And now for a completely unrelated Chewables post.
Last night the hubby and I finished the second season of Game of Thrones. We had come to the party late, just this past summer catching up on all of the episodes in a matter of months. Prior to watching the first episode, we were skeptical. A fantasy show for grownups? Seriously? At the end of the first episode, we were intrigued, and by the end of the second episode, we were hooked.
I'm a big ole baby when it comes to screen (and other) violence, meaning I missed a good portion (there's an average of 14 deaths per episode, according to Wikipedia) of each show by turning away during the bloody scenes. "Eww, that sounds like a gory one," became a constant remark in our household as I buried my eyes in the couch and the hubby watched on. And what is up with all the gratuitous sex and nudity? I don’t think I’ve ever seen a show with so much sex and violence.
So what is it about Game of Thrones that makes it so addicting?
First, it is visually stunning. In fact, this was the first thing we noticed. Ireland, Iceland, Malta, Croatia, and Morocco make up the backdrop of the Game of Thrones, and the filming is magnificent. Second, and ultimately more importantly, the series is based on George R. R. Martin’s novels, which have already been written (with the exception of the last two books, fortunately many books from now). How many times have you watched a TV series only to have the storyline completely and inexplicably derail, causing certain characters, plots, and even entire series to completely go off track and die (I'm looking at you V)? How many shows stick to tired, overly used plots (Grey's Anatomy) because the writers are simply not sure whether the network will renew and therefore either consciously or unconsciously fail to develop something in-depth? And we’ve all fallen prey to those shows that stoop to stupid, over the top dramatics in a futile attempt to keep readers engaged.
But with Game of Thrones, the plot is already there. Yes, the producers write the screenplays for each episode, but (and not to minimize their hard work) they are not recreating the wheel. The heavy lifting, the creation of the intricate and interrelated storyline and characters, has already been done. The result is an exciting and engaging series that does not bow to the pressures so normally associated with TV series. The characters evolve, their roles purposeful, and the sub-plots (save some of the excessive sex and violence which, even I can argue, add to an overall understanding of the character of the medieval fantasy land) have a reason. It is a welcome change from the overproducing and under scripted reality TV programming so common today.
It was bittersweet as the hubby and I sat down to watch the final episode of Game of Thrones. As always, we were eager to watch. But we were also sad that this was it (particularly since at one point we incorrectly thought there were three seasons and therefore recklessly had an occasional double showing) until March. It has been a great ride. And, although we came to the Game late, we feel like we're part of the cool kid crowd. We were in on the joke when a stand-up comedian at Second City exclaimed, "the Lannisters always pay their debt" and we got the reference on some guy's t-shirt that read, "Adopt a dire wolf." We get it...and we also get the collective despondency in waiting until the third episode starts in March. It's going to be a long winter.
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