Author Topic: Game of Thrones  (Read 38029 times)

sdedalus

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Re: Game of Thrones
« Reply #10 on: April 18, 2011, 02:03:55 PM »
For the opening, the show is a little hamstrung by the book.  The book starts with the same zombie sequence, which hangs over the whole series to this point as the kind of vague threat no one really knows about.  After that, it's all setup and character building. 

The comparison with Fellowship is telling.  That film starts with characters, three of them (Gandalf, Frodo and Bilbo), and then the very simple plot is set in motion (They must destroy the ring.  To do that, they have to leave Place A and go to Place Z, stopping at B first).

Game of Thrones, unlike most fantasy, is not telling a simple quest narrative, however.  It's loosely based on the Wars of the Roses and is telling a story of complex rivalries between and within several dynastic families.  There are dozens and dozens of important characters, and the plot builds not by task assignment, but rather interweaving of seemingly interconnected threads.  The initial episode of a story like that cannot, by definition, reach out and wow you.  In this way, it's very similar to the other current HBO dramas, Boardwalk Empire and Treme, both of which don't give us an immediately clear idea of where the story is going and what we're supposed to think about it.

And the violence, nudity and swearing is actually toned down from the book.  The point of which is to create a greater sense of realism and "adultness" to the genre than is generally allowed (as it was in Deadwood).
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FroHam X

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Re: Game of Thrones
« Reply #11 on: April 18, 2011, 02:17:15 PM »
Still could have used a cool prologue that was all "These people went to war with these people and deposed these people and they're all scared of these people", but I have a feeling they can't do that for budgetary reasons.

EDIT: And btw, there is nothing particularly adult about lots of nudity and swearing and every other person getting his head chopped off. In fact, it's downright childish most of the time.
« Last Edit: April 18, 2011, 02:18:54 PM by FroHam Bickle »
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sdedalus

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Re: Game of Thrones
« Reply #12 on: April 18, 2011, 02:53:51 PM »
Well, it tells you that this is not a story for kids, which it most definitely is not.

A prologue that explained everything like that would be even more boring and confusing, and I like the fact that the story starts 17 years after a bunch of crazy stuff went down, gradually filling in the details as it goes along.  I'm surprised you would want more exposition artificially tacked on to the beginning of the story.  That's certainly not how any of the stories you cite earlier start (LOTR, The Wire, Lost).
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FroHam X

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Re: Game of Thrones
« Reply #13 on: April 18, 2011, 03:02:00 PM »
No, but those stories find a way of immediately setting up the world and the stakes. Game of Thrones didn't and so even after 60 minutes I just had no reason to care what was going on. Now, I'd give the show a pass on that and continue watching it to see if it manages to hook me down the road, but I didn't like just about any aspect of it even besides the lack of a hook, so it's probably not a show for me. That's too bad, because I'd have loved something like a Lord of the Rings for TV.

(btw, Fellowship of the Ring begins a thousand years after crazy stuff happened, and that prologue is far from boring, it sets the stage for the entire trilogy in about 15 minutes.)
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sdedalus

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Re: Game of Thrones
« Reply #14 on: April 18, 2011, 03:10:33 PM »
You're right about the LOTR prologue, I'd forgotten it.  Still, it's a very different and much simpler story and backstory.  LOTR is not a good comparison for this, among many other reasons.  The Tudors is more like it, and this is much, much better than that show.

FWIW, the critical consensus seems to be that the first episode is the weakest of the first 6 (which is what HBO sent out as screeners), mainly because of the awkwardness of trying to set up so much so quickly.
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Junior

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Re: Game of Thrones
« Reply #15 on: April 18, 2011, 03:25:15 PM »
This doesn't seem like a series where you can watch only the pilot and know what the rest'll be like. There's a lot of nuance that the writers/directors will have to pull off for it to work. So far we have just a taste of what's going on. I like that first taste but I wouldn't give up on it if I didn't.
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FroHam X

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Re: Game of Thrones
« Reply #16 on: April 18, 2011, 06:51:33 PM »
The problem is the episode bored me so much that I was zoned out by about the halfway point. I'd probably need to watch it again just to be able to watch more. I may give it a try, but I'll certainly wait so that I can watch a few episodes in close proximity.
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smirnoff

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Re: Game of Thrones
« Reply #17 on: April 18, 2011, 09:38:17 PM »
This is going to be a slow burning series it would seem, much like the books. Grand fantasy elements but only when the time comes. Primarily characters & politics. We'll experience what this world has to offer along with everyone else, and not before. I hope they pull it off.

In any case I really enjoyed this first episode. The characters are introduced, and now we will get to know them (it's going to take me a while to sort everyone out!). Lets see where it goes. :)

pinko

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Re: Game of Thrones
« Reply #18 on: April 19, 2011, 01:46:34 PM »
I'm kind of in the middle here, I think.

The production values for me, were often very high - some of the best looking television I've ever seen.  But then other shots, inside the castle, would have such unnatural lighting that it felt the work of someone out of his league, a little bit. (probably doesn't help that I'm finally watching Deadwood - whoever lights that show knows what the hell they're doing.)

I've ever read a word of the books, but I wasn't thrown off by any of the numerous character introductions. That's par for the course on these sorts of sprawling shows, is it not? I think people initially have that reaction because fantasy has a tendency to name things stupidly. So when they say north continent or whatever, its as insignificant as 'Toronto' would be, but since its unfamiliar we try harder to process it.

That said, all the characters, for me, were introduced in relatively boring ways. The main dude was the best of the bunch probably (an execution and some puppies) (ha), but even still, him serving an execution in front of his 10 yr old out of a sense of duty doesn't seem like it's telling me so much about him as it it about the world we're in. Then we also get squirrelly little bad archer, good archer daughter, hot daughter who's going to marry a prince, creepy blond cowardly powermonger, soon-to-be-(and possibly previous) rape victim, hedonistic dwarf, etc. None of them gave a lasting impression of, oh man, I want to see what this guy is up to!  (Again contrast with Deadwood - they introduce main dude there, also with an execution served, but in that case we see that how he handles it is way different and way more interesting than what you'd expect from the 1000 other people we could be following in this story.)

But I wasn't bored overall. Just not terribly compelled. I think, as someone else said, HBO (or fantasy in general?) favors the slow burn, and I'm fine with that. But I do wish there was a guy whose story I was really looking forward to seeing next week. Is that so much to ask from a serial?

smirnoff

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Re: Game of Thrones
« Reply #19 on: April 19, 2011, 02:17:31 PM »
Yeah, to be fair I know where it's going so that's what's compelling to me.