Last week my cable provider had something they called “Watchathon” during which they offered full runs of a few premium cable programs at no charge on demand. I took the opportunity to check out Game of Thrones.
After watching a few episodes, I can understand how people could become obsessed by it. As some have characterized it, it’s sort of a mash-up between The Sopranos and The Lord of the Rings. Like any soap opera, you get involved in the characters and want to know what will happen next. It’s very lurid.
It has high production values, a mostly British cast and, consequently, solid acting, and great locations in Ireland, Scotland, Malta, Iceland, etc. The cast of regulars and extras is huge.
Although I can understand people becoming obsessed by it, it didn’t strike me that way, personally. Maybe I didn’t watch enough. Honestly, my tolerance for sex and violence in movies or television isn’t particularly high. I have a bit more tolerance for violence than for nudity and sex, simulated or otherwise, and there’s plenty of simulated sex in it of practically every variety.
My main issue with the program is that I just don’t care about the characters much. What some critics have characterized as “moral ambiguity” I see more as with few exceptions the characters are all shnooks. Either that or shlemiels. I have to care about the characters to watch episode after episode. I can’t imagine subscribing to HBO just to watch GoT.
It did make me more interested in reading the first novel in the series, though.