Of Kings and Prophets (TV Series 2016) Poster

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Another historical show that people who don't know history will refute.
nzizo13 March 2016
I've watched the first episode and I feel that ABC has recreated the time period accurately, if not the exact historical events. The series is based on the book of Samuel, written hundreds of years ago. As a historian I accept the Bible as both a book of faith and a book of history. Written history is not always as accurate as we would like it to be. As a military historian who has studied this period of time for nearly 40 years I can say that the series recreates the historical background fairly accurately. I watched the show more to see that than anything else. The weapons, warfare, and results are accurate. Warfare in the period was a brutal, gruesome affair, pitting warrior against warrior in a one on one contest. When a warrior won, he searched for someone else to fight. When he tired, he rested, then when back to the battle. Wounds were gruesome and often fatal. In attacks on towns and cities, whole populations were often slaughtered. When we think of Bible characters we expect them to be more pure of heart. The series shows a different side, one many people didn't expect.

In contrast to one review, the costumes are pretty accurate. I paint military figures as a hobby, so I know. I suggest the reviewer pick up a book on uniforms of the period from Osprey publishing as proof. The sets are accurate as well. The episode was less the biblical depiction people expect and more like the movie Braveheart (there are inaccuracies in that one as well but the historical backdrop is accurate).

I thought the acting was appropriate for the story, and I don't mind the accents. If the show used historical language as Gibson's movie about Jesus did, then we would have to have subtitles. I don't think people want to watch a T.V. show with subtitles through the entire series.

I think the level of violence is a little high, especially for children, but it is not on the level of the TV series Rome or Spartacus. I do not recommend this for children below high school level.
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Promising ! don't listen to the 1 star reviews read on to find out why
ajaycoach10 March 2016
This is a very promising series and i read other peoples reviews first and watched it to gauge an opinion myself and see if there was any truth in what has been said.I would say DO NOT listen to half of the reviewers here as they shouldn't even be allowed to review.

One reviewer spends half of his review complaining about Obama being elected president ... that's right its Obama's fault he didn't like it and then goes on to complain that other shows were pulled but not this one so because his show got pulled and he hates Obama he gave it a 1 star! hardly a reason to 1 star something haha

Others are complaining because there are European actors in it.. what did you want a full cast of Americans with an American accent instead of English accents? I get that they could have given them more of a local to the region accent and its something that does annoy me too but when you put it into perspective you don't see them complaining at Game of Thrones in which 99 percent are full English accents .. I don't see anyone 1 starring that and that is set over a made up planet but yet they all speak English accents whats next are you going to 1 star the walking dead because apparently immigrants weren't allowed to survive as there's only American accents ? haha

And not historically correct ? are you kidding me ? of course its fantasy ! Do you honestly think that all that actually happened? and you are judging it by your belief that it definitely happened ? unbelievable.Its loosely based with a lot of fantasy so stop nitpicking.

The majority of shows are not accent specific so that's a poor reason to nitpick this show and so is bringing up Obama ... seriously 1 star for that haha

I enjoyed the pilot, it was solid and enjoyable and you could see that it will get better! definitely give it a try !
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First episode: promising start
restuart-9747812 March 2016
Warning: Spoilers
Casting: I'm not overly impressed with Winstone's (Saul) acting, but in general the acting is good, particularly given how much plot needed to be set up in an hour (and expositions are nearly always more boring). I was pleased to see how many of the actors were not, in fact, white-- unlike so many productions of Biblical stories--yet several of the major characters, including both kings, are played by white actors. It'd be nice to see the race that would have been a minority at the time be a minority among the extras rather than the royalty.

Unto the people complaining about the inaccuracy of the accents: frankly, I don't know what you actually wanted to see instead. We have no idea what accents the Israelites would have had. Scholars can't even agree on how to pronounce the Hebrew alphabet, much less the vowels that don't actually appear in manuscripts until about two thousand years after these events took place. Unless you would rather this entire show be recorded in modern Hebrew (which is just as historically inaccurate, incidentally), with subtitles, I'm not sure what qualifies as "accurate accents." It's a British production. They have British accents. They even pronounced half of the names more accurately than usual, aside from Saul's and David's (Merav, Mattiyahu--sidebar: theophoric names were not actually common at this time, but this would be an accurate form, etc.)

