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I'm using my Katrina Ghent face for this. She was sorely missed in this total stinkbomb of a finale. As usual, the official version is up at Tor.com.

A spoiler-free list of things I wish had been different:

- THE CHARACTERIZATION. The actual, official characterizations were perfectly good. However, every time the show needed a plot twist, someone would get amnesia or aphasia or a concussion and act like an idiot. That's frustrating.

- THE PACE. Let's not just drop things for weeks at a time, yeah? Also, maybe have a through-line with more suspense than "Will the King learn to hate David this week? Again?"

- THE WASTE. Let me get this straight; you have your lead character speak directly with Death - nay, have weirdly romantic tension with her - and you never follow up on that? Oh, Kings. Was Saffron Burrows REALLY so hard to schedule?


A spoiler-free list of things I loved:

- MOST OF THE CAST. Chris Egan and Girl Who Played Michelle can sit down. The rest of you get a round of applause. That was some top-notch acting, guys, don't think I didn't notice! Also, I hope that Susanna Thompson and Ian McShane get to work together again. I loved every time they had a scene together.

- THE MUSIC. Oh man, the music. NBC, I WANT A SOUNDTRACK. I am not kidding around. (The composter of Hannibal scored the pilot. I'm just saying, it's nice stuff.)

- THE PRODUCTION DESIGN. Sometimes you may have been dumber than a sack of hair, but show, you looked good.


I have no hopes that this show will open the doors to better-quality television, or that this show will get picked up, or even that the next random-religious-allegory series will fare better than this one. This show tanked, flat-out. However, I appreciate NBC airing the full season for those of us who wanted to see it.

Now just hand over the soundtrack album and we can forget this whole thing.
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So, Kings this week woke up, rolled over, and was like, "Shit, I'm late to finale!" and shoved three episodes' worth of plot into this week's episode.

Good news: this week's episode was really exciting and featured some good acting! Bad news: we had to wait TEN EPISODES for this.

I wrote it up at Tor.com, and extra thoughts are under the cut as per usual.

David made facial expressions. I KNOW, RIGHT? )
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Oh, KINGS. How can you look so pretty and manage so little?

I review this week's Kings episode, "Javelin," over at Tor.com. Before we jump cut, I just want to point out that Javelin is a reference to a Bible verse I used as a pullquote weeks ago, when I thought that plotline was really revving up. Oh, was I a fool!

Anyway, this week Kings takes to the courtroom. Below the cut, some stuff I didn't mention in my review, none of which is about the Gilboan justice system. (David-based crimes are considered especially heinous. The elite prosecutors who fabricate these crimes are called Jack and Silas.)

CHUNG CHUNG. )
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This is the face I was making all through Kings on Saturday. No longer was this just an example of a show that didn't find its feet fast enough; it was an example of a show run by a pile of fresh produce, except that fresh produce has a better grasp of narrative arc.

When I wrote it up for Tor.com, I realized I didn't even want to waste time with a plot recap, and instead made it a list of Five Things Not to Do in Episodic Television (or Ever). Because for real, when you have a minor character reappear after five episodes and pull a voiceover, nobody wants that, okay? Okay, show?
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My recap of Kings' latest episode, "Pilgrimage," is up at Tor.com. I'm going to need to Photoshop Katrina's face on top of Wes Studi or something in my little K Team icon, I like her that much.

Note: Chris Egan and whoever that disaster is who plays Michelle singlehandedly manage to sink the episode AGAIN, and it's somehow WORSE when they're apart than when they're together, because at least when they're together you know they're not hurting anyone else. This week, it was David and Silas, so poor Ian McShane was having to act for two people, and Michelle managed to get a scene with almost everyone else, and suck equally in all of them. When the Queen and Katrina (or, later, Jack and Katrina) got scenes, I was thrilled. Finally, they're free! For a few blessed minutes, they can act! ACT, my little ones! ACT.

I hope the casting director for this show is properly apologetic about this, because casting those two was a Serious Blunder.
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My recap of last weekend's Kings is up at Tor.com, and I turned up the snark, because this show, for all its promise, has made the same missteps so repeatedly that I can no longer pretend it was just part of a growing narrative.

Firstly, David and Michelle. Apart, they're boring. Together, they're a level of boring that's equivalent to a concussion. And it's not enough that they're infesting the present - they infested the flashbacks!

