Wednesday, March 18, 2009

"Kings", NBC & the Bible

Just when you might have thought that religion was dead or dying in America NBC has chosen to make one of its biggest shows since "West Wing" based not on contemporary American politics, but on the story of Saul and David beginning in the Bible at 1 Samuel. Granted, in NBC's new Drama "Kings" they have changed Saul's name to "Silas", but David's remains the same. And the show does not take place in the pre-history of Israel but in what looks like Manhattan and North America, minus any branding that would make a direct connection to our culture.

Be forewarned, however, this is not a Hallmark Family Special. It is presented as grittily as the times in which David and Saul lived with all the political intrigue, sex, lust, and power presented if not explicitly in the Bible then certainly implied in Holy Writ. So I don't know if this is a recommendation or merely a WOW that a major network has taken a story from the Old Testament as the subtext for a major investment of time and money. It should be interesting over the next twelve weeks of this Season One of "Kings" to see how closely and how far apart the story on the small screen parallels and diverges wildly from what is laid out in the Bible.

But for all those who wonder where religion in America is going, you have to be a little curious that such a foundational story of the Bible is being presented with so much thought and energy by one of the Big Three TV Networks.

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