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08 February 2013 @ 10:08 pm
George hooks another one  
Just finished mainlining Season One of HBO's Game of Thrones, thanks to the DVD set kateyule got me for the holidays, and I'm as hooked as most everyone else who's seen it.

The thing that's really interesting to me about this series (I have not read the books) is that the major characters are all fascinatingly contradictory. The Lannisters may be the people you love to hate, yet all of them -- even the father, who's the least fully-drawn and most purely evil of them -- have their positive, even admirable qualities. (Okay, maybe not Jeoffrey.) And the Starks, our heroes, can be blinded by their own good intentions, even to the point of acting stupidly from time to time, yet stupidly in a very real and understandable way.

This is television characterization, of course. These characters, as much as I enjoy them, are really fairly melodramatic and simplistic. The cast is so large that, even in what is in effect a ten-hour miniseries, most of them get only some tens of minutes of screen time, so they are unavoidably shallow by comparison with the depth of characterization possible in a novel. But they feel much deeper than they are.

I'm also rather in awe of the show's ability to inflict massive infodumps on the viewer by having the characters deliver their information during a fairly explicit (and often completely unrelated to the info being dumped) sex scene. I mean, it feels like a cheat, but I am in awe of the chutzpah.

All the other aspects of the production are stellar. Cast, costumes, sets, music, cinematography. I am, as I said, hooked.

Fortunately, the Season Two DVD set will be out next week.
 
 
 
lauriemannlauriemann on February 9th, 2013 10:10 am (UTC)
And that chutzpah created a new word by many critics - sexposition

Love the series. Book 3 is the best of the set, and they're creating 2 years of TV out of that. While interesting things continue to happen in books 4 and 5, both get really bogged down and I hope both are limited to 1 year each of series.
biomekanic: Lethal lagomorphbiomekanic on February 9th, 2013 11:23 am (UTC)
Not having seen the series myself... Saturday Night Lives take on the sex in the show cracks me up:
http://gawker.com/5902076/
David D. Levinedavidlevine on February 9th, 2013 04:27 pm (UTC)
I've seen that video, and it's spot-on.
Timapparentparadox on February 9th, 2013 04:02 pm (UTC)
"Wait, Wait, Don't Tell Me" had George R. R. Martin on and they mentioned the whole "exposition with mostly naked folks". You can find it here.
Matthew S. Rotundo: Typewritermatthewsrotundo on February 9th, 2013 07:42 pm (UTC)
You should totes read the books, too. They rock.
David D. Levinedavidlevine on February 9th, 2013 08:14 pm (UTC)
But they're soooo loooong! :-)
Matthew S. Rotundo: Typewritermatthewsrotundo on February 9th, 2013 09:08 pm (UTC)
And completely worth it. Trust me.
Wolf Lahti: Goethewolflahti on February 9th, 2013 08:26 pm (UTC)

I finally gave up on A Game of Thrones after 500 or so of it 800-some pages. I couldn't take any more of the "unrelenting turns of ill-fortune", as someone aptly put it. I felt I was endless being dragged through a swamp filled with jagged rocks, and not a trace of daylight to be seen.

And the most of it involving people you don't care that much about.

I like my fiction to eventually leave me feeling good about the world, and I didn't see (or hear) any evidence that that was going to happen in this series.
David D. Levinedavidlevine on February 9th, 2013 08:28 pm (UTC)
It is pretty grim, and 10 hours of viewing is more tolerable than... Um, however many hours it would take to read the novel.
Wolf Lahti: Goethewolflahti on February 9th, 2013 08:36 pm (UTC)

Oddly, the ongoing grimness does not bother me as much in visual media--although I have stopped watching some TV series for the same reason.
paulshandy on February 10th, 2013 05:24 am (UTC)
I read four of the books during a seven day vacation, and later on book five in a day. But I've given all my copies to a library because they are too relentlessly grim to reread. Amazing, but grim.
et in Arcadia egoboo: Chicago (from Adler)apostle_of_eris on February 12th, 2013 11:57 am (UTC)
It's hardly news that George is Really Good. I think what surprises me the most is HBO's commitment.
And one of George's models was the Wars of the Roses, which almost exterminated the top English nobility . . .