• Network: NBC
  • Series Premiere Date: Mar 15, 2009
Metascore
58

Mixed or average reviews - based on 27 Critics

Critic score distribution:
  1. Positive: 11 out of 27
  2. Negative: 4 out of 27

Where To Watch

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Critic Reviews

  1. So far, that universe is pleasingly treacherous, though not ?wholly formed, a work in progress that's worth seeing through to completion.
  2. 80
    The dialogue is just so artful and poetic, the characters are so appealing, the whole damn package is so original and daring and lovely, that after watching the first four hours, it's impossible not to feel inspired and cheered by the fact that a drama this ambitious and unique could make it onto network TV.
  3. 75
    Happily, this generally well-told tale of a modern-day king and his restive court has more going for it than a charismatic performance from the dependably wonderful “Deadwood” star.
  4. 75
    The show sparkles with imagination. But Kings may be too campy for some, not campy enough for others.
  5. Reviewed by: Verne Gay
    75
    Kings is a worthy enterprise that will deeply puzzle millions of viewers.
  6. 70
    Kings does dip in and out of predictability, when familiar Spelling soap operatics and political machinations break through the show's unique surface. But it still is a fascinating effort.
  7. NBC, which could have ripped off yet another "reality" show for 8 p.m. Sundays, instead bought into something imaginative and intriguing and, yes, a little crazy.
  8. Kings begins with a refined approach and grows more pedestrian in subsequent episodes. Still, there's plenty to love about this series that dances with symbolism--the butterfly on the Gilboa flag is not a mere adornment--and replaces clandestine backrooms with windowed board rooms.
  9. 70
    Combing broad strokes and detailed color on an extensive canvas, Kings makes the rewards and costs of ambition plain for all to see.
  10. Reviewed by: James Poniewozik
    67
    Kings is fascinating pretentious hoo-ha.
  11. 63
    Kings is a mess, but for a few weeks, anyway, it promises to be a fun, fascinating mess, the kind of "can you believe they're doing it" show you want to discuss the next day.
  12. It's corny, ponderous, literary, ambitious, obvious and, at the beginning at least, as slow as molasses, but continually re-energized by Ian McShane as King Saul, or, as he's known here, King Silas Benjamin
  13. Some scenes are brilliantly and subtly turned, some make you roll your eyes. Some are straight from the Soap Opera 101 playbook.
  14. Despite a wonderful cast put to good use, a very well-designed parallel world and some marvelous turns of phrase, I can't help admiring Kings more than I actually liked it.
  15. Reviewed by: Brian Lowry
    60
    Viewers will have to survive a rocky, at-times jarring first hour before the series begins coalescing into something interesting--flawed but unpredictable, with a characteristically intense Ian McShane at its core.
  16. The acting at times is overdone, and some of the pivotal plot moments come across as downright hokey.
  17. The series itself seems divided: at times a supersize fable told with portentous, and even turgid, simplicity, while at others, a sophisticated spoof that uses ancient legend to send up modern politics. And when a series cannot be both, it ends up being neither.
  18. Kings, which also serves up melodrama and mystical happenings, is far more ambitious [than Aaron Spellings' shows]. Yet it can have the effect of a real sleep potion.
  19. It's visually engrossing. Then it goes oddly flat in parts, only to kick-start itself with another clash of tones.
  20. The language on Kings is similarly stilted but lacks "Deadwood" writer/producer David Milch's passionate and intellectual punch. King Silas may not be as deliciously Machiavellian as Al Swearingen, but McShane does deliver--and he cleans up well.
  21. Sadly, as so often happens, the grandeur and surprise settle toward soapiness when the show moves into future episodes, as various high-level evildoers battle each other for power, money, and hot sex partners, while the good-hearted folk fret and risk their lives for more noble causes.
  22. 40
    NBC deserves points for trying something different, but the results are often pretentious and silly. The best moments belong to Egan, who handles his chores simply and directly.
  23. Sadly, the show is carved out of pure phony gravitas--like "The West Wing," only more sanctimonious.
  24. 30
    If only Green had not made such a cold, bland stew of such rich and tasty ingredients.
  25. Pretentious and far too taken with its own sense of menace, the show casts every line of dialogue as a pronouncement, every action as an uppercut to the chops.
  26. 30
    Just about everybody is having sex with everybody else: Kings is one giant raging id of a show.
  27. Kings is oddly tedious, thanks to a supporting cast of uninteresting characters and a script loaded with heavy-handed analogies to health-care reform, Halliburton and the Clintons.
User Score
8.6

Universal acclaim- based on 166 Ratings

User score distribution:
  1. Negative: 12 out of 166
  1. H.Cole
    Jan 3, 2010
    10
    The reason for failure is because it is on NBC which is in severe decline. If NBC sold the rights to the FOX network (like '24') it The reason for failure is because it is on NBC which is in severe decline. If NBC sold the rights to the FOX network (like '24') it would go to the sky in ratings. 'Kings' is the only program we have viewed on NBC in years. I happened on it in the iTunes lineup and downloaded the season. Even our 15yr. old son and 13 yr. old daughter were locked in on the show. We are all hoping to see it again...soon! Full Review »
  2. Apr 17, 2018
    3
    Really, really, really bad. The pilot episode was still mediocre, but by the next episode, I felt like the show was written by a 4 year old,Really, really, really bad. The pilot episode was still mediocre, but by the next episode, I felt like the show was written by a 4 year old, who was trying his hand at writing a political drama. Don't let your toddlers write politics, people. Tell them to wait until they're in their 30s. In the meanwhile, I'm going to go have my memory erased. Full Review »
  3. Dec 21, 2013
    10
    I especially love when source material is so creatively re-imagined. Smart, sophisticated storytelling in a very believable alternate 21stI especially love when source material is so creatively re-imagined. Smart, sophisticated storytelling in a very believable alternate 21st century world. Full Review »