Tuesday, April 19, 2011

Latest tiger, The B Movie Thrills of Game of Thrones

Latest tiger sketch for a commission.

Game of Thrones

Last night I saw the HBO fantasy series, Game of Thrones, based on a series of novels of George R. R. Martin. I'm not a huge fan of the genre, and I've never read the books, but this show had the worst tendencies of both the genre and pay cable. Expecting something along the lines of Lord of the Rings, I anticipated violence, and though I have no problem with either violence, nudity, or sweariness, the amount of eye rolling soft core sex and nudity in particular rivaled the Starz network's Sparticus, surpassing even the most craptastic shows on Cinemax for the sheer number of topless scenes. No opportunity to show a breast went unturned.

At one point in the show a princess (after yet another topless scene) is forced to marry a brutish racial stereotype. But like a lot of fantasy and sci-fi, rather than depict an actual ethnicity, they invented one to represent all brutish racial stereotypes. It was your typical society of savages, embodying all the worst Western ideas about African aboriginals, Native Americans, Arabs and Mongolian nomads: big, brown, primitive and merciless.

To top it off there was not just one, but what appeared to be two sets of characters in incestuous brother/sister relationships.

The only thing that distinguished the show from your average B exploitation movie was its production values and cast, but I guess this can't all be blamed on HBO. According to Wikipedia, the author states that the pilot was "very faithful to his work." To give him the benefit of the doubt, maybe, since TV adaptations tend to condense things, the gratuitous sex was less gratuitous in the book. I can't speak for the book. But the show was pretty awful. At least your average B movie isn't so humorless.

The CGI sequence in the opening credits was pretty cool though.


  1. The dialog was uninteresting at best and the plot, as much of it as was revealed, didn't seem fresh or exciting. I've read at least one rave, which opinion was based on the first six episodes, and insisted that the show starts slow.

    Since we already subscribe to HBO I figure we'll see another episode or two. But it wasn't a promising beginning.

  2. My problem with the show wasn't that it started slow. There also seems to be a ton of continuity to keep track of, an amount of complexity better spent on character development and dialogue, which was, as you mentioned, lacking. The map in the opening credits illustrates the painful amount of geography we're dealing with here--the seven kingdoms of who cares.

    And I will say again: the nudity was distractingly ridiculous, especially all those lingering shots of the blond princess. It definitely traveled from the realm of incidental nudity to fetish material, but in an almost quaint way. It's more of a chaste little 14 year old boy idea of sexuality, the demographic I always imagined was the real audience for things like The Red Shoe Diaries on Cinemax.

    Contrastingly, I like the way HBO's True Blood embraces its B movie silliness, transcending it's source material with humor that occasionally enters the realm of real wit, good trashy fun that doesn't take itself too seriously. After the disingenuous American Beauty and the uneven Six Feet Under, I believe Alan Ball has finally found his true calling. Throne of Games, on the other hand, seems intent on being as serious as a heart attack, which makes the exploitation material all the more laughable.

  3. TrueBlood is fun.

    Thrones ain't.