Spoilers for those who haven't set aside time to watch the David and Michelle Milquetoast Hour. )
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On Tor.com today, I break down Brotherhood, the first of the back seven episodes that NBC is burning off.

There were some absolutely gorgeous moments this episode. They are really not messing around with the cinematography, or the score, both of which were movie-quality. Plus, I'm a total sucker for some symbolism. MORE CANDLES.

However, it seems like in the backlash of the "too little happening" complaints in the first few episodes, they're now offering single-episode plot arcs, which is fine if you want to rid your city of a plague in twelve hours, but a little underinflated when you're trying to establish the terror of a traitor within the King's own circle.

The good news is that David and the king's son are finally, FINALLY not at polar opposites any more, and while I have no illusions about Jack's ability to fuck up almost anything he touches, at least his psychotic ADD attempts at obsessiveness are pointing in a Biblical direction, if you get me, and I think you do.

I've said it before, and I'll say it again: this should have been on HBO. It has no place on a major network, which NBC figured out about three episodes too late.

Cast notes.

1. Uh, Thomasina? You out sick? Thomasina?

2. Oh, Wed Studi.
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Tonight, Kings makes its battered, limping, doomed return to TV! I will be there cheering it on, the way some people stick around to cheer that last runner at the Marathon who rolls in at like, 2AM because they stopped for a Slurpee and a nap. I believe in you, totally doomed show!

"Brotherhood" airs tonight at 8pm on NBC. You should tune in! It's like watching a dodo in the wild.
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Man, I always want to slap an "e" in there. I have to stop myself every time.

This week, Kings hit the gas and delivered a great episode, which I talk about at Tor.com.

Not that it matters, since the show is cancelled so hard it's basically cancelled twice, but it's good to know that the writing team did have a plan for all those intro segments from the first two episodes.

Other notes, including some Katrina Ghent. )
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And I talk about it over at Tor.com. It's the equivalent of me walking up to 30 Rockefeller and slapping an outside pillar with a cotton glove, but at least this way no one can put it on YouTube and get me arrested for assault with a deadly custom.

I am disappointed about the cancellation, since a world populated with slightly-speculative dramas filled with awesome character actors is pretty much my dreamscape. I am also, always, a little surprised when a show with promise gets canceled, because the first time in my youth that happened, with the X-Files, they actually got the big salvage and kept going until they sucked, and then had four more seasons after that. Curse you, formative years, and your beautiful lies about the longevity of offbeat TV series!

However, when I went to saveoneshow.com to put my vote in for Kings, I saw that about a dozen shows were on the block, including ones I thought were pretty popular, like Chuck. Are networks just ousting everybody and putting reality shows in their places?

(For those who want to catch up on Kings but don't like Hulu, the SciFi Channel is airing them all in a row starting at 11pm tonight - the only time slot worse than its current Saturday slot! *sigh*)

Crap.

Apr. 7th, 2009 04:40 pm
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Kings thrown to the Saturday night wolves.

Well, uh, that will be a fun rest-of-the-one-season-it-gets-before-it's-shot.

I guess I'll have to just do finger-puppet recaps straight from the Bible on Tor.com or something. Stupid NBC.
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My recap of "Insurrection" is up at Tor.com.

Additional notes below the cut, for those who haven't Hulued this week yet.

Is it too soon to make Hulu a verb? )
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Since the show has gone three episodes without totally imploding, I will be covering Kings for Tor.com! Expect recap snark, Bible quotes, and pining for Wes Studi.

A quick recap/intro post, “What can he have more but the kingdom?”, is live!


P.S. I'm functionally agnostic and a veteran of Catholic school. Cracking the Bible voluntarily is a scream. 1 Samuel is like, 10% David/Jonathan slash and 90% random people asking where David is because he's hiding from the angry King. (He's usually in nearby caves and/or weeds. Dude's like a game of Duck Hunt.)
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Let's talk Kings. Last night there was an episode. The real title is lame, so we'll just call it, "Nobody Actually Likes Ballet," since it's true, even if whiny Princess Waspmilla seems freaked out by the idea.

The show is getting better…ish, except it still has the magical ability to have 800 things happen and yet nothing moves forward. I really feel like this show is the television equivalent of a those lap-pool spas where you swim in place while the water jets just…push on you. Is it just me?

Also, Queen Rose is pretty much the shit. )

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Genevieve Valentine

September 2010

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