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Kingdom: Season 1 & 2

                   review by Bobby Blakey

As a martial artist any time a show comes out that has a focus on martial arts of some kind I am usually in to give it a shot. When I heard about the series Kingdom starring Frank Grillo, Nick Jonas, Kiele Sanchez, Matt Lauria, and Jonathan Tucker I was instantly interested, but sadly it was exclusive to a network I didn’t have so never got to check it out. Thankfully Shout Factory is now bringing the first two seasons home with Kingdom: Seasons One and Two on DVD.

Kingdom follows Alvey and Lisa who 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, but when Lisa's ex and former MMA champ, Ryan, shows up, more complications arise. Nate has secrets of his own which may hold him back. From the opening moment of this series I was in as it wastes no time letting you know the kind of show it is going to be. I had never heard of the Audience Network where this show originally aired so wasn’t aware that it was like a cable channel which lets this show pull no punches. While the MMA is the focal point of the story that binds it together there are so many other interesting elements to invest in to keep you interested. I have been a fan of Frank Grillo for years so him starring here was enough to keep me interested, but everyone her does a great job.

Much like any other show they constantly open up new issues for all the characters showcasing a pretty violent and dysfunctional family. There is just enough drama across the board to keep you invested and interested throughout while letting the fight world take center stage when necessary. This reminds you of the focus to these characters at all times as they try to navigate this insane world with training and dedication that affects their personal lives to extreme levels. This is a hard enough life to stay focused on, but they play with the effects it has on relationships and overall life making sure to not let it all be glamorous like we are usually shown.

This series showcases some great stories, but would not work if the fighting and training wasn’t believable. Thankfully they are all in here as well and offers up numerous moments that are insane and bloody to watch, but also inspirational to get you up off the couch and want to train yourself. While this collection doesn’t have any special features it does include all 30 episodes of the first two seasons which is enough to keep you entertained for some time. Grab your copy of Kingdom: Seasons One and Two available now on DVD from Shout Factory.

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