DVD Review: Kingdom (Seasons One and Two)

We are living in a time where there’s so many ways to watch TV now. Every Thanksgiving your grandfather whines about how when he was a middle aged guy, the only option for television was the antenna on top of the set. But now we have cable, satellite, internet and digital antenna. And each one of those options has numerous providers. Each provider has their exclusive shows which is sometimes hard to keep up with. Luckily we still have home video to catch up on a series that you heard about from friends. Kingdom is has been running on DirecTV since the Fall of 2014. This show’s focus is about people at a Venice Beach gym with Mixed Martial Arts dreams. This is why over the last few years you’ve often seen a bare chested Nick Jonas on the cover of so many magazines. Kingdom: Seasons One and Two contains the first 30 sweaty episodes.

Navy St gym is a nasty land where boys dream of becoming men in the octagon since boxing is such a limiting sport. They work out endlessly and learn new moves to achieve the tapout. Alvey Kulina (The Purge: Anarchy‘s Frank Grillo) is an ex-MMA fighter who now runs the gym in the hopes of creating the next Conor McGregor and make enough cash off people who want more than Cross Fit to keep the gym running. Even with all the meat in the gym, he really wants success out of his two sons. Nate (Nick Jonas) is the youngest who seems to have the raw talent and good looks that could propel him to the money. Jay (Parenthood‘s Jonathan Tucker) is the son that should have been bigger, but he’s fighting the dual demons of his old man and hard drugs. He still has his fighting skills, but his anger and self-destruction keep him from the ladder. There’s a subplot about Frank’s new girlfriend’s ex-fiancé (Matt Lauria) getting out of jail. The guy wants to live a peaceful life at the halfway house, but Frank so badly needs to have that guy representing Navy St. Even though Nate does great in his first pro fight, things go sour afterward when he encounters guys who tangled with his old man. Nothing comes easy in Navy St.

Kingdom is a fine show since it doesn’t glamorize the MMA life. It barely glamorized Venice, California. This is like Spartacus except you don’t have to die when you tapout. There’s a gritty nature to the screen. Nate and Jay’s place is like a house that would be renovated on a homeflipping foreclosures series. But that has to be the life for many who dream of UFC main events. The fight staging is effective as the warriors pound and kick away on each other. The action looks amazing since most of the time when I seen a real UFC match, it’s two guys hugging it out on the mat. There’s banging and busting in these matches. The anger, desperation and dreams come into play whenever the character enter the caged octagon. Kingdom: Seasons One and Two makes me know what I’m missing from DirecTV.

The video is 1.78:1 anamorphic. The transfers bring out the sweat and dirty nature of MMA life. The audio is Dolby Digital 5.1 Surround. You’ll be hearing blows all over the room The mix brings the punches over the score.

No bonus features.

Shout! Factory presents Kingdom: Seasons One and Two. Starring: Frank Grillo, Kiele Sanchez, Matt Lauria, Jonathan Tucker, Nick Jonas & Joanna Going. Boxset Contents: 30 episodes on 9 DVDs. Rated: Unrated. Released: June 6, 2017.

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