Writing/Characterization: As I mentioned, this is a lot of exposition to cover in a single episode. Evidently the show is primarily about David, rather than Saul, as the show jumps into the books of Samuel one chapter before David first appears, meaning we lose all of the backstory on Samuel, Saul, and Saul's family prior to this point. That said, the writers did a decent job setting up the characters. Samuel is curmudgeonly, as he is in most of the story (aside from his childhood narratives). Saul is conflicted and trying (not very successfully) to balance military needs with diplomatic needs. David is young and perhaps somewhat brash, but with a good heart.

It's nice to see these characters as humanized for once. The Sunday school version of this story paints Samuel as the perfect prophet, David as the humble hero, and Saul as the total villain, but this is hardly the picture the Biblical story actually paints. All of these characters have flaws and virtues and they do great things and they fail, like every human being. Even God is at times somewhat humanized as a character in the books of Samuel. But it is the completeness of David's character and his utter humanity in this story that have made him such a captivating figure for millennia, and it is nice to see hints that that is the story being portrayed in this series.

The women are more vocal than in the Biblical story, but that is necessary. Most of the women in the Bible are not given a complete characterization, so writers of adaptations like this have to take liberties. And indeed they have, but perhaps plausibly so: the women are most vocal when together without men present, and their political power comes from marriage and espionage, both of which are likely true. Additionally, their sexuality is more modernized, which may be somewhat inaccurate, but helps modern viewers enter the story. Never mind that, regardless of what the actual rules were regarding pre-marital sex, there are always people who break those rules--probably not princesses, but the point stands.

Gratuitous sex & violence?: I don't see it. Everyone is comparing this to Game of Thrones, but the sex and violence part doesn't seem excessive the way it definitely does in Game of Thrones. The atmosphere of the show is definitely GoT-esque, but a) the sex and violence are clearly there in the source material (which, to be fair, they also are for GoT), b) the sex is generally tasteful, if of modern sensibility and sometimes not present in the actual source story (see above), and c) the violence is not excessive (though of course, we haven't yet seen extensive battles).

Use of source material: People used to the Sunday school version of this story may be somewhat troubled to find that the plot and characterization does not altogether match what they know of David and Saul. And indeed, certain liberties are taken with the story, such as David's face-off with the lion, which happens before any of his three introductory stories within the books of Samuel. Speaking of which, the beginning of his story is somewhat unclear--the show acknowledges his shepherd origins, and the episode ends with him playing his harp for Saul, but he has not yet been anointed by Samuel. This is out of order of the Biblical story.

However, given that David is introduced three separate times in Samuel (at the anointing, at his harp-playing--which doesn't reference the anointing--and then at his duel with Goliath), all this is a bit nit-picky. In general, the characterizations in the show are quite promisingly faithful to the source, as I've mentioned before. It remains to be seen how many liberties are taken with the plot. I would have liked to see more directly taken from the Biblical story in this episode, but my guess is that the need for character exposition drove the invented stories more than disregard for source material.

Summary: All in all, a promising start for Of Kings and Prophets. It is perhaps not what you may have expected, based on what you know of the story from synagogue or church, but the intent seems to be to remain faithful to the story in all its dramatic flair. That both Saul and David are played by white actors is not ideal, but far more of the faces you see than usual in these British-accent Bible movies/shows are people of color, which is a nice change.
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Fantastic - Way under rated
pulp_fiction-3804113 April 2016
This is a fantastic show, Full of drama and action.

Don't know why it was rated so low when it really packs a punch.

If you can find it give it a watch as it is a quality show.

Shame ABC cancelled it as it is up there with Vikings IMO.

Hard to think Zena had so many seasons when this is 100000X better hope someone buys the rights to continue it.

What more to say I am gutted that it wont continue.

Poor David Please let this not be the end! I am not even religious and I loved it so much! Give it a shot you wont be disappointed.

