Samuel Freedman in the Times Adores Michael Green's NBC Series "Kings"

Not only does Samuel Freedman of the Times adore the NBC Series "Kings" - he also writes a learned column about it, which includes a thoughtful sample of opinion from rabbis and Judaic scholars.

We love this beautiful dramatic epic of a series too and we wish that NBC had kept it in a predictable time-slot, not put it on hiatus, and renewed it for next year.

Here's a quote from the essay, On Religion, "In ‘Kings,’ Television Tackles the Conflicted Saul," by SAMUEL G. FREEDMAN,
Created and written by Michael Green, a writer with a Jewish day-school education and a Stanford degree in religious studies, “Kings” re-imagines the story of Saul and David as the present-day confrontation between Silas Benjamin, ruler of Gilboa, and David Shepherd, a soldier who will supplant him, thanks to the divine blessing conveyed by a minister named Ephram Samuels.

As those handful of names suggest, “Kings” often refers slyly to its source material. The biblical Saul was a member of the tribe of Benjamin, and he was anointed king by the prophet Samuel. David was, of course, a shepherd. And Saul died, falling on his own sword before the Philistine could kill him, on Mount Gilboa.

The resonance of “Kings,” though, goes well beyond that sort of trivial pursuit. As written by Mr. Green and acted by Ian McShane, Silas Benjamin emerges as a complicated, gifted, tormented man, temperamentally close to the biblical character.

Saul accepts anointment reluctantly, battles valiantly, and loses the divine blessing for what are arguably acts of mercy and faith — sparing the life of the defeated Amalekite king, Agag, and saving some of the captured sheep for a sacrifice to God. Only in the aftermath does Saul become the more familiar incarnation, the jealous and treacherous rival to David.

“Saul represents for me a more tragic figure than David,” Mr. Green, 36, said last week in a phone interview, “because he began with God’s favor and he lost it. Saul is the warning to David of what he one day may become, regardless of his better intentions. You can’t understand David without telling Saul’s story in tandem.,,more...”

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