Kings Is Dead, Long Live Kings!S

Well, exit the Kings. NBC has moved its lush, sweeping, and increasingly good dramatic experiment from its valuable Sunday night slot to Saturdays, where it will play out its remaining eight episodes, then die. Sad.

Though the show—about an alternate reality where a monarchy reigns in thinly-disguised New York—can be a tad too sweeping and bombastic at times, and some of its conceits play pretty clunkily (see: Rosencrantz and Guildenstern as palace guards), it's still intricate and intriguing. It's at turns sexy and violent, bitingly well-written and fascinatingly ambitious. It's full of magic and heavy-handed religiosity and some weird old dramatic ideal that you rarely see off the Shakespeare stage.

The production values alone are worth slobbering over. Getting a Terrence Malick look on a TV budget is not an easy thing to pull off, and the series' cinematographers (including Darren Genet) have so far pulled it off beautifully every week. Plus, you know, there are lots of pretty people on it—whether they're swaddled in proper military uniform or slinky ballgowns.

So if you haven't yet checked it out, I still strongly suggest you do. It might not be your cup of tea, but certainly give it a chance. Artistic derringdo—from the flowery, lyrical writing to the evocative, Gladiator-esque music to Ian McShane's gravelly, stylized towering performance—is so rarely recognized and fostered on network TV. You wonder, sadly, (or maybe hopefully!), how this show would fare on the pay cable stations. Maybe they'd give it more of a chance. After all, Rome wasn't built in a day. It took two whole seasons.