Saturday, May 04, 2019

Weekend Post

The new season of GAME OF THRONES is here and there's lots of buzz every week.  I never got into it.  But I tried.  Once.  Seven years ago.  I watched the first episode of that season and hoped I could glean from that what was going on to get up to speed.  Well, it was not to be.  

But to help me, I kept notes on the episode, figuring I might be able to go back and connect whatever dots still needed to be connected.  That was no help either.  But I decided to post my notes for those, like me, who were coming into this phenomenon cold.   So since we're in another GoT craze, I thought I'd repost them.  If you know the show these might make some sense.  And you'll see how the show appears to those of us who aren't into the show.   

In any event, I hope you'll find them amusing. 

The show starts with “Previously on GAME OF THRONES.” Good! This will help. There are quick cuts, tiny snatches of dialogue. “You will pay!” “Wait for me!” “I’m the king!” “No, I’m the king!” “Neither of you are king!” I don’t know. It went by too fast. There were also fifty-two main characters. I’d see someone and think, “Oh, shit, where do I know him from?” Then he’s gone. Replaced by some hot blond. I wonder – do we see her naked? At the end of this wrap up I know absolutely nothing.

Cut to opening titles. Eye-popping graphics and stirring theme as the camera sweeps us all around a map. From what I glean, there are different kingdoms here in the land of… wherever this is. Or I’m wrong and the show is about mead salesmen.

The show begins. There’s a jousting tournament. Cool! Very realistic. The loser dies. Lots of blood. We see the tourney is for the pleasure of a king. The king looks like he’s maybe 19. And he’s clearly a brat. He’s the music prodigy in your high school who was so insufferable you spilled hot chocolate on him at every opportunity. By his side was a young waif who I gathered was either the queen or his personal shopper. She didn’t appear happy. Like she was forced to go to the prom with Screech.

Peter Dinklage shows up. Yay! Him I know. And I know he won the Emmy last year. The show picks up immediately when he appears. I don’t know what his relationship to anybody is but his armor must be made of Teflon because he has no problem speaking his mind to everyone without getting an axe in his skull.

In the castle somewhere there is a board meeting held by a medieval MILF who is in some position of power. They’re discussing when the peasants can use drinking fountains or something and the meeting breaks up with Dinklage crashes the party. He and the MILF do not get along. He shows her some paper that says he is allowed to be insouciant and have all the best lines. She is not pleased.

Now (as best as I can remember) we’re moving briskly through the woods, POV style. We stop at a pond and see a reflection of a wolf in the water. So we must’ve been the wolf in that sequence.

A transition I forgot then people are at that creek and the wolf is gone. Did the wolf turn into one of them? Oh wait. That was ONCE UPON A TIME. I don’t know who these people are or why they are there. A red comet is spied in the sky. It means something.

We cut to a hot dusty desert where a tribe of bedraggled people are zombie-walking across the arid landscape. I look for Moses. He doesn’t seem to be there. The leader appears to be an attractive young woman with a small dragon on her shoulder. That threw me. My sense was the show was gritty and realistic. Now they’re saying there are mythical creatures?

A horse dies. Am I watching LUCK? This event prompts the girl to send tribe members off in different directions to look for something. I’m guessing oats.

The red comet transitions us to a snow-covered wilderness where more people are tromping around. We’ve gone from LAWRENCE OF ARABIA to DOCTOR ZHIVAGO. They come to a big house. We learn that the proprietor had all these daughters, married them, then had more daughters by them. So throw in CHINATOWN, BIG LOVE, and any episode of THE MAURY POVICH SHOW. He warns the men not to touch any of his wives/daughters. The scene ends there but you know next week six guys are going to be caught jumping the Chloe Sevigny-lookalike.

Meanwhile, where’s the sex? Where’s the nudity? Even the dead horse had a saddle on it.

Now we’re in another kingdom and meet (I assume) another king. Hard to tell. He’s wearing furs. Would it be so hard to give all the kings crowns? At least through the second season. He’s discussing matters with a woman who looks like a younger Jean Marsh. I have no idea what they’re talking about. They don't sleep together so she might not be his mother. 

From there we go to the woods (or it might be teen king’s castle – by this point I’m lost). Someone is being held in a cage. He engages in a conversation with his captor. I’m sensing the prisoner is a member of some royal family. Either that or he’s one of the old guy’s wives/daughters. He appears very jaunty for a prisoner, especially when the wolf from the pond scene shows up and is in the cage with him. Then the wolf disappears. At this point I’m waiting for the Smoke Monster to arrive.

The show now bounces from place to dizzy place. Finally, we see the brothel. Fifteen seconds of a girl having sex but being coached (so ech!) and then we see the brothel lobby and a few bare breasted girls. The erotic mood is broken somewhat however when men in armor enter and kill a baby.

