Monday, March 07, 2016

Review of "Of Kings and Prophets"

TELEVISION: TV Review: ‘Of Kings and Prophets’ (Maureen Ryan, Variety).
“What if David of David and Goliath fame was a hottie?” There’s no way of telling whether that was part of the pitch for “Of Kings and Prophets,” but there’s no doubt that the series hews to rules that govern many ABC dramas: There must be a hurtling sense of momentum, there must be attractive people engaging in secret hookups, and the narrative should feature a lot of fast-paced intrigue, double-dealing and deception.

This does not sound particularly untrue to the David narrative to me, but the reviewer is unimpressed:
To be clear, the idea of dramatic biblical destinies playing out among feuding Lannister-esque clans is a good one on paper (or parchment, or scrolls or what have you). Unfortunately, the pell-mell way that “Of Kings and Prophets” tries to shove the tribes and their enemies into the confines of a broadcast network drama results in a scattered, superficial narrative that doesn’t gain much traction. Despite the efforts of the varied cast and the show’s directors, who come up with some memorable visuals, those looking for either biblical education or soapy thrills are likely to end up praying for deliverance.
Ms Ryan does not see much of a future for the series:
Speaking of prophecy, it’s not difficult to foresee the fate of this mishmash of sword-and-sandals epics and sexy nighttime soaps. Given that it was commissioned by ABC’s previous king — er, entertainment president — and given that, under the new regime, the drama is getting a half-hearted midseason rollout, the destiny of this drama seems clear. ABC was to be commended for trying something far afield of the usual doctor-lawyer-cop formulas, but this dark inversion of the myth-driven ABC show “Once Upon a Time” just doesn’t fulfill its potential. All portents point toward doom.
Background here and links. The series premiers tomorrow.