Of Kings and Prophets

TV review by
Melissa Camacho, Common Sense Media
Of Kings and Prophets TV Poster Image
Soapy Bible story drama is racy, over-the-top violent.

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A lot or a little?

The parents' guide to what's in this TV show.

Positive Messages

Judeo-Christian narratives; jealousy, power explored.

Positive Role Models & Representations

Saul is troubled, jealous; Samuel is bitter, David flawed.

Violence

Bloody, savage battles, gruesome killings, floggings.

Sex

Very strong innuendo, simulated sex, silhouettes of naked bodies. Prostitution, concubines. 

Language

"Damn."

Consumerism
Drinking, Drugs & Smoking

Wine, references to drunkenness.  

What parents need to know

Parents need to know that Of Kings And Prophets is a series based on the biblical story of Saul and David. Though drawn from Judeo-Christian themes, it focuses more on drama than faith or spiritual messages. It contains lots of brutal, bloody violence, only some of which is shown in context. It also features racy sex scenes with outlines of naked bodies. There is some drinking (wine) and scenes with prostitutes, and the word "damn" is used.

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What's the story?

OF KINGS AND PROPHETS is a dramatic series based on the Books of Samuel, the biblical First Testament stories about King Saul, the first anointed King of the Israelites, and David, the future king of Israel and Judah. It's 1,000 years before Christ, and Saul (Ray Winstone) is defending the fledgling nation against the violent Philistines with his sons Jonathan (Haaz Sleiman) and Ishbaal (James Floyd) beside him. In an attempt to unite the 12 tribes of Israel and defend his people, Saul and his wife Ahinoam (Somine Kessel) have arranged a marital alliance between his daughter Merav (Jeanine Mason) to a man from the tribe of Judah, much to the excitement of her younger sister Michal (Maisie Richardson-Sellers). But a message from Elohim (God), delivered by the seemingly resentful Prophet Samuel (Mohammad Bakri), sends Saul into battle to destroy the Amalekites to test his faith. Meanwhile, a young and sometimes foolhardy shepherd from Bethlehem named David (Olly Rix) seeks to avoid being flogged and having his father's debts forgiven by using a sling shot to kill the lion that is attacking the local sheep. Their worlds soon collide, and Saul soon realizes that David poses a bigger threat to his rule than any of his enemies.

Is it any good?

The series relies on the biblical stories drawn from ancient religious texts and uses lots of show biz style to create a melodramatic chronicle of one of the most significant periods in Jewish history. Fueling the drama is its suggestion of espionage, personal vendettas, and other events, as well as savage violence. The sexual exploits featured throughout also give it a soap opera-like quality and sometimes push the boundaries of network television.

It's meant to be more entertaining than accurate and isn't driven by the spiritual lessons. You don't need much (if any) knowledge of the Bible to follow the sequence of events, but folks familiar with the story of David and Goliath and related narratives will have an easier time with it. Nonetheless, chances are that faith-driven viewers will cringe at, if not be offended by, this televised interpretation.

Talk to your kids about ...

  • Families can talk about the adaptation of stories from the Bible and other religious-themed texts for TV and movies. What are some of the more famous TV and film adaptations to date? What makes them interesting? How can these stories be interpreted without being disrespectful to those communities who consider them sacred?

  • Compare the stories told in this series to their actual Bible counterparts. Why do you think they made the changes they did? 

TV details

For kids who love drama

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