ATX Television Festival 2016: Kingdom

ATX Television Festival 2016: Kingdom

Day one of the ATX Television Festival composes largely of waiting in lines, getting your badges, buying merchandise, and meeting people from all over the world. We did make time for one event, however, and that was a screening of an episode from Kingdom, a drama that has had relative success on the Audience Network, a network owned and controlled by Direct TV, now AT&T, with a cast Q & A to follow. The fans who have had a chance to experience this action filled drama loved it, leaving rave reviews on IMDB and spreading praise of the show via word of mouth.  However, its exposure is limited being that you have to have Direct TV or AT&T U-Verse to enjoy it. For those of you unaware, Kingdom chronicles the story of Alvey Kulina (Frank Grillo), owner of a mixed martial arts gym called Navy St. and his fighters. Like any drama, the storylines dive deep in to their personal lives, most of which are filled with love, or more accurately lust.

The episode of Kingdom screened at the festival was season two, episode twelve which was a rather intense episode, and a great selection to screen. We follow the happenings of Navy St. after a tragedy which led up to a momentous fight between two of the main characters, Ryan Wheeler (Matt Lauria) and Jay Kulina(Jonathan Tucker).  Most of the content leading up to the fight I found dull, including the presence of Nick Jonas as Nate Kulina. Jonas’s lack of acting talent is more painful to watch than the punches in the fight scene.  In addition to that, Kingdom composes of desperately predictable love scenes, and played out conflict. On a positive note, the fight scene was about as enthralling as it gets, packed with suspense and chaotic violence and ultimately resulting in a climatic finish. The episode concludes with a tragic and disgusting attempt of rape, one of which was nobly fought off but difficult to watch nonetheless.  

The screening was followed by a Q & A, which largely consisted of obsessed female fans screaming out to the macho cast of Kingdom. Most notably was creator Byron Balasco disclosing that AT&T are working on a deal to bring the show to the masses, most likely via Netflix or Amazon Prime Video. This is huge news for the series, as its commercial success has been hindered due to lack of accessibility. All in all it is a show with potential, one in which I fear has been granted additional life despite its lack of substance. Often times when a series has a limited audience, we make excuses for the lack of success, when in reality it simply isn’t worth watching.

Official Trailer: 

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