From the embarrassment that was ROSIE LIVE! to the
train-wreck car crash that was KNIGHT RIDER, ragging on NBC has become an almost-too-easy pastime for theTVaddict.com.
But what’s easy to forget in light of such massive, headline-grabbing failures is that NBC is also the network that was smart enough to give THE OFFICE and 30 ROCK time to find their audiences, renewed ratings-anemic CHUCK for a second season (and, hopefully, a third) and, in the case of Sunday night’s two-hour premiere of KINGS, has essentially given creator Michael Green (HEROES) carte-blanche to create a uniquely fascinating canvas on which to tell an epic saga. The scope of the canvas is much more reminiscent of premium-channel dramas such as THE TUDORS or ROME than the typical network fare. And the compairson goes beyond the surface, given that those shows followed the rise and fall of historic empires while KINGS takes a similar approach in retelling what is basically the story of David versus Goliath in the fictional kingdom of Gilboa (which bears a striking resemblance to modern-day Manhattan).
So without further ado, theTVaddict.com presents the top five reasons we’ll be tuning in to KINGS this Sunday at 8PM.
We’ve Been Holdin’ Out For A Hero
While movies such as the Harry Potter and Spiderman franchises have focused on the notion that any of us can rise above our station to become heroes, television has — with a few notable exceptions — spent much more time developing anti-heroes such as Mobster Tony Soprano, curmudgeonly Dr. Gregory House or tortured torturer Jack Bauer. But in KINGS, we are presented with a classic tale in which a young hero, David Sheperd (more on his portrayer, Chris Egan, in a minute) is thrust into a whole new world and must, in true hero style, deal with the temptations which surround him. Will this everyman remain true to his values or prove that power truly does corrupt? Only time will tell.
The Royal Family Rocks
It should come as no surprise to fans of DEADWOOD that Ian McShane is a commanding presence as the titular character, King Silas Benjamin, who is part CEO, part Pope and every bit a force to be reckoned with. The same can be said for Silas’ wife, Queen Rose, the string-pulling puppetmaster played to regal perfection by the elegant Susanna Thompson (who is no stranger to playing royal roles, what with her gig as STAR TREK’s Borg queen!) Rounding out the clan is Dylan Baker as Rose’s brother, William Cross, whom the actor recently referred to as bearing more than a passing resemblance to a certain recently exiled power-monger who is often compared to Darth Vader. “I’mhoping to bring a bit of Dick [Cheney] back into our lives,” Baker said during a recent panel discussion.
We’re All About Rising Stars
Which brings us to Christopher Egan, the actor who portrays our everyman-turned-major-player, David Sheperd. While McShane may be KINGS big drawing card, the show’s ace in the hole is handsome Aussie import Egan. As the reluctant hero suddenly swept up in palace intrigue and romance following a timely act of heroism on the battlefield, Egan holds his own with the powerplayers against whom he’s working. Oh, and never underestimate sex appeal; Let’s just say Egan had several of my fellow bloggers swooning during a recent set visit. (Cough*cough*mytakeontv.com*cough).
The Curiosity Factor
Hold onto your hats, kids, ’cause Mac’s back! No, not the TV Addict’s super adorable dog, but rather Home Alone star and former Michael Jackson playpal Macauly Culkin, who is slated to hit the series somewhere around episode six. While we’d love to tell you more about the secret surrounding his exiled-from-the-kingdom alter ego, that aforementioned pesky little non-disclosure agreement we signed prior to our set visit.
Contrary To Popular Opinion, Bigger Is Better
It’s tough to argue with the sentiments of Green, who said during a recent conference call that, “the job of network television is to create larger shows that will be cultural touchstones rather than just another cop show.” And KINGS is the kind of big, sweeping epic that was once confined to the realm of mini-series like RICH MAN, POOR MAN or NORTH & SOUTH, or even the classic primetime sudsers DALLAS and DYNASTY. It’s bigger than life at a time when, frankly, that’s exactly what we need… surely more than we need another CSI knock-off or yet another reality series. Television executives respond to one thing: ratings. They give us more of what we say — via our remote controls — we want. And this TV Addict is hoping that KINGS is the wave of the future and not simply a reflection of better days. That’s both our final and, in the end, best reason for being excited by what KINGS has to offer.