Season Review: Game of Thrones Season 1
EDIT: Although I would have thought the First World Problems exploitable in the banner and the fact the blog is called I Just Hate Everything would have been a bit of a giveaway, I think I need to state that this review is written with full intentional hyperbole. Which means that although I aim to make valid criticisms as the basis of my argument, I present them in a ridiculously overblown manner on purpose. For fun.
Yes, I’m late to this party like a motherfuckin’ boss. Everyone hasn’t been able to shut the hell up about Game of Thrones, and here I am, Season 2 already airing, doing a review of Season 1.
TL;DR Looks fantastic, but characters are thin and pacing is off.
Let me put it simply: I hate HBO. In fairness, I haven’t really watched any of their shows before. I got two episodes into True Blood before switching off that Anna Paquin, blood orgy shit. And I think I watched an episode of The Sopranos once, before realising I wasn’t an 80 year old Emmy voter. However, I am vaguely caught up on how HBO does their business. It’s called Home Box Office for a reason.
Game of Thrones is essentially a huge-ass movie that someone has pretty indiscriminately sliced up to fit into 10 episodes. From that is born two major problems: pacing and character development.
Whereas a normal TV series (even if they’re slack, like Gossip Girl or Glee) will be able to move their characters through a season-long arc whilst adhering to a satisfying story per episode, HBO just says “fuck it” and does whatever the hell they want. Which means 40 minutes of an episode might be obscenely boring, with 10 minutes of actual plot.
If I hadn’t been binge watching this on DVD, I would have had no idea what was happening.
Which leads into the character development problem. Mainly, I have no clue as to who is what. I was about 6 episodes in before I had all the Stark childrens’ names down (still can’t goddamn spell them). And then in the last 2 episodes there’s apparently another son, younger than Bran (sp?). What? I still have trouble telling Robb (sp?) apart from that-other-guy-about-the-same-age-who-they-refer-to-as-brother-but-isn’t-brother-but-isn’t-the-bastard-also-he-flopped-peen.
The multiple plotlines and angles thing works surprisingly well. Even though they’re all separate, I never felt like any of them were completely inconsequential. Except maybe the Targeryan (sp?) siblings in the horse country. They were only mentioned fleetingly by any of the other characters, and although Danerys (sp?) had probably the most character development (albeit ridiculously easy character development considering her situation), I never really felt like she mattered. And I was fucking pissed when her brother died. His role was completely useless. And he was a hot douche, my favourite character archetype.
Why I hate this season:
It’s pretty much a mess. Except a few moments of genuine awe and tension (Ned’s decapitation, for example. Even though that got spoiled for me months ago), everything moved too much at its own pace. I don’t need a fucking 5 minute long scene between Taiwenn (sp?) Lannister (sp?) and his son right after the 2 minute long (2 fucking minutes!) opening credits. Fuck HBO. As The Vampire Diaries is to True Blood, if there was a non-HBO equivalent of this show, I’d switch right off, right now.
Reasons to watch:
One thing HBO does that you can’t really get anywhere else is high production value. I cringe at the thought of what this would look like on Syfy. They’ve also made the wise decision to stay far the hell away from overblown CGI bullshit. But with the hatching of the dragon eggs, it looks like that’s about to change. FFS. Also, this: