Saturday, June 13, 2009

Kings, "Brotherhood": Cain you help a brother out?

So "Kings" came back tonight, for the start of its Summer Burn-Off Theatre run(*), with a fairly strong episode. Yes, there was a lot of the weaker younger characters, but there was more than enough of McShane, Eamonn Walker, Dylan Baker, Wes Studi and Susanna Thompson to compensate.

(*) And I'll believe they'll air all the remaining episodes when they get done airing them. If the ratings for this are as low as I assume they're going to be, I wouldn't be at all surprised to see "Kings" replaced in a week or two by a weekly "I'm a Celebrity... Get Me Out of Here!" recap show.

But as this is a dead show walking, I can't find it in me to do much more than acknowledge the presence of each episode and move on. Talk about it as much as you like, if you're still watching at this point.

29 comments:

Andrew said...

I really wish this show had worked out. It wasn't perfect, but there was some serious promise in there.

Raz Cunningham said...

i am so, so sad to see this show go. its not that the show is bad, its that the network didn't really know what it had and how best to market it. let the future learn from our mistakes.

Eldritch said...

Raz Cunningham said...
let the future learn from our mistakes
.

The future never learns, my friend.

ngeunit1 said...

It is by far one of my favorite new shows that came out of this past year. I just wished more people liked it as much as I did. I'm happy that Alan still at least mentions it on the blog, thanks for that.

Truth Saying Fact Thrower said...

The future NEVER learns!?

Ummmmm, with all due respect, how many babies have been eaten by dingos lately?

Yeah, exactly.

Frederick said...

Eldritch just got served a Truth Sandwich with extra Truth sauce, and had a Truth Pie for dessert.

Eldritch said...

Ummmmm, with all due respect, how many babies have been eaten by dingos lately?

So you're saying you believe the television networks have learned from their mismarketing of "Kings," and will market unusual programs better in the future?

Dingos, notwithstanding, I'm not convinced yet.

This will be my last comment on this. I'm not interested in flame wars.

Linda said...

NBC did do an awful marketing job on "Kings" but what really frosts me is the network is now about to air a limited-run series on Merlin and King Arthur. If "Kings" didn't work out what makes them think another fantasy -type series will? Unless they think men in tights will do better than men in business suits.

Verification word: calmo

I guess we're back in the Beat Generation.

Anonymous said...

I thought this was a good episode - not the best. Had a great beginning with a lot of ominousness, tension building up. McShane amazing as always. The daughter is approaching Kim territory (from 24) - ridiculously putting herself in danger.
But it still is one of the most well-written, beautifully shot, complexly plotted an strongly acted shows on TV.
Pathetic that NBC fumbled it and isn't trying to make a go of it.

Ted Kerwin said...

Anyone else find them selves saying "Feed him to the Pigs" last night?

Elisif Brandon said...

I really enjoyed last night's episode of Kings. I seem to be the perfect target audience for this show, but one of the few. I love the Shakespeare-like language, I like the hint of soap opera without going too far (it feels more like Shakespearean drama than a soap opera), I love the character David. Ian McShane is wonderful. At first I was skeptical of all the signs and the way he takes that so seriously, but he sells it and it makes everything larger-than-life.

One of the best things about the show (which, I know, was canceled) is the visuals. It looks beautiful in high def, rich colors, beautiful art direction and cinematography, and framing of the shots. The scene in last night's episode at the beginning where Silas has his vision in the woods was beautiful and reminded me of similar scenes in Zhang Yimou's "Hero" with the twirling leaves. I know this show isn't perfect, but such a shame it couldn't get a longer run. I saw that SciFi picked up repeats for a while, but I guess there weren't enough viewers to justify anyone picking it up. Perhaps I'll keep an eye out for whatever the show's creators do next.

Alan Sepinwall said...

Ratings were, predictably, awful, with a 0.3 in the demographic. Don't hold your breath waiting for an episode next week.

Nicole said...

I think Merlin will work better than Kings because having seen it, I can say it's basically Smallville set in Camelot. I actually enjoyed it, and it is BBC so there are quality actors (Anthony Steward Head plays Uther). The tone is far less serious than Kings and it's more likely to get a younger audience, which is what NBC wants anyway.

As for Kings, if NBC doesn't play out the run because of poor ratings, they should release them on Hulu for those of us who did bother watching the episodes when aired. I wonder if there is anyway that a cable network like AMC could pick this up for a second season. It would fit in much better on a channel that airs Mad Men, than one that has The Biggest Loser every other day.

Craig Ranapia said...

NBC did do an awful marketing job on "Kings" but what really frosts me is the network is now about to air a limited-run series on Merlin and King Arthur. If "Kings" didn't work out what makes them think another fantasy -type series will? Unless they think men in tights will do better than men in business suits.

I think the point is more if it doesn't, NBC hasn't sunk an eye-watering amount of money into it. And while I've not been a huge fan of the show (which is currently screening down here in New Zealand) its agreeable enough fluff and certainly easier to swallow than the shark-circling and apparently indestructible 'Smallville'. Though I agree with you that it's a rather odd - and risky - choice for primetime, considering that the BBC pitched this show pretty firmly at the same kind of "family" demographic as Doctor Who and Robin Hood.

Having said that, I do hope its successful. There's a lot of damn fine British television that deserves wider exposure than Masterpiece Theatre.

Henry said...

