Monday, March 16, 2009

TV Review: "Kings" (Pilot)

"Kings" (NBC) just premiered this Sunday, and it has promise. It is a speculative fiction series about some alternate present day America that is ruled my Monarchy instead of republican-democracy. Ian McShane (pictured) is the King of a very Manhattan-looking megalopolis city-state called Gilboa. Most people will know McShane from HBO's "Deadwood", and he is no less deliciously menacing and malevolent here (although sans profanity); he is really the main reason to watch this show, it seems. 
The Pilot episode, "Goliath", shows signs of your typical first season shakes, things like as-yet ill-defined supporting characters and rather generic dialogue and story minutia, but it is the opinion of this critic that given a proper run and a cohesive vision, "Kings" could blossom into something quite good.
Directed by Francis Lawrence ("I am Legend"), the show looks great. The camera work is frenetic when it needs to be (a very tense and brilliant war scene) and at other times elegant. Judging from this initial episode, the two main attractions of this new series are the cinematic aesthetic and McShane. 
I fear that one of two things might happen here: either it will be renewed by the network but then decline in quality, or it will get better with each episode and then get prematurely canceled. Hopefully the quality and ratings will be proportional. 

No comments: