Tuesday, March 22, 2016

Pilot Review: Of Kings and Prophets

Of Kings and Prophets (ABC)
Premiered March 8 at 10pm

It’s rare that I watch a pilot for a show that’s already been cancelled. What that means in this case is that I’m catching up to current television, and being a week and a half behind means that this miserable excuse for a show has already been pulled following its second airing. It’s no surprise to anyone that this show got cancelled so quickly, and there are multiple reasons for that. The first is that period dramas are always a tough sell for television, especially if they don’t air on cable networks. Even “Rome” lasted just two years, partially due to high production costs. The bigger reason is that I can’t imagine anyone, even those who eagerly went to go see “Clash of the Titans” and “Gods of Egypt,” two films whose cinematic child would produce something that looks like this show, was asking for this series to be made. That and it’s absolutely terrible. “Were you not off fighting a lion?” was one of the choice moments of dialogue I wrote down while watching the pilot, which was an unbearable, completely unengaging hour full of unnecessary brutality and inane conversation. All this talk of the Israelites and uniting the tribes is an unpleasant reminder that this is supposed to be based on the Bible, and I can almost guarantee that this is one of the least impressive adaptations of that formidable source for so much literature and cinema. I can’t even really tell you what happened over the course of this pilot, but I do know that I won’t get this hour of my life back.

How will it work as a series? There’s not much more to say, other than that this is a dense show that’s nowhere near as sophisticated as it purports to be or should be. There will be blood, killing, sex, and speeches, all in the name of telling the greater story of David and Goliath.
How long will it last? As noted above, this show has already been cancelled following terrible ratings in its first two outings. Ten episodes were commissioned, leaving eight episodes unaired. Though this show didn’t receive as universally poor reviews as I would have expected, I’m sure that no one is clamoring to see the rest of this show. It’s better forgotten about right away.

Pilot grade: F-

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