Game of Thrones returned to HBO a few weeks back
Like most fans of the series Game of Thrones, I could not wait to watch. I’m a fan of the show but will readily admit that I am not as committed to it as I was with The Sopranos, the Wire or Deadwood.
But, I am a fan and tuned in a couple of Sundays ago to get my fix. Heck, I even watched the last season again to make sure I did not miss anything. I think, as I look back over the last two episodes, that HBO is the one that missed something.
The show has famously killed, maimed, mutilated and devoured favorite characters in the past. That was part of its appeal. It was unpredictable because characters that you thought vital were wrenched from the series with such a regularity that I found myself second guessing who was next to go. (That, of course, was the point of the George R. R. Martin series of books. It upended the themes of traditional fantasy stories.)
Character is fungible
I recall how sad I was to see Keith Carradine’s powerful portrayal of Wild Bill Hickok in Deadwood end in that series, but Wild Bill was actually killed at a card game in reality. I felt that the writers needed to move on if they were to follow any semblance of historical accuracy.
Game of Thrones is a different story. The entire series resides in the head of George R. R. Martin. There is not natural precedent to follow as to the story line. You have to dive in and accept that this writer knows where he is going.
My son has read all the books and informed me earlier this year that the TV show has now outpaced the novels. It appears that we are looking at a storyline that has become a screenplay rather than a literary work. Does it matter? I think it might.
Game of Thrones. Why am I left wanting more?
She said to me in eager terms that she could watch more than one new episode on Sunday nights if HBO arranged for it. That idea… of needing more than an hour on Sunday has made me think.
Game of Thrones has been reduced to a poorly written soap opera. I say this because I hear my mother-in-law going on an on about The Young and the Restless and all of the storylines that seem to go on and on ad infinitum.
So many characters are in play that each and every character seems to take but a half step ahead on each episode. On those rare occurrences when she is vacationing for a few weeks and misses the show, she can pick right up from where she left it without missing a beat.
The Young and the Restless
This season of Game of Thrones seems the same way to me. It feels a lot like The Young and the Restless. Dozens of story lines all moving forward at a snail’s pace. The reason my daughter-in-law craves more episodes (like binge watching) is because each episode on its own is disappointing. Not enough happens beyond the cliché shock ending.
Brands live and die based upon the self-identification of the audience or target. I am beginning to feel a bit self conscious that I am investing so much in a serial program that feels a bit out of touch with the values I hold dearest. I don’t watch soap operas.
I’d like to think I demand more from my TV attachments. I won’t turn my TV off on Sunday nights and will probably forge on with this season— hoping that it improves. But, if it does not, this is certainly my last season.
I thought the talent lied in the acting and the power of George R. R. Martin’s writing. However, I remember that the Deadwood writers stopped the series in mid-stride to sart a new project and Game of Thrones is beginning to feel a lot like John From Cincinnati.