FInal line to make it ten ;)
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Underrated Epic well compare to Viking
surfisfun1 March 2017
I don't know if this epic series about David (1000bc) is accurate to the bible or not, who cares? This is fantasy and action adventures drama / historical story, and you absolutely don't need to be religious or Hebrew to enjoy this well made series. lots of actors and extras, bloody when required, I now am watching the 3rd episode and I had to stop and write a favorable review so hopefully you don't pass it over . the effect design for the city backdrop is classy, this is not a cheap production and writing is solid so far. I red it was canceled and I hope it get pick up and continued as it is not often we get decent series with an epic feeling. I would rate this 8.4 to 9.3 , its that decent and well written. actors do there job. cheers!!!
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Some one dropped the ball here and it wasn't King of Prophets.
jay-9562118 May 2016
Simply put this show is fantastic! It's not 100% accurate. SO WHAT? BIG DEAL! Whats with these reviews? Stick with the book then you old fuddies. Two episodes and I'm hooked...I want more! Someone needs to grow a set grab this show and run with it I say. What kind of fisherman drives 100 miles to a river hole wets the line twice packs up and leaves? Seriously look at your hand...now smack yourself. I can honestly say I knew zip zilch nada about this show what's that mean? Advertisement failure. I happened upon it wandering aimlessly(you should try this sometime, it gets you places)and pow on demand which is how I like it *wink nudge to the aforementioned offenders Episode two like a gold nugget held my attention for 43 min And had me looking for the record button afterwards. What happens now? Who knows maybe another positive reflection will help at any rate my hats off to you guys GREAT SHOW!
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abc finally got it right
chrisdye-926539 March 2016
OK so saw the premiere of this show last night and gotta say it was pretty extrordinary myself filled with suspense and action packed i really don't get where the complaints about sexual content are coming from it showed one strong scene which was very short lived and it did show the chick getting in to her bath but why the big uproar i have seen worse in most abc dramas in two seconds then in this full hour i l also loved how the plot was pretty fast paced with action drama or suspense everywhere u look just a awesome show abc has created a drama about more than just sex bravo abc will be tuning in faithfully to this one every week for more pieces to the story
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Here we Go Again
alwilliams-897209 March 2016
So Saul is a viking now? I'm starting to think there's no coincidence in the Europe invasion in Hollywood. In the last couple of years every attempt of making a movie based on historical African/ middle eastern culture and religion, I have to not only endure Hollywood's casting of European actors, but their accents as well. Not even attempting to sound authentic. Rather it be Egyptian, Hebrew Israelite, etc... It's like Denzel Washington being cast as Julius Caesar and spoke with American dialect and accent. It would be a distraction to all that watched. The same with these. It's a distraction. It's too much historical and cultural information on the web and many people seeing it for what it is. Cultural and historical awareness is being excepted and Hollywood is not keeping up. Like Exodust: Gods of and Kings and Gods of Egypt, Hollywood will soon come to an understanding that not getting the return on the millions invested in these films and TV shows are do directly to the deliberate misrepresentation of historical and cultural practices in these productions. You're not fooling anyone anymore.
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Very exciting and also educational series
me-229925 April 2017
What a shame the show was cancelled. What on earth were ABC thinking, they should have let it run for a few more episodes, Im sure once people had, had the chance to relate to and become involved with the characters, word would have spread and many more watch the show.

Very disappointed that it ended with just the first out of what should have been several seasons.
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More phony history and bad acting
NanoFrog9 March 2016
Right off the bat, the screen fills with gratuitous, slow-motion, detailed violence. Right off the bat the clothing is wrong, the sets are wrong, the weapons are wrong and the acting is very British. This series comes across as a lower budget Zena knock-off. Yet it pretends to be about actual history. Featuring a cast of mixed accents, mixed bloodlines and short all the way around on talent, we are watching yet another cartoon posturing as historical drama. Though I love historical drama, this one not so much. I can't imagine where the idea for this series originated. Is it meant to imitate Marvel Comics, producing a more greasy version of pre-historic super heroes? Is it hoping to be a "Game Of Thrones" companion? If so, it does not have the cast, direction, photography or writing of that great show. The principal actors, such as the laughable "King Saul" are just so out of place, it is easy to imagine everyone involved in this series was drunk on cheap wine once the filming started. I clenched my teeth and watched until the end. When it was over there was not a single scene that stayed in my memory. I predict this "new" series will not finish its first season. Why film and TV studios want o create and film fantasies and play acting and pretend they are somehow based upon real history is the mystery behind this series. The only element in the filming they craft carefully is the fighting; and that is to make it bloody, detailed and in slow motion. I would have liked to enjoy this series. I was prepared to like it but in the end there is nothing here. I found not a single actor who stood out or even seemed to know their lines very well. The most depressing aspect is the costumes; laughable at best and really just terrible if you have any eye for detail. Once again the actual, beautiful and powerful and fascinating history of the ancient world is made into a cheap comic episode, presented by the same writers and film-makers that have brought you 100 equally terrible and flawed "historical" dramas in years past.
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Not bad, Worth Watching. Not totally Biblically Correct.
KATO-SUBZERO9 March 2016
Warning: Spoilers
Tuesday, 8 March 2016: Actor, Ray Winstone is good as Saul and the actor, Olly Rix playing young David is also good. However my first problem that I have with this and other Biblical based movies or television mini series is that these Biblical stories are all from the Old Testament Bible, which is All about Jews in Israel and Egyptian etc...

