Thursday, March 15, 2012

Game of Thrones = Best Show on TV

I thought since season two was nearing, I'd just talk about why this is the best show on television. When I first read the works of George R.R. Martin, I was instantly impressed with his mastery over structure and language. The detail he put into his world was astounding. His style allowed him to breathe real depth and complexity into his characters. And he can interweave sub plots in a truly literary way. And I'd dare to say, much better than Tolkien ever did.

But it's a hard genre to get people to take seriously. Clearly the public loved A Song of Fire and Ice. But it's really surprising how well it has translated into TV. In terms of shows in the fantasy genre, I don't think there has ever been anything this complex, ever! And I love the way magic is handled. It gives it a very realistic, historic type feel without putting itself into any boxes: It's very mysterious, the most intelligent characters don't really believe in it, there is little evidence for it, but it happens.

And the acting is great. At first I was a bit skeptical of the cast. They weren't exactly how I had envisioned some of the characters, but they really own their roles. My favorite, by far, is Tyrion Lannister—played by Peter Dinklage. He starts out as a bit of an anti hero and slowly transforms into this wise and caring character, but not in that obvious, cliche way. 

There have been a lot of little person roles, in cinema, over the more recent years. And some of them attempt to break stereotypes by giving the characters extreme toughness or physical strength. And when they don't do that, they make these characters victimized: Using them to tug on the audience's heart strings or putting them in comedy roles. And don't get me wrong, there is some comedy relief from Tyrion Lannister, but it's not at his expense. He just has a great wit and impeccable timing.

Usually, in nearly every show I've ever watched, there are acting moments that just rip me out of it. But this doesn't have it. I never felt a lack of authenticity. And it seems like its many directors really got the best out of them. And on that note, it's also weird to see so many of them and such a clear vision. Of course, respecting George R.R. Martin's work helped a lot.

Also, the whole thing is shot perfectly with beautiful locations, great costumes, and amazing sets. It just feels really authentic, in that Braveheart way. And the sword fights are believably choreographed, although highly violent.

In conclusion, I haven't seen many shows with the level of character depth, complex story coherency, and general quality—definitely not within fantasy. I think it has something to really offer for people who aren't big fans of TV. I really don't like many shows. Right now I only get excited about the BBC's Sherlock, Doctor Who, Psych, and this. And sadly, I've abandoned Eureka and The Big Bang Theory. It's not that I hate them. But I think one has taken far too long beating around the bush. And the other has become less endearing, has stretched its characters thin, and coasted on some pretty ridiculous plots. Anyways, watch this!

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