You know what? I enjoyed Avatar. I might never see it again, I wasn't particularly emotionally invested in any of the characters. Sigourney Weaver, who I have always held in high regard, was underwhelming, if typically cool, but that her role was a pure amalgamation of her two most famous (Alien & Gorillas In The Midst) I found strange to say the least. Rah though. It was pretty flippin' spectacular. I got kick out of the flying dinosaur scenes. The forest was gorgeous. It made me think about going on adventures. It reminded me of a time when the future mapped out in my head was all unmapped oceans and vast bleeding skies and flourecent jungles and thrilling, endless adventure.
Not bad for a movie, right? Not bad. But never mind that. Because we have been watching KINGS, and for sheer thrills, spectacle and wonder, KINGS kicks shit out of Avatar.
KINGS is an American TV show, and it is amazing on a number of levels. It is gorgeous, super-cinematic, brilliantly executed High Concept. Man, I love me some brilliantly executed High Concept. My old band had a song called Aliens VS Rudeboys VS Dinosaurs VS Apes In Space. Mothboy produced it. It was about a massive fight between aliens and rudeboys and dinosaurs and apes. IN SPACE.
Anyway. KINGS. Ian McShane plays the mighty King Silas, an analogue of the Biblical King Saul, ruling over a contemporary fucking kingdom, living in fear and defiance of a literal, Thunderbolt wielding Skygod... his brother-in-law plots his downfall along with the tortured, closeted prince, while endearingly naive farm boy David takes out a tank called Goliath with a hand grenade and becomes a national hero, threatening the absolute rule of the monarchy with his very existence. IT IS THAT LITERAL. Oh, sweet Baby Jesus, it is awesome. McShane is as good as he was in Deadwood, and if the rest of rest of the cast more than keep their end up, making magic of the uncommonly Shakespearean scripts.
Indeed, the dialogue is unflinchingly poetic. The pacing is immaculate. The sets are glorious. The thing looks not a penny cheaper than the $4 million it cost per episode, and over the show's thirteen episdoes the story builds with a truly dramatic, feverish intensity I have not seen in television since Oz. It should have been on HBO, but it was, unfortunately, birthed on NBC. Naturally, the network missold it as a Sci-fi show, it failed to find it's audience, and it was cancelled after one glorious, note-perfect series.
Never mind though. You can watch the whole thing online over here, and you can get The DVD for 25 quid. As for the mighty McShane, he's starring in a TV adaption of The Pillars Of Earth, an historical fiction set in England during the period known as The Anarchy, AKA Angelstrike... For McShane alone, it is the only TV show I am even remotely looking forward to. I need more McShane. I am even considering downloading old episodes of Lovejoy, an eighties BBC TV sundaydrama in which he played a randy antiques dealer, which I never saw as we didn't have a TV at the time. Ufck it, dude's a genius.