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1-1: "Goliath" 2009.03.15 (recap)


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#31

Puds38

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Posted Mar 15, 2009 @ 9:31 PM

I liked it. I don't expect it to stick 100% to bible canon. I didn't even mind the few heavy handed scenes (the canon and the cgi butterflies). In fact the butterfly scene was worth it just for the look on Ian McShanes face alone.

#32

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Posted Mar 15, 2009 @ 9:33 PM

I very much liked that David's anointing was less of an anointment, more like Samuel is able to interpret more subtle Godly intervention. I was wondering how they would deal with some of the more arcane bits of symbolism (there's very little opportunity these days to casually walk up to someone and smear oil between their eyes), and that was a good sell for me.

Samuel anointing David would have been thunky. Samuel being perceptive enough to know what that blur of grease was and what it meant, and the look on his face of astonishment and responsibility? It was touching and meaningful, without being anything more than slightly homoerotic for David.

Edited by Limber, Mar 15, 2009 @ 9:33 PM.


#33

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Posted Mar 15, 2009 @ 9:34 PM

Looks like I now have another show to be invested in.

I was spoiled about Jack being gay, but I found it interesting that Silas described it as "what God made you." As much as the family tries to hide it, at least they accept that its biological. I was also really shocked when we found out Silas has a kid with another woman. The only part I didn't like was when Silas asks David what he wants, and they both turn to look at the princess as if she's a possession ... gah. But maybe that's just my inner feminist raging.

The whole cast is amazing, except for Chris Egan who is just good. But I see potential there.

The scene on the steps with Jack was a total surprise to me. I guess I was missing the signals, if there were any.

Even if I weren't spoiled, the scene that seemed like the major signal for me was in the beginning where Jack is staring at a man while he's kissing a girl.

Edited by Blue Bonnet, Mar 15, 2009 @ 9:39 PM.


#34

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Posted Mar 15, 2009 @ 9:35 PM

Finesthour, useapostrophes, thanks. I guess I didnít want to offend anyone by suggesting a mythology around the Bible story. The mythology I really mean is the world thatís been created to tell this story. I want to know about Gath, Gilboa. I want to know what the countries look like. What they think, believe. Why theyíre different. Why theyíre warring. What did the government look like before Silas was named king?

I was ok with the butterflies. King Silas had told the story so many times that it worked for me. We saw a butterfly earlier in the ep as well, on the war front.

I think Iíve decided that Prince Jack reminds me of Scott Wolf. I feel better now that Iíve decided that. Itís funny: Silas is played by an Englishman, David by an Aussie and Jack by a Romanian.

What else I liked: the denseness of the language, particularly from the king and the religious leader. (Iíve forgotten the characterís name.) But his speech to the king? If you told me that was verbatim from the NIV, Iíd believe you.

AimingforYoko: I agree with the limited monarchy. There were ministers of different aspects of the government; there was a mostly free press.

I'm looking forward to enjoying this show!!!

#35

Mad Hettie

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Posted Mar 15, 2009 @ 9:38 PM

I don't know how I feel about the butterflies. I'm having a hard time taking it seriously. Every time I see a soldier in uniform, I think "...but he's got a little butterfly patch on his arm!" Every time I see Ian McShane menacing up the screen, I'm thinking, "Aw, look at his cute little butterfly pin!" Every time I see those flags billowing over the city, it's "Butterflies butterflies butterflies! AND THEY'RE ORANGE."

I love the kid who plays Jack. I was lukewarm to him at first, but the scene on the staircase between him and Silas sold it for me. It looks like that he'll be a rival to David for now, but I'm hoping that eventually they inch toward the David/Jonathan solidarity. And c'mon, what's a fandom without pandering to the slashers with subtext? Besides, I need to see more interesting characters on Team David to keep me rooting for the protagonist, since I don't find David himself particularly engaging. So far there's just Samuels and Michelle. While I love Eamonn Walker (Said!), we don't know anything about Samuels. Michelle is pretty but bland. And David... well, the kid does a good job, but I'm not as fascinated by him as I am by the rest of the cast. (Michelle excluded, because that's just a big drowsy clunker there - but y'know, it's just the pilot and the character may get better.)

