Like the dynasty of Saul it portrayed, the ABC TV show based on the books of 1, 2 Samuel Of Kings and Prophets was cut short, canceled after only two episodes due to low ratings and bad reviews. (Here’s my initial blog.)
I discovered the cancellation after watching episode #2 this morning while on my exercise bike. I searched for the third, which should have already been recorded, but it was nowhere to be found. For more explanation, check out this USA Today article.
Why didn’t people watch it? Who knows, but here are some possible reasons.
- It was confusing. The two episodes I watched were a bit hard to follow, and I’m pretty familiar with the subject matter. Most ABC watchers won’t have read or written as much about David as I have (including this article on David’s Trash Talking).
- Bible Overload. Perhaps watchers think there’s too much Bible to watch lately, between The History Channel’s The Bible, Noah, Exodus: Gods and Kings, and other things. Even though I had problems with this portrayal of the lives of Saul, David, and Samuel, I am always happy to watch the Bible’s story, and see how people interpret it.
- Too much sex. (Don’t they say, “Sex sells”?) While I think we need to talk about the scandalous sex stories in Scripture, perhaps Christians feel uncomfortable watching it come from the Bible. The scandalous stuff in episodes #1 and #2 were all extrapolations, not based on the biblical text.
- No familiar faces. Apart from Roy Winstone (who isn’t that well known in the US), most of the faces are unfamiliar to most American viewers. The fact that this series had a higher percentage of people of color than many other biblical TV and film dramas is a very good thing and a welcome change.
- No drama. People already know that David will defeat Goliath and become king, and Saul will die, so there aren’t really any shockers there. I still enjoyed watching The Martian, even though I had read the book beforehand, but some of the drama was gone because I knew what would happen to Mark Watney.
You can still watch the first two episode on the ABC website, but no decisions have been made about when other episodes might air.
Did you see it? What did you think?
My recent post on the issue of homosexuality was posted a few days ago on the Missio Alliance blog.
Check it out here: “We are all Sodomites: Love, Mercy and the LGBQT Conversation.”
The article is a condensed version of chapter seven of Prostitutes and Polygamists: A Look at Love, Old Testament Style.
See also recent articles I wrote on related topics:
Christianity Today Online: “David Was a Rapist, Abraham Was a Sex Trafficker: What We Miss When We Downgrade Old Testament Stories to Sexual Peccadillos.” As of today, this article has been shared over 3700 times on Facebook. If you shared it already–thanks!
OnFaith Blog: “5 Unexpected Lessons from a Story I Hate” on the rape of the Levite’s concubine in Judges 19.
Check out the article I wrote for Christianity Today online that came out yesterday (Oct 22, 2015):
“David Was a Rapist, Abraham Was a Sex Trafficker: What We Miss When We Downgrade Old Testament Abuse Stories to Sexual Peccadillos.” It wasn’t my idea to use “peccadillos.” I had to look up what the word meant when my editor suggested it.
The article is based on themes I discuss in Prostitutes and Polygamists: A Look at Love, Old Testament Style.
Here are my blogs where I took about what happened between David and Bathsheba:
David and Bathsheba: Who’s to blame? (Part 1)
David and Bathsheba: Who’s to blame (Part 2)
What do you think? Was David a rapist after God’s own heart?
So, did Cain really marry his sister? What happened between David and Bathsheba–was it adultery or rape?
In my next book, Prostitutes and Polygamists: A Look at Love, Old Testament Style, I discuss the wife of Cain in my discussion of incest and the sexual encounter between David and Bathsheba in my discussion of rape and adultery. (I think it was rape, not adultery.)
As I was perusing the Society of Biblical Literature blogs today, I came across two highly relevant blogs on these two women. These blogs are written by Old Testament scholars who are able to take some of their research and express it in language that is easily understandable to all readers of the Old Testament. If you’re interested in these women, check these two blogs:
Bathsheba by Sara Koenig
Whom Did Cain Marry? by Eva Mroczek
Painting, “Bathsheba Bathing” by Jean Bourdichon (1457-1521).