Pity the show is gone. I think this was the best, most compelling episode of the run so far. Great integration of the religious side with the political and military sides of the show. It wasn't mired in uninteresting subplots and strange character dramatics and dynamics.

Anonymous said...

How many more original episodes are there left to air?

Oaktown Girl said...

Wow - what a nice surprise that you put up a Kings thread, Alan. Thanks. I'm glad I stopped by today.

While Kings isn't the greatest thing to hit TV, it's certainly original and interesting enough for me to make it appointment TV, especially because of the talented cast. My biggest beef is with the David character, whom I find way too goodie-2-shoes to be compelling in any way.

Another killer for this show I think was the pilot episode which moved too slowly and was too understated to capture the attention of a large enough audience for Kings to stand a fighting chance, esp. going up against Sunday powerhouses The Simpsons and Housewives. I know a couple of people (and they aren't lightweight bubble heads) who said they lost interest and didn't make it through the pilot, and of course they never returned to the show. That sort of thing probably happened all across the country.

But if this show ever gets released on dvd, I'm there simply for McShane and the rest of that excellent cast. Oh, and also for the wonderfully original feel and visuals.

Oaktown Girl said...

Almost forgot - thanks for giving us head's up about not being surprised if all the remaining episodes don't air. It gives me a chance to ease into my disappointment as opposed to being suddenly faced with the news and then being really shocked and pissed off.

About last night's episode...

but there was more than enough of McShane, Eamonn Walker, Dylan Baker, Wes Studi and Susanna Thompson to compensate.

Agree 100%. And I'm really having fun with the "signs" and the differences that are shown between a Monarchy and our government.

Off Topic: For days I've been trying to watch the last aired episode of Better Off Ted (which I missed), but can't get the online ABC player to launch. It stalls at 80%, and then gives an error message. Anyone else having problems with that?

fgmerchant said...

I had to catch the show on Hulu since I didn't remember when it was going to air. They definitely should have promoted it more.

Linda said...

I didn't know that "Merlin" was a BBC production; no money spent by NBC on production.

I guess this shows why NBC is in such bad shape. They spend a lot of money on "Kings" and then do a lousy job of promotion and scheduling.

It might be available as a DVD. I realize that I was one of the few who liked "My Own Worst Enemy" and it's out on DVD.

I would also like to see the entire run of "Kings" end up on SciFi or SyFy or whatever the hell it is.

Linda said...

And I would love for Ian McShane to go Al Swearengen on NBC.

Anonymous said...

I almost don't wanna watch any more episodes. Not because the show's bad but because Brotherhood almost felt like an appropriate ending. We didn't exactly get wrap-ups to most of Kings' story arcs but we were given enough to fill in the blanks. God seems to be willing to back Silas' reign again, Silas is able to take out the most dangerous member of the conspiracy, he's beginning to look at David as a son, and the final Jack-David scene suggested the beginnings of a possible detente. So there you go, happy endings for all. Of course, I realize that this is only episode six of thirteen and that the King David story doesn't end well for most of the characters, but I think Ian McShane deserves one happy ending in his career.

Anonymous said...

Wonder if they will do with Kings what they did with Kidnapped (a show I actually liked) and burn it off at 1 AM on saturday nights during the summer. For those of us with Tivo, that would work out just fine.

Nicole said...

I would love it if Ian McShane would get an Emmy nom for this role. There is probably a chance that he could get a Golden Globe since they seem to look outside of the norm, and for the better once in a while. (They were the first to award Mad Men right?)

Craig Ranapia said...

Linda wrote:
I guess this shows why NBC is in such bad shape. They spend a lot of money on "Kings" and then do a lousy job of promotion and scheduling.

I'd agree with you up to a point, though NBC didn't screw the pooch as badly as Fox did with its softcore porno promotion of 'Dollhouse'. But I also think Ron Moore also made a good point in a recent interview that "we are in an atmosphere where everyone is afraid and everyone is focused on week to week rather than the long-term.”

Kings is a far from flawless show, but I respect the ambition and attempt to avoid the standard network tactic of cloning the last big thing and tilling increasingly arid formulas. Not every show worth watching is going to be the TV equivalent of the hundred million dollar opening weekend blockbuster.

Anonymous said...

This is/was a terrible, terrible show. If you are going to recreate Shakespeare, you have to be excellent. A big swing and a miss.

Neena said...

I love this show...it is so original and i will miss it when it's gone.

To the poster who asked how many shows there are left...i believe there are 7 ep's remaining to air. The DVD is available from Amazon.com to pre-order at about $60. It will be released in September.

This was a good ep IMO. This show had so much potential and it's a shame that it wasn't on HBO instead of NBC. Sigh...

BTW - i hope that Alan is wrong and that NBC do actually show the rest of the ep's; despite the low ratings.

Linda said...

Neena - Thanks for letting me know about this. I'll delete this from my DVR and wait to watch the entire series. It has been frustrating trying to watch "Kings" on the erratic schedule NBC has aired it and since it's a goner anyway, my absence can't hurt the ratings.

Oaktown Girl said...

Neena - thanks for the great info about the DVD's. I hope they will have some cast commentary included.

This is/was a terrible, terrible show. If you are going to recreate Shakespeare, you have to be excellent. A big swing and a miss.

Anonymous - Just because some of the scenes and dialog may have been viewed as slightly "Shakespearean" to some people, that is a far, far different thing than trying to "recreate Shakespeare". That was never the goal of this show. I don't know where you ever got that idea.