Why is that every time a movie or t.v show is made about Bible history there aren't any real life Israeli Jewish or American Jewish actors/actresses in the lead roles? King Saul was an Israelite Jew, David was an Israelite Jew and so were many of the others, so why is it that we always see English and Austrailian actors/actresses in the main protagonist roles? It is seems funny listening to King Saul with an English accent and the rest of the cast. At least the actors/actresses could have learned to do an Israeli accent to better fit the roles. A good example is talented African Black American actor, Don Cheadle in the movie "Ocean's 13". He is not from England. He grew up in Denver, but he did his best to dub an English accent.

When I watched the film that I call "Exodus, false gods and Kings" starring Christian Bale and Joel Edgerton in the key leading roles, I wondered why are these roles are not being played by Jewish actors.

There are lots of talented Israeli Jewish actors and American Jewish actors to play the main roles. Pretty Israeli actresses, Gal Gadot, Adi Ashkenazi, Iris Bahr, Ayelet Zurer and Natalie Portman to name a few who could have been cast in some key roles. One good thing is that at least there is a Jewish director, Jeff Nachmanoff on board.

I know no one is perfect, but the Holy Spirit of God and Jesus Yeshua and lots of sins were committed back in the day, but to be true to the story, we should not show love making before marriage as we see between King Saul's oldest daughter and her soon to be husband. The exterior setting was wonderful and it looked like old Israel. Overall, I thought it was worth watching and I will see future episodes.
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gabriellewatson25 April 2020
This is a fantastic series, I have no idea how it ended up with such a bad rating when the story is a true and incredibly performed by all the actors, the costumes are brilliant, camera work is excellent.

They should make a second season without abc it seems that these TV stations like to pull alot of fantastic christian dramas like A.D kingdom and empire for example.
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Quite accurate
nike-desmet22 December 2018
Warning: Spoilers
I'd say that the overall story is quite accurate. I have read the biblical story a few times and yes there are inaccuracies, but it's very educational and entertaining. I hope we don't have to wait to long for te second season.
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Lame and Boring
tvturntup17 March 2016
Trying too hard at producing a high budget, high quality "fantasy" TV series.. I only refer to it as "fantasy" as it compares itself and attempts to compete with high quality authentic fantasy/history shows such as Shannara, Game of Thrones, Vikings. Unfortunately it fails Its boring, and predictable overall plot nor is it interesting or suspenseful. It is not an accurate depiction of the Bible either. It is not particularly necessary to follow the script of the Bible in order to be successful nor is it a deal breaker for me. It just fails overall. Boring. Boring. Lame. Lame. IMDb rates it 6/10 for a reason. With only 2 episodes released so far, it is only going to get more and more suck suck garbage garbage. That is all. Thank you.
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How ridiculously inaccurate
pillybee15 March 2016
Women would not be seen or heard, not running around in red dresses and flashing their bodies everywhere they would have been stoned to death as harlots.They had no voice in politics or anything else, and they still don't. This is so American Hollywood Rubbish. The inaccuracy is beyond believe, the characters cast unbelievable and very predictable. The hero with is funny side kick, the princess falling in love with the Hero. As always Hollywood is obsessed with pretend sex scenes which have no relationship to the story. The hero goes out to kill a lion with absolute no weapons, well you know he is going to kill it before he even gets there. I could go on and on with mistakes and predictability why bother I won't watch another episode.
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So we have another total failure
christiank79 March 2016
Warning: Spoilers
I do not really care that the history is not accurate when the history of that period is already a load of rewritten 5th hand tell me down horse manure. I do not care that the acting - so English - is god awful, I do not care that the script is so kitch that even my cat started to crawl out of the room and I do not care that the public may even like it, Lets face it people, the public also voted for OBAMA who is beyond doubt the single worst president ever. What I do care about is the fact that because this piece of chicken offal was granted money many other productions were canned. That is a disgrace. Who is responsible for allowing this stuff to be given a single penny. I do sincerely hope it had no taxpyers money in it. Might be better if they just pull the show before it gets to the next episode. PLEASE ABC - get a grip, get some dignity and stop this horrible and pathetic show. PS Is there a possibility that we demand a stop?

i suppose not but I wish there was.
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