Read Before Watching: March 16th

SPOTLIGHT: KINGS
I was prepared to dislike Kings, I really was. Usually, if a show gets universal praise and is instantly loved, especially prior to any episodes even airing, I’m resistant to giving it a chance. Call it a character flaw. So, it was with considerable reluctance that I watched the premiere episode. What did I think? Well, without an ounce of hyperbole or even the smallest amount of exaggeration, I would say Kings is the best series on television right now. Yes, after just one episode, it is that good. The story is a modern day retelling of the Biblical story of King David, yes he of David and Goliath fame. It’s probably more accurate to say “loosely based”, but all the major players are there, even if some are renamed somewhat. The setting has been updated to a contemporary alternate version of the United States. That pitch right there made me go “meh” at first, I freely admit. There’s also the problem of a very familiar story; even if you’ve never been to Sunday School, you pretty much know how it’s going to play out. That should in no way deter you from watching this extraordinary show.

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I first saw Ian McShane in an episode of Space:1999 many, many years ago, but really came to appreciate him as an actor in the highly acclaimed (and much missed) series Lovejoy. My appreciation for his work has only increased in leaps and bounds over the years. I thought that his role as Al Swearengen in Deadwood would be his crowning achievement, but his portrayal here of King Silas trumps that. He handles every scene flawlessly, even when he’s silently reacting to another character. All the other actors all bring their best to this as well, in particular, and most surprisingly, Christopher Egan as David. Egan plays David as a very naive boy who only wants to see good in the world and doesn’t yearn for nor want power. But you can see flashes of the leader he is destined to be as the story progresses and in Egan’s performance. That should be enough prompting right there to get you to watch the premiere on NBC.com and then tune in every Sunday at 8:00 PM to watch this magnificent tale unfold.

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RUNNER-UP:

Castle
This is another show I wasn’t too sure of, but knew I would be checking out just based on the fact that it stars Nathan Fillion. I’m pleased to say that it turned out way better than I expected. True, it’s another procedural show, but any series with a literary bent is ok in my book. This one airs on ABC Mondays at 10:00 PM, so it won’t interfere with you catching Chuck and Heroes, which are on a break this week anyway. Castle has been firmly added to the “watch” list.

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THE REST OF THE WEEK
The Mentalist is back after a month hiatus and is now on Tuesdays at 9:00PM on CBS. Lie To Me (when it actually is on) is now airing on Wednesdays at 8:00PM on Fox, which means it is now no longer up against the second best show, ABC’s Lost, which airs an hour later on ABC. Ok, Dollhouse definitely improved last week so, as long as it maintains at least this level of quality or better, I’m in for the rest of the season. It airs on Fox Fridays at 9:00PM, however this week you’re going to want to DVR it. Friday at 9:00PM on SCI FI (soon to be SyFy) airs the final two hours of Battlestar Galactica. I’m still saying it isn’t going to end well, but end it will. Check back next week for my wrap-up of the entire series.

That’s it for this week. See you Sunday for another look at what I’ll be watching next week.