I have a feeling that I'm going to like Queen Rose and all her subtly manipulative ways. See, I can't wait to see what she does next. Same goes for Silas and Dylan Baker. David? Not so much.

On a very shallow note, it becomes distracting to watch the two young actors (David and Michelle) on HDTV. I can count all the zits and whatnots. Strangely, the guy playing Jack appears to have eerily flawless skin.


Silas is played by an Englishman, David by an Aussie and Jack by a Romanian.


Eamonn Walker, who plays Reverend Samuels, is British as well.

Edited by Mad Hettie, Mar 15, 2009 @ 9:40 PM.


#36

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Posted Mar 15, 2009 @ 9:39 PM

Apparently Chris Egan was the cousin in Eragon, which I saw and regretted seeing.


That's where I know him from! It was nagging at the back of my mind the whole episode.

Hmm, must go watch this again on NBC.com. I missed the "Jack is gay" moment...I think I was popping popcorn.

#37

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Posted Mar 15, 2009 @ 9:40 PM

Overall, I liked it.

There were some clunky moments though. Like many have already named. . .the butterfly scene at the end was just unnecessary and ridiculous.

I think the only weak part for me is. . .David. Chris Egan is nice eye-candy and I'm never adverse to eye candy but he doesn't have the acting chops to back it up which generally you can get away with but not when you share significant screen time with Ian McShane who can evoke so much with just a lift of his eyebrow.

David/CE came across as too much of a. . .boy band member to me. And in scenes where he's supposed to be all dramatic, all I got from him was he either had a fierce headache or was constipated. I hope he gets better. He NEEDS to get better.

Otherwise the cast was great. I particularly liked the Queen (I'm terribly intrigued by her. . .oh-so-charming and in control but there's something else going on with her) and Jack (that scene on the step with Silas when he was "outed" made me think - THAT'S how you act opposite Ian McShane!)

Biblical Jonathan/Jack and David were BFF. The arch enemy twist bothers me because everything else is so much the same.


Wouldn't it be an even better twist if Jack/David became friends (the enemy of my enemy is my friend) and then Jack fell for David? This show is supposed to have soap opera undertones isn't it?

I wonder what's up with Silas "other family"? Wonder why they threw that in?

Looking forward to seeing how this plays out but if it follows the story of King David, isn't Silas on his way out and thus, Ian McShane's not gonna be around much?

#38

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Posted Mar 15, 2009 @ 9:46 PM

I love this show. I didn't expect to, in fact, I pshawed when I came across a page for the show on NBC's website. Yay for something to watch on Sundays! This show is chock full of recognizable actors isn't it? And every one of them hit their notes, the story was well-paced and entertaining. I'm genuinely interested in what happens next and the preview of the shape of things to come only further whetted my appetite. Good on you, NBC! Now stick with it and let's cross our fingers for good ratings and audience.

#39

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Posted Mar 15, 2009 @ 9:46 PM

I wonder what's up with Silas "other family"? Wonder why they threw that in?


Story options. If they need to get rid of Jack, there's a back-up heir (and the built-in drama of said heir being illegitimate). And if the show goes the way it seems to be going with the ultimate goal of David being king, Silas could hand over the monarchy to David (not quite sure how that'd work, but they did say Silas started as just a soldier or something) and go be with his other family.

Edited by LinTV, Mar 15, 2009 @ 9:49 PM.


#40

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Posted Mar 15, 2009 @ 9:46 PM

As a bible teacher, the thunkers were pretty bad.

I try to see Kings as a show that makes references to the bible instead of modernizing everything but following it to a tee. In fact, I would probably hate this show if absolutely everything was lifted straight from the bible and given different names.

As it is, I loved the show. Possibly one of the best pilots I've seen. Great premise, beautifully shot, and everyone in the cast is a capable actor. The actor playing David seems to be the weak link but he is in no way a bad actor. Silas is amazing. My favorite scene was his scene with Jack on the steps. It was intense and the actor playing Jack was also great.

#41

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Posted Mar 15, 2009 @ 9:47 PM

I guess I am the only one who liked David and CE. He came across as a bit of a blank slate with potential, which makes sense to me. And he has an easy charisma that contrasts nicely with Silas' intensity and Jack's angst.

