Watching NBC's new drama Kings is like watching the Bible as translated by Shakespeare.

Watching NBC's new drama Kings is like watching the Bible as translated by Shakespeare.

The modern-day monarchy tale borrows heavily from the biblical story of King David, and everyone speaks in lyrical, Bard-like language and has a penchant for grandiose speeches.

The ambitious show follows David Shepherd (Christopher Egan), a young soldier from the fictional kingdom of Gilboa who rescues the king's son after he's taken hostage by the opposing Gath army.

The king, Silas Benjamin, a charismatic leader played with booming enthusiasm by the excellent Ian McShane, seems to be on his way out.

We haven't even scratched the surface of the show's mythology, like the history behind the longtime Gath-Gilboa conflict, or the complicated role religion plays in this society.

But there's already plenty of intrigue thanks to a slew of twisted relationships - the king has to deal with a possessive wife and a needy mistress, one son who's a closeted homosexual and another who's dying, a brother-in-law who's trying to pull the strings from behind the scenes and a reverend who doesn't seem to buy his piety.

Sometimes the biblical references are a little heavy-handed - David takes down a tank called the Goliath, and in case we didn't get it, there's a "David slays Goliath" newspaper headline.

And while the slick, saturated cinematography is some of the best on TV, the CGI effects, including a hokey "crown of butterflies," are a little lame.

Still, there's something captivating about Kings, and it's enough to keep me watching.