's "Good Letters" blog has just put up its Friday post by Bradford Winters, a producer and writer for Kings -- in the post he announces that the show has been canceled and will broadcast only the already produced episodes:

http://imagejournal.org/page/blog/rip-nora...-memoriam-kings

Greg

If anyone has the power, please, please remove the previous spam post? Thank you!
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Done.

By a terribly sad twist of fate, IMAGE's "Good Letters" blog has just put up its Friday post by Bradford Winters, a producer and writer for Kings -- in the post he announces that the show has been canceled and will broadcast only the already produced episodes:

http://imagejournal.org/page/blog/rip-nora...-memoriam-kings

Greg

If anyone has the power, please, please remove the previous spam post? Thank you!

Thank you, and thanks for the link to Bradford Winters' comments which, along with Weiss's (above), may be useful for the "Faith and Pop Culture" course I'll be co-teaching this fall.

DVDs can be pre-ordered, though no date has been announced. I hope they'll include some good background special features, producer/writer/director commentaries, etc.

There is this difference between the growth of some human beings and that of others: in the one case it is a continuous dying, in the other a continuous resurrection. (George MacDonald, The Princess and Curdie)

Isn't narrative structure enough of an ideology for art? (Greg Wright)

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  • 4 weeks later...
DVDs can be pre-ordered, though no date has been announced. I hope they'll include some good background special features, producer/writer/director commentaries, etc.

NBC has June air-dates for three more episodes of Kings, first on 8 p.m. June 13. DVD set is supposed to ship in August.

There is this difference between the growth of some human beings and that of others: in the one case it is a continuous dying, in the other a continuous resurrection. (George MacDonald, The Princess and Curdie)

Isn't narrative structure enough of an ideology for art? (Greg Wright)

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  • 1 month later...

Kings writer Bradford Winters on The Scribal Culture of Television.

The last episode of Kings airs next Saturday 7/18 at 8 p.m. EDT.

There is this difference between the growth of some human beings and that of others: in the one case it is a continuous dying, in the other a continuous resurrection. (George MacDonald, The Princess and Curdie)

Isn't narrative structure enough of an ideology for art? (Greg Wright)

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The last episode of Kings airs next Saturday 7/18 at 8 p.m. EDT.

Someone recently asked me about the airing schedule on Twitter. After sniffing around online, I found Wikipedia has the last episode on 7/25 and the NBC schedule has the ep airing tonight as "Pt. 1". I'm hoping they give us the whole thing, but I can't find any confirmation that the last ep is 7/25.

I must say, I'm still somewhat enamored with the series. I am particularly drawn to McShane's Silas, who in last week's episode (aptly titled "Javelin") does a good and interesting take on exploring and portraying that darkness Saul experienced. My husband commented after that episode that he's not sure the series would make sense to those not familiar with the biblical story--I've spent too much time interweaving the two to even think clearly about that one, heh. But I do think it is clever and, for the most part, done pretty well. I'll miss what it could have been.

Edited by pilgrimscrybe
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After sniffing around online, I found Wikipedia has the last episode on 7/25 and the NBC schedule has the ep airing tonight as "Pt. 1". I'm hoping they give us the whole thing, but I can't find any confirmation that the last ep is 7/25.

Is it enough of a confirmation that my DVR "record" schedule shows the last ep. on 7/25? I guess it will be "Pt. 2" of tonight's--which I'll be watching tomorrow, because commercials bug me, so I'm probably part of the reason the show was killed, but hey I watched every episode.

There is this difference between the growth of some human beings and that of others: in the one case it is a continuous dying, in the other a continuous resurrection. (George MacDonald, The Princess and Curdie)

Isn't narrative structure enough of an ideology for art? (Greg Wright)

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Incidentally, I really liked 'Javelin' when I watched it. David is at least interesting (at last), and the rest of the cast is roundly electrifying. Good show!

Everything that matters is invisible.

-- Robert Bresson

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