Of Kings and Prophets


Kings is a sexualized version of the book of Samuel.

By Mumbua Nzula Nzyoka

“Of Kings and Prophets” which I shall call ‘Kings’, is the story of David like you have never seen it before – historical but with a lot of sex. In fact, in the first episode *Spoiler* Rizpah makes Saul’s ‘soldier’ very ‘happy’ before he goes out to kill the Amalekites. (I shall not elaborate on the word happy any further but deduce what you can).

Kings begins 1000 years before Christ. King Saul is trying to unify the 12 tribes of Israel to build a greater force with which to fight his enemies. The union with the tribe of Judea depends on his daughter’s marriage. Before the marriage can go on, Saul needs God’s blessing. So he goes to Samuel, who orders him to kill the Amalekites before he can receive the blessing. When Saul defies Samuel’s orders and by extension God’s, Samuel warns Saul that the Lord will take away his kingdom. Anyone who has read the bible knows that David is destined to take his place.

The story of David is well-known and has been adapted numerously. The adaptations include “David and Goliath” (1960) starring Orson Welles, “King David” (1985) starring Richard Gere, “David” (1997) starring Nathaniel Parker and an NBC adaptation called “Kings” (2009) which was cancelled after one season. (Look for it online. It was a great show.)

With this in mind, when it comes to biblical adaptations, it is always a good idea to start watching it without any expectations especially when the same story has been adapted so many times that the show runners have to find a new way of telling the same story. In most cases, the story is retold by applying a figurative interpretation of the Bible. In Kings, to call it a figurative interpretation is a stretch. I went to Sunday school, and I have read the Bible but at no point did I ever think that Saul’s daughters were that, uh, flirty. I also don’t think David and Saul or anyone else for that matter spoke in a British accent. But that might just be me.

However, the show’s biggest problem is its aspirations of becoming “Game of Thrones”. I have said this before, and I will say it again, it is never a good idea to compare your show to another popular and successful show. It never works out the way you want it to. While promoting Kings the producers kept calling “Of Kings and Prophets” ABC’s version of “Game of Thrones,” that was a bad idea. It would have been better if they just called it a biblical epic and let the audience decide for themselves whether it was anything like “Game of Thrones.” After watching the first episode, I can assure you that kings is not anything like the former. GoT, even with all its faults is still well written, extremely ambitious and does not shy away from taking extreme measures. (I would like to refer you to Season 3 Episode 9 ‘The Rains of Castamere’ or the most recent Season 5 Episode 9 ‘Hardhome’.) The same cannot be said of Kings, but that comes as no surprise since this is the same network that gave us “Shadowhunters.”

In summary, Kings is sexualized version of David’s rise to power. How biblical it is, depends on your interpretation. One thing is clear, it is not a relative of “Game of Thrones”.

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