This show rocks.
The cinematography and art direction are stellar. Beyond cinematic. The production team has deftly created an alternate universe on-screen, a wealthy modern city called Shiloh (a cgi-enhanced New York) with its own architecture and color palette. Francis Lawrence’s direction (Constantine, I Am Legend) is arguably the best on television.
The story’s deeply layered mythology is fascinating: a parallel, United-States-like nation is governed by a monarch named Silas Benjamin, played by Deadwood‘s delicious Ian McShane, in a modern reimagining of the biblical narrative of David and King Saul.
Every line of dialogue I’ve heard thus far cuts like a knife. The score is fresh, original. I can’t think of a single thing I don’t love about the show, other than a few forgiveable subpar performances by a couple of the cast members, though the rest of them shine: particularly Unbreakable‘s Eamonn Walker as a cool-headed priest, and King Silas’ wife and daughter.
That being said, Kings‘ third episode isn’t the best place to jump in.
If the first two eps were a bold tour-de-force (and they were), “First Night” was a leisurely-paced, cerebral meditation on virtue. It wasn’t nearly as engaging or dynamic as the show’s first two outings, but I have faith “First Night” was merely a transition episode (with which Lost has made me all-too familiar).
My advice: catch the pilot, “Goliath,” and last week’s ep, “Prosperity,” on Hulu, but skip this one. I’m confident next week’s “previously, on Kings” will catch you up on anything relevant that you may have missed.