#42

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Posted Mar 15, 2009 @ 9:47 PM

I loved it. And I'm not biblically proficient, and am approaching it purely for story, for the world-building and characters, so any inconsistencies are lost on me. Plus I really don't care. And I thought it looked beautiful.

Add me to the Ian McShane rules club; the expression on his face at the end when he saw the butterflies on David, the confrontation with his son, the tender scene with the mistress - I'm in. Add Dylan Baker and Wes Studi, and I'm eating it up with a little spoon. The guy who plays Jack? Loved him, he really held his own with McShane (and I knew he was gay the minute he looked over to his boyfriend at the club while making out with the babe).

As over the top as the scene with the flag with the blood of David's brother was, somehow it worked. Egan does look like Matt Damon a bit - I thought he looked a little more like Heath Ledger. A poor man's Heath Damon? Either way I thought he was pretty good.

And I loved the way the king tells his court scribe (paraphrasing) "The King's brother in law was pleased about the truce, and all was well in the land..." and the reactions from everyone else. That was great.

#43

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Posted Mar 15, 2009 @ 9:47 PM

Excellent start. And a wonderful idea for a show.

However ...

They showed the two armies facing each other in flat, open terrain. Both sides are mechanized. What we're shown is a stalemate - something like trench warfare in Korea between '52-'53 or the First World War in Europe.

But a stalemate shouldn't be possible in terrain like that. They've got tanks: just drive around the other guy's trench works.

Thoughts?

#44

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Posted Mar 15, 2009 @ 9:50 PM

What was trench warfare like in WWI? Wasn't the terrain fairly flat, or just rolling?

#45

Trini Girl

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Posted Mar 15, 2009 @ 9:50 PM

I thought it was a pretty good pilot. Loved King Silas, and Rev. Samuels, David too; but I wonder how the Crossgen CEO(forgot his name) will fit into to all this.

David's speech to the tanks WAS a bit over-the-top; but I was cool with the butterfly scene though, they probably won't do too many things like that in the rest of the series.

the scene between Jack and Silas on the stairs (of the Brooklyn Museum!)

Thank you! I was racking my brain.

#46

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Posted Mar 15, 2009 @ 9:58 PM

that scene on the step with Silas when he was "outed" made me think - THAT'S how you act opposite Ian McShane!


You break into tears? That's what I would do if I were trying to act opposite McShane.

Kidding aside, I think they were both fantastic in that scene.



I also liked the contrast between Silas's scene with his wife and the one with his lover. He complains about his back to his wife, she tells him to get his pills. He doesn't even mention it to his lover and she senses he's hurting and gets him a pillow for the chair. I loathe adultery, but in a loveless, political marriage I can almost understand why he would go to it. Especially if she was the woman William (right? the brother-in-law?) was referring to, that Silas gave up to get power.

#47

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Posted Mar 15, 2009 @ 10:02 PM

ZulaMay

What was trench warfare like in WWI? Wasn't the terrain fairly flat, or just rolling?


Western Europe has what I'd call rolling terrain. But they also didn't have T-72 tanks ...

I could buy a stalemated situation if there was terrain between the two forces - a ridge, a river, a mountain chain.

I know why they did it - flat terrain without any cover is cheaper to shoot on and show the viewers the action. Still, it got me out of the moment.

#48

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Posted Mar 15, 2009 @ 10:05 PM

I liked that much more than I thought I would.

#49

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Posted Mar 15, 2009 @ 10:05 PM

The CGI butterflies weren't too bad, once you accept that you need CGI to have miracles. BTW, those aren't any old butterflies, they're Monarch butterflies.

I was groaning a bit during the poetic soliloquy at the tanks, however.

#50

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Posted Mar 15, 2009 @ 10:05 PM

One thing I can't get over is how much of the show is filmed on the first floor of the New York Public Library. I go there a lot- used to do work there for a professor- and the little details jump at me. I've walked through the glass doors to the "Cabinet Room" a bunch of times, but the room beyond them in real life is a whole lot smaller. (Some scenes seem to be in the main post office a few blocks away, though, and there's also the Brooklyn Museum, as said above.)

