Monday, March 16, 2009

KINGS, again

A post about KINGS I found on Defamer. Contrary to me earlier derogatory post, I guess I kind of agree with this. I at least admire the show for being ambitious, even if it is misguided, heavy-handed and in places very poorly executed.

"If you felt a rush of orange light, pretty boys and butterflies last night, it wasn't spring knocking at your door. It was NBC's Kings, which despite its turgid premiere is a show worth saving.

For all of its pomp, circumstance, and instances of silly dialogue, it was a strangely enjoyable and beguiling two hours of pseudo-religious Bible retelling.

It's the story of King David, who defeated Goliath in battle and rose to precarious prominence in a kingdom where the rightful heir to the throne was a mincing gay fop named Jonathan. Jon is Jack in this reimagining, David is, well, David, a tawny farm boy who rescues Jack in battle by standing up to one of the enemy's Goliath tanks. He's celebrated as a hero by the people, and used as a pro-military PR tool by the scheming, conflicted King Silas (the terrific, scenery-devouring Ian McShane). So David heads to the capital city, Shiloh (a thinly-disguised New York—the Time Warner Center features prominently), and wide-eyes his way through all the fanfare—falling for the lovely politically-minded princess, enraging the jealous prince, and eventually staging a dramatic, gorgeously staged truce between his kingdom, Gilboa, and their bitter enemies, Gath.

The production values were outta sight (though, I doubt NBC can sustain that), the acting was solid (especially McShane and Susanna Thompson as his icy bride), and the whole alternate-reality conceit was respectably ambitious for network television. It's sort of a more Earth-bound, less intelligent Battlestar Galactica, with all its talk of religion and scheming, souring political machinations. Plus the people are pretty, swathed as they are in lush cinematography and slo-mo sequences of warfare and crown-bestowing butterflies.

The all-important gay stuff is causing quite a stir. You see, Prince Jack is both a lazy nogoodnik and a homosexualist, as we discover when he is viciously outed to us by his shamed papa (see clip). And isn't it a bit regressive and cruel to paint the only gay character as a jealous, petty, sneaky, cowardly little whiner? Plus, David and Jonathan totally did it in the Bible (see items 10-14), so why can't the show be true to that?

So it's a shame that a paltry six million people tuned in last night. Let's hope that NBC gives it a few more chances. We need shows that are this original and ambitious—as Battlestar winds down, as Lost plans to leave us in a year's time—even if they're a bit overheated and laughably melodramatic at times (see the Butterfly Crowning, all the way up top). I suggest you give it a watch."

Nicolas Cage on Knowing

Nicolas Cage promoting his new movie KNOWING on Ryan Seacrest this morning.

RYAN: So, Nic, what do you think your best role to date has been?

NIC CAGE: You know Ryan, I really think it's this roll in Knowing. It's just really relevant.

I hate Nic Cage.


The alchemist knew the legend of Narcissus, a youth who daily knelt beside a lake to contemplate his own beauty. He was so fascinated by himself that, one morning, he fell into the lake and drowned.

At the spot where he fell, a flower was born, which was called the narcissus. But this was not how the author of the book ended the story. He said that when Narcissus died, the Goddesses of the Forest appeared and found the lake, which had been fresh water, transformed into a lake of salty tears.

"Why do you weep?" the Goddesses asked.

"I weep for Narcissus," the lake replied.

"Ah, it is no surprise that you weep for Narcissus," they said, "for though we always pursued him in the forest, you alone could contemplate his beauty close at hand."

"But..... was Narcissus beautiful?" the lake asked.

"Who better than you to know that?" the Goddesses said in wonder, "After all, it was by your banks that he knelt each day to contemplate himself!!"

The lake was silent for some time. Finally it said:

"I weep for Narcissus, but I never noticed that Narcissus was beautiful. I weep because, each time he knelt beside my banks, I could see, in the depths of his eyes, my own beauty reflected."


I had really high expectations for this show and man were they crushed last night.

"If you want to be king you can't be as God made you!"

There were a million awful scenes and shit that just didn't make sense, and I think it fitting that the pilot concluded with the worst scene of all - a crown of butterflies on Chris Egan's head.