SERIE TV AMERICANA TRASMESSA DA AUDIENCE NETWORK DA OTTOBRE 2014. INEDITA IN ITALIA.
Alvey and Lisa are struggling to keep their gym, Navy Street, afloat. Their best hope is Alvey’s son Nate, an up and coming fighter. Jay, Alvey’s other son, is on the outs with his father. When Lisa’s ex and former MMA champ, Ryan, shows up, complications arise. Nate has secrets of his own which may hold him back.
Proprietario della palestra “Navy Street”, che gestisce assieme alla fidanzata Lisa. È il padre di Jay e Nate.
Fidanzata di Alvey, con cui gestisce palestra “Navy Street”.
È un ex wrestler e atleta di fama mondiale. Dopo un periodo di gloria finisce in carcere e la sua carriera si interrompe. È un ex fiamma di Lisa.
È il figlio maggiore di Alvey, con cui ha un rapporto conflittuale a causa del suo temperamento.
È il figlio minore di Alvey, che scopriamo essere gay. È un emergente e talentuoso lottatore di arti marziali miste.
È l’ex moglie di Alvey e madre di Jay e Nate, con problemi mentali e di abuso di droghe.
Episodi prima stagione trasmessa in USA da 8/10/2014 (la seconda stagione da ottobre 2015)
1 – Set Yourself on Fire
Alvie and Lisa are struggling to keep their MMA gym financially viable in Venice, CA. While Alvie’s younger son Nate prepares for an upcoming fight, his older son Jay is a distraction. Lisa’s ex-boyfriend Ryan is a well-known professional fighter out on parole looking to get his life back together. Alvie knows Ryan can bring much-needed prestige to his struggling Navy St. gym. All of these characters are fighting to improve their lives best way they know how… And none of them can afford a loss.
2 – Glass Eye
Lisa lays out the reality of their finances while Alvey tries to convince her his plan for Ryan is the solution; Ryan adjusts to life in the halfway house; Jay professes his desire to fight again but Alvey refuses to help until he sees more dedication.
3 – Piece of Plastic
Ryan settles into a new job with fellow ex-cons while Alvey meets with Ryan’s parole officer; Nate begins physical therapy; Keith is taunted by Michael; Ryan learns of Keith’s past; Jay offers Christina a way out.
4 – Flowers
Jay kidnaps his mother to help her get clean and Nate finally reveals to Alvey the truth behind his attack.
5 – Eat Your Own Cooking
Alley fantasizes about revenge and questions his self-control. Lisa’s father comes to town. Nate’s love life heats up. Keith and Ryan struggle with loneliness during Family Day at the half way house. Alley advises Lisa to forgive Ryan.
6 – Please Refrain from Crying
Ryan seeks forgiveness from his dad while Michael continues to push Keith around. Christina tries to find normalcy by spending the day with Nate and making the boys dinner. Christina tells Nate about what their family was like when he was young.
7 – Animator/Annihilator
Ryan moves into the gym and the boys settle down with their now clean mom. Kristina visits Alvey at the gym. Ryan fights Alvey, who calls the promoter to announce that he’s ready. Jay and Nate get a visit from the Latino gangbangers.
8 – The Gentle Slope
Jay searches for Nate’s assailants using the new information he obtained. Ryan is finally reintroduced by Alvey via press conference. Lisa deals with what she anticipates would be repercussions of Alvey’s ex-wife being back in their lives.
9 – Cut Day
Ryan and Jay must cut weight; Lisa seeks Alvey; Nate asks for help from Mac.
10 – King Beast
On fight night, everyone is focused on Jay and Ryan, leaving the rift between Alvey and Lisa for later. Lisa questions her role in their life. Christina’s demons show signs of surfacing.
To me, the description for DIRECTV’s KINGDOM, a series about a family involved in mixed martial arts (MMA) fighting, reads like a Cinemax program description. It’s centered around gritty violence and rough characters, which, to be honest, is not something I’d get excited about watching. However, sitting down with the actual pilot, it starts to evoke strains of Rocky, a terrific film, and the family drama is a larger part of the story than anticipated, to its credit. KINGDOM is actually a really good show.
KINGDOM takes place at the Navy Street gym, which is run by Alvey Kulina (Frank Grillo, The Gates, Warrior). Alvey is a kind man, refusing to kick out patrons who don’t pay. Yet, he’s far from a pushover, having cut off one of his sons, Jay (Jonathan Tucker, Parenthood, The Ruins), who is on a destructive path. Alvey is happy, living with girlfriend and business partner, Lisa Prince (Kiele Sanchez, The Glades, The Purge: Anarchy), and training his other son, Nate (Jonas Brother Nick Jonas), a promising up-and-coming MMA fighter who may hold the key to Alvey’s financial problems.
The family dynamic in KINGDOM is rich and complex. All of those actors listed in the above paragraph hold their weight, Jonas having matured into a real actor, and the rest having credits enough already to prove they can do something. Some of the players get more interaction with each other than others, so the series has plenty left to explore, and I find myself drawn in to this group, enough to overcome my aversion to the source material.
If you love fighting, you’ll get plenty of that, plus a strong story to back it up. There are bloody scenes in the first episode, mainly involving Nick. By the time those come around, viewers have been given reason to invest in the outcome, and that adds tension to the proceedings. You may be nervous for Nate, wanting him to succeed, and that’s exactly what a pilot should accomplish.
Despite the tension between Alvey and Jay, it’s a relatively happy family. Jay lives with Nate, so he isn’t completely cut off from his clan, and there’s a truce struck. Jay stays away from the gym, for the most part, but supports his brother. Surely, the chemistry will change a bit as Jay gets more involved, as he must, but that’s OK. That’s what we want to see, conflict that will lead to growth.
Enter into this Ryan Wheeler (Matt Lauria, Parenthood, Friday Night Lights), Lisa’s ex-fiancé, a prize-winning fighter, who has just been released from prison. Ryan and Alvey are good friends, but Ryan made a lot of mistakes, hence why he has been behind bars. Ryan is the total wild card of KINGDOM. He says he’s cleaned himself up, and most of the initial hour backs this up, seeing him attending meetings and not forcing himself back into a situation he has been absent from. But can anyone really change, and once back in the old environment, will Ryan revert to his former ways? And will Alvey let Ryan come back to the gym, either as a fighter or a trainer?
It would be really easy for KINGDOM to get soapy here, dwelling too much on Lisa and Ryan’s former relationship and distracting from the larger arcs. Thankfully, the writers understand how the pieces are supposed to fit together, and don’t let melodrama overrun the quality kind. The story is a bit of a slow burn in that we don’t yet know what kind of implications Ryan brings, even after having been around for a full episode, but that’s a good thing, letting these story and characters take a natural course.
I see KINGDOM as sort of like Showtime’s Ray Donovan, although the characters here are more likeable and the plot is easier to get drawn into. It’s definitely a worthy television entry, and as someone who doesn’t get DIRECTV, so hasn’t been familiar with their original programming, it makes me want to see more. (Jerome Wetzel, seat42f.com)