Wednesday, March 9, 2016

Recap: Of Kings and Prophets

The story follows Saul, King of Israel, who has arranged the marriage of his daughter Merav (Jeanine Mason) in the hope of uniting the 12 Israelite tribes against the Philistines. However, just days before the wedding, Samuel receives a message from God telling Saul to wipe out the Amalekites, Saul does not take the news well as he feels that the Amalekites are relatively harmless. During this time, the young shepherd David, armed only with a sling and a bag full of stones, fights with a lion that has been ravaging his flock or sheep. I wasn't a fan of the casting for the show. I feel like they could have made better choices in terms of characters but for the most part the series seems to be mildly accurate to the scripture it was taken from. 

You really feel for Saul's character in the pilot. Saul is a man literally going through a crisis of faith, and reluctantly butts heads with Samuel at each strategic turn. Scripture depicts Saul as a king who is generally depicted as bloodthirsty and ruthless, however Ray Winstone brings a very human quality to the character that is usually left out of other film and scripture depictions. Now a days when religion and politics are  kept apart, it's interesting to see how the two ideologies once clashed hand in hand, with the Prophet and King as their respective mouthpieces. The series shows David's story line and I would say his is the more traditional of the two and taps into the Bible's more iconic elements.
Overall the series is off to a good start. Unfortunately, most of the first episode centers around straight gore and the obvious melodrama. This includes all the usual things from today's television, including everything from cheesy monologues and forbidden hookups to cunning betrayals and mass slaughter.Faith-based audiences will likely be turned off by the explicit nature of the storytelling, while sword-and-sandal junkies won't find anything new or interesting about the show's mundane approach to sex and violence. However the show has great potential and should play out nicely to those who stay the course.