I found the show’s dialogue to be somewhat inconsistent. Juxtaposed with “Ay, your liege, I will be gone by day’s first light” is “I want to fuck.”

And then the screen cuts to black and the hour is over. I’m baffled. I imagine if you are a fan of the series, every scene I described was ripe with delicious moments and exchanges. There were surprises. High tension. Amusement. (If you were aroused by the brothel scene though, you’re sick.) But to fully enjoy this series I suppose I better go back, watch the entire first season, and maybe read the five novels just to be sure.


Keith R.A. DeCandido said...

"He’s the music prodigy in your high school who was so insufferable you spilled hot chocolate on him at every opportunity."

This is the best description of Joffrey ever.....

Lemuel said...

Never saw GoT but I remember Dinklage for his Space Pants skit on SNL.

blinky said...

I found the series all but incomprehensible but the good parts were worth the wait. I treat it like a full length porn movie. I zone out during all the talk and plot points and pay attention when the good stuff happens, like dragon fire breath, mass murders and nudity.

Peter said...

The Screech reference killed me.

julian said...

thank you for putting into words what i've been feeling about GOT all along.
maybe when it's over it'll be safe to go back onto social media and have the bejeezus scared out of me by the orange obesity again.
it's gone from 'stay off twitter sunday night' to 'i guess the nerds have ruined everything all week forever'

i hope the tits and dragons work out for those who enjoy it and i'll resume watching the stanley cup playoffs [with admittedly similar primal emotions and armour but without the incest or magic]

CRL said...

It's amazing how close this review came to getting the show cancelled......

sanford said...

I started watching GOT a couple of weeks ago from the beginning. Joffrey is probably the only character that you really can't feel any sympathy for. He had no redeeming qualities what so ever. I have cheated a couple of times and knew he was poisoned. His mother loves her children so you do have some sympathy when Joffey dies. She knows he is a rotten person but loves him anyway. Seems to be the way in a lot of families. A lot of backstabbing and double dealing in the series. Of course we have seen this in more modern series.

Mike Bloodworth said...

I get the gist. Now I don't need to get cable to see the show. Much like your Oscar© reviews you watch so we don't have to.

Cowboy Surfer said...

Aaahhh, table for three...mother of dragons

Anonymous said...

Where's the sex? Where's the nudity?

That was my reaction to Sex and the City.
Later I realized who the actresses were and figured that was a good thing.

James Van Hise said...

I think you'll like this. It's an Honest Trailers review of several episodes of Game Of Thrones.

Honest Trailers are even funny when they review a film they really like and can't think of anything bad to say about it.

emmphx said...

I had to resort to this.

Blair Ivey said...

I have the same reaction to the recent crop of 'Star Wars' films.

Lorimartian said...

James Corden had one of his writers, who had never seen GoT, binge watch all 67 episodes and then write a RHYMING, no less, four-minute recap which Corden performed, giving full credit to the writer, Lawrence Dai, on camera. (There's also video of Dai's experience watching the show.)

The commenters say it is mostly accurate. I wouldn't know as I've never watched GoT, however, this is a pretty amazing distillation of what I gather is highly complex storytelling. Credit to Corden for acknowledging Dai's contribution.

YEKIMI said...

I never watched it cause when it started I thought it was called "Game of Thorns". I figured I wasn't going to watch another sick, sadistic/masochistic game show, Ellen's Game of Games is enough for me.

Mike Doran said...

All my life, I've been pretty much immune to fads and crazes.

Game Of Thrones is just this year's fad.

Back in 1966, when I was in high school, and my brother Sean was just out of it, it was Star Trek, the Original Version.

I saw it coming; Sean was always a major fan of Hard Science Fiction (and never, never, never call it "Sci-Fi" - that was the slur of slurs).
I, on the other hand, preferred classic mysteries, which Sean (one year older than I, but two years ahead of me in school) deemed inherently inferior, because I preferred them.
If you've read Mark Evanier's recent comments about Game Of Thrones and its devotees, you'll recognize the type: they don't just want you to like what they like - they need for you to stop liking what you like.
I have a whole string of stories about Sean's "literary superiority" to me (not limited to Star Trek by any means), which I'll spare you.
I just wanted to point out here that The Next Big Thing and its accompanying mentality have always been with us - and will continue to be with us for all recorded time to come.

My brother Sean died in 2010.
The memory lingers on …

MikeKPa. said...

I didn't fully appreciate how well written and how developed the characters in Game of Thrones were until I did a binge watch, compressing three seasons over four days. I mean you even care about the dragons, for crying out loud. My only complaint is the number of characters you have to track, some who disappear for entire episodes.

On a different topic, did you read the Deadline Hollywood article on the WGA-ATA standoff with email responses from WGA West president David Goodman? Seemed a bit slanted to the disgruntled WGA members and nothing from ATA.

Sean said...

I think you forgot to add "GET OFF MY LAWN!" to this post! :)