There is a really nice touch, if you look closely: The Library is built on the foundations of an old above-ground reservoir, and a recent renovation has exposed those foundations. You can see them in the background of some scenes, with rough stones below sort of melting into polished bricks above. I don't know if they intended it this way, but it sort of hints at the idea that Shiloh was rebuilt after being destroyed, maybe with the new "palace" built on the ruins of the old one.

Overall, a very interesting show. Samuel's speech was very similar to the one to Saul: Note that Saul's sin wasn't so much wanting to end a war as a lack of confidence in his own leadership. (Also, Saul was from the tribe of Benjamin, hence the name.) The butterflies I saw as the hand of God- Silas hints that God is a little more obvious in this world right at the start.

If Gilboa is the US (or, at least, Shiloh is New York), is Gath...Canada? I just blew my own mind.

Finally: The minister who Silas, maybe, had eliminated...what was his pin? Some sort of cross?

#51

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Posted Mar 15, 2009 @ 10:06 PM

The only part I didn't like was when Silas asks David what he wants, and they both turn to look at the princess as if she's a possession ... gah. But maybe that's just my inner feminist raging.


It's not an invalid concern, although I think this is simply an aspect of the universe the show is set in, right or not: there's an monarchy with almost-absolute power, the King quietly kills the people he doesn't like and the women are cattle.

I don't recall seeing any women sitting around the table as an advisor. We've seen women as a queen (supposedly) only concerned with household affairs, a princess who takes up social causes but will sit quietly when told to, a mom, a trampy secretary and some sort of butler position or whatever it is Thomasina does. Not exactly positions of power.

So, I'm really hoping that Queen Rose proves to be quite intelligent and wily. I'm also hoping that Michelle steps it up because her character was a bit disappointing. There's not a lot of spark there.

#52

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Posted Mar 15, 2009 @ 10:07 PM

As a bible teacher, the thunkers were pretty bad.


I have to say, if they were doing this by the Book (punning!), then I actually wouldn't be interested in the series -- mostly because I'm not interested enough in the Bible to watch a literal remake of it. I'd prefer to see broad strokes retained, but all the smaller elements twisted around a bit. Also, if they stayed very true at the start, there would be expectation that they keep that level of fidelity to the text, which could get awkward if they go for seasons.

I'm strangely hopeful about Chris Egan. "Home and Away" might have made me incapable of perspective. I will say his accent's pretty damn solid.

If Gilboa is the US (or, at least, Shiloh is New York), is Gath...Canada? I just blew my own mind.

Or Gath is New Jersey. At last, we shall have our revenge!

Edited by Limber, Mar 15, 2009 @ 10:12 PM.


#53

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Posted Mar 15, 2009 @ 10:09 PM

Best part was McShane. The dude just kicks ass in so many ways.

He's the only one who can really pull off that stylized manner of speech (half Shakespearean half Biblical) they seem to want to convey that this is mythic, and not quite our world.

#54

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Posted Mar 15, 2009 @ 10:10 PM

I missed the beginning, but I thought the idea was that with both sides having tanks, all the manuveuring would just lead to a stalemate again?

Count me in on the side of the butterflies. I thought that final scene was completely necessary to the world being established for the show. Also, butterflies as the emblem of the country? Awesome. And again, it works for this world; Silas seems all about progressing forward towards something beautiful, or at least that's how he justifies himself.

#55

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Posted Mar 15, 2009 @ 10:13 PM

The only part I didn't like was when Silas asks David what he wants, and they both turn to look at the princess as if she's a possession ... gah. But maybe that's just my inner feminist raging.

Apologies, but I think it would be even worse if the show played politically correct and thus rang false. We look and see the modern world, but its basically a story about ancient times. Where blatant sexism was the default, the expectation, not the exception. That filter makes sense for this story. The women in the story have to triumph by defying those expectations, by going against them, in the context of a world where those expectations exist.

#56

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Posted Mar 15, 2009 @ 10:13 PM

I can't believe more people aren't complaining about how godawful the girl who played Michelle was. Maybe I'm sensitive, because this is the first and only time my namesake will be on tv, even if they are pronouncing the whole thing all wrong, but she was like a block of wood! Horrible!

