Now that I am 30 episodes and 90 bucks into it, I’m having a tough time deciding whether to keep binge-watching “Game of Thrones.” True, it is made with all kinds of skill and talent, but Jayzuz, this is some grim bloody TV, folks.
I’m not against make-believe violence in service of great drama by any means. I got through “The Sopranos” and “The Wire” just fine, in fact I watched them both more than once. But this? Never lets up.
I don’t know how much of it is my tastes evolving with time, and how much is just the nature of the show. It has so many great strengths. And yet …
Let’s look at some pros and cons:
PRO: PETER DINKLAGE
Peter Dinklage is a genuinely great actor. We kinda knew that before, but this role has given him the chance to prove it beyond all doubt. He owns the screen every time he is in a scene.
CON: PETER DINKLAGE’S BRITISH ACCENT
He sounds like what he is, an American faking a Brit accent. It is crazy distracting.
PRO: BRILLIANT CAST
Diana Rigg? Charles Dance? Rory McCann? Michelle Fairley? Lena Headey? All those kids? They’re gobsmacking great. I could not name one performance in the first three seasons that could even be called mediocre. These cats know what they’re about.
CON: THEY KILLED SEAN BEAN
PRO: HIGH DRAMA
Story-wise, they leave no stone unturned. If it has ever happened anywhere in real life or make-believe literature, it’s in this series.
CON: MURDER PORN, TORTURE PORN,THREAT PORN, BURNING ALIVE PORN
And sometimes it seems it has never happened anywhere except (presumably) the imagination of author George R.R. Martin. Whom, all due respect, I hope never to meet IRL.
I had been given to understand many people find the show very rape-oriented. I was braced for that and was a little surprised to find not so many actual depictions of rape, but lots and lots and lots of threats and predictions and talk of rape. Plenty disturbing on their own, of course.
PRO: EYE CANDY
Naturally, I disapprove of valuing people solely on the basis of their appearance and of reducing living, breathing humans to mere physical commodities. That said, I will not kick up any dust about looking at, say, Nikolaj Coster-Waldau or Jason Momoa, while they go about their highly skilled and professional business in front of the camera.
CON: THIS GUY
I can’t even think about watching the show any more unless I know for a fact this one gets gone.
PRO: EXCELLENT FEMALE CHARACTERS
The females in this show really are tremendous. They’re complex and fascinating and unpredictable and move the story as definitively as any of the boys. I like the dragon lady, I like the plotters and schemers, I like the heartbroken teenagers. I’m especially fond of that little girl with the sword. If they kill her, I might have to break my TV.
It’s a conundrum, friends. I don’t know, I just don’t know.