Old Testament Is the New Black: Why Network TV is F**ked. (An Impassioned Plea to ABC)
ABC Network- WHAT. THE. TUT!? Are you guys HIGH?? You’re letting them cancel “Of Kings and Prophets??!!!” After only TWO episodes?? Way to get behind something and let it find its audience, guys. Way to commit. (And thank G-D I’m not dating you.)
This SUCKS!!! I WAS LOVING this show. I’d even promoted Tuesday nights to “favorite week night” back when OKAP first aired. Remember? Wayyyyy back in… Oh yeah- two weeks ago!!
Are you really gonna go down THAT EASILY? Without a fight? Have you learned NOTHING from your own script (by super talented Theresa Rebeck)? Or how about from your main character, David? Remember him? The little guy who beat Goliath? He’s the one who slew a lion with his bare hands? Yet you’re just gonna lay down and take it like a Philistine* when some Christian fundamentalist, evangelical mafia finds it too “controversial?” And as for the “low” ratings, how on EARTH do you expect a show to prove its “box office” appeal after just TWO episodes?? With VERY LITTLE promotion. Here’s a tip for you. I am your poster girl as far as who your built-in audience is. I’m s total nerd for anything in the ancient history column, and if it’s Old Testament related? I’m yours.
You had me at “old.”
With Reza Aslan consulting on it (an ACTUAL, legitimate religious scholar and respected author), the show had already proven itself (again, after just two episodes) to be VASTLY SUPERIOR to the usual biblical fare that tv networks tend to vomit up around the holidays. And this cancelation means that NOW when I wanna nerd out on some sexy, high-class, biblical history and popcorn, my choices in that category will be reduced to mostly crap. To condescending, Mark Burnett style, “blond, blue-eyed, soap-opera-pretty Jesus” CRAP. That SMASH SUCCESS mini-series he produced with Roma Downey? THE BIBLE? The History Channel tried to pass that garbage off as, well… as “history.” Fail.
That “(s)HI(t)STORY” was so white-washed, over-generalized and Hallmark-i-fied that it made the Holy Book look more like a Holly Hobby Birthday card.
So mad. I’m so mad I could slay a lion. A whole PRIDE of lions! Lions wearing expensive tv executive suits — the costume of choice for all “corporate cowards of the forest.”
Once again, prime-time network TV has doubled down on it’s golden rule*, which is:
Wanna guarantee that your primetime, national network show will be a big fat failure? Then just make sure it’s really really good. Then they’ll definitely kill it/squash it/yank it/ruin it.
Thankfully, this rule does get bypassed OCCASIONALLY & something GOOD gets on. And stays on. (For example, THE MIDDLE is a fantastic ABC show- managing to appeal to a mass audience, but STILL express smart, authentic, FUNNY content that is truly character-driven and finely crafted by writers and producers and directors and actors who GIVE a shit. It’s been on for years, quietly succeeding where so many fail. And it’s still going strong WITHOUT any sharks or any tanks or any jumping.)
In OKAP, the acting (particularly by the awesome Ray Winstone as King Solomon and Simone Kessel as his Queen, “Ahinoam”) the script, and the creative team involved really gave me hope- FINALLY a sweeping, epic mini-series about this very complex period in ancient history that doesn’t talk down to its audience like we’re a bunch of five year olds at Sunday school.
Bring it back. Bring OKAP back. Yahweh will forgive you! And your viewers will be as numerous as the stars in heaven!
#OldTestamentIsTheNewBlack #I❤️OFKINGSANDPROPHETS #BitterBirdsong