I was looking forward to this, but Ian McShane was just too much better than the scenario. You could really feel the difference between this and Deadwood, where he was exceptional, but so was nearly everyone else, and the writing was not just good in spots, but good just about all around. Something just felt like it was missing here to me. Not enough tension, not enough something.

#57

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Posted Mar 15, 2009 @ 10:20 PM

I didn't know what to expect, but that was really good. I think it's closer in tone and more of an update of Shakespeare's Henry IV Part One more than it is a biblical retelling. The monologue in the confrontation with the tanks was especially Shakespearean linguistically. Nice job by all.


A point I think bares reinforcing considering the elevated language used by Silas, when he is dictating to his historian. As well as the choice of New York as basis for Shiloh, which made me think of Ethan Hawke's Hamlet. Not to mention the same obsession with cameras, that is a motif constantly reinforced in that version of Shakespeare's play. Silas instructs David on how to smile for the cameras, while everything is under constant CCTV surveillance in Hamlet. One can also see a bit of King Lear in Silas's relationships with David (an adopted son), Michelle, and Jack. While the inspiration is Biblical, the mode of storytelling is distinctly Shakespearean.

Edited by OmnipotentSeal, Mar 15, 2009 @ 10:23 PM.


#58

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Posted Mar 15, 2009 @ 10:25 PM

As much as hoyay is a big part of recent television history, I thought the hoyay started back in biblical times. Aren't their religious interpreters who believe that david and jonathan had a more than platonic relationship? I don't believe that started with this pilot. In either case, should they go there, I totally see it. I could imagine more chemistry with those two actors than david and the chick (whose name I can't see to remember).

#59

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Posted Mar 15, 2009 @ 10:28 PM

I can't believe more people aren't complaining about how godawful the girl who played Michelle was. Maybe I'm sensitive, because this is the first and only time my namesake will be on tv, even if they are pronouncing the whole thing all wrong, but she was like a block of wood! Horrible!


She didn't blow me away but she didn't bother me either simply because Michelle was. . .pretty much a plot point/prop. She didn't have much to do and most of her scenes were with David/CE, who isn't exactly a thespian heavyweight, so her acting limitations weren't quite as noticeable, or bothersome to me.

He's the only one who can really pull off that stylized manner of speech (half Shakespearean half Biblical) they seem to want to convey that this is mythic, and not quite our world.


Lord knows he got plenty of practice with that type of speech on Deadwood. It is a little strange at times to have him speaking like that and NOT cuss a blue streak.

I know why they did it - flat terrain without any cover is cheaper to shoot on and show the viewers the action.


Not to mention, much easier for a single, "annointed" soldier to sneak over to the other side, get the (unguarded) POWs/hostages out and blow up a tank. If he had to crawl across a hill, swim/sludge through mud and water. . .well, he'd just be tired out and then where would everyone be? :)

#60

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Posted Mar 15, 2009 @ 10:29 PM

One thing I can't get over is how much of the show is filmed on the first floor of the New York Public Library...(Some scenes seem to be in the main post office a few blocks away, though, and there's also the Brooklyn Museum, as said above.)


That huge picture window behind the conference room is the one in the Time Warner Center looking out over Columbus Circle, right? I had almost as much fun recognizing New York spots as Biblical references.

As much as hoyay is a big part of recent television history, I thought the hoyay started back in biblical times. Aren't their religious interpreters who believe that david and jonathan had a more than platonic relationship?


Yes, not surprisingly, some people interpret the friendship between David and Jonathan to have been more than platonic, which is another reason I wondered if they might be going there with Jack. The scene on the steps might have been mirroring the one in the Bible where Saul rages at Jonathan for his disloyalty in protecting David, and shaming himself and "his mother's nakedness" for choosing David over him. (Traditional Jewish interpretations of that line are that Saul meant Jonathan would be suspected of being illegitimate for showing disloyalty to the man supposed to be his father, thereby making his mother look like an adulteress.)

Edited by SNeaker, Mar 15, 2009 @ 10:42 PM.