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Spoiler Alert Thursday

“Game of Thrones.” Apologies for the animated gifs, but the scene was absolutely fantastic: everyone should indulge in the pleasure of watching my new favorite actor, Peter Dinklage (previously just the “angry elf” from “Elf”), slap the shit out of Prince Joffrey, the most charming prince in all of the lands who looks too much like Draco Malfoy for my liking. (What’s with creepy aristocrats and being ultra-ugly and ultra-blond in shows/movies/books like this?) This is two episodes in a row that were completely made by Dinklage’s Tyrion: his bastard speech to Jon Snow in the first episode and, in the second episode, his slapping of Joffrey, the breakfast conversation, and his second speech to Jon Snow on his way to join the Night Watch at the Wall. Otherwise, the remaining characters have not been particularly compelling. I gather we are supposed to like poor Jon the bastard Snow, but I really don’t like his haircut and, if you have to be old enough (eighteen?) to swear into Night’s Watch and if he was brought to Winterfell seventeen years ago, I think he has far too much facial hair for a boy of seventeen. I thought he was early twenties after the first episode. Similarly, I gather we are supposed to like Arya Stark, but I tend not to like children actors or characters. And, I suppose, we are supposed to like Eddard Stark, but for a “man of honour,” he seems to lack any spine.

I fear that this show has lost Bob’s favour because of the significant lack of nudity and sex in the second episode! Daenerys learns the secrets of pleasing men–a skill which took a talented slave years–in a matter of minutes and the director declined to have them do it nude! Or even topless! She didn’t even get naked when Drogo was boning her. The newly introduced forward cowgirl position scene was really, really boring.

More seriously:

  1. How is Tyrion still alive? He clearly knows too much for his own good, especially given his lack of ability to defend himself physically from attack and he clearly enjoys lording his knowledge over others–especially if it embarrasses. While I think his concern for Bran was genuine, he clearly derived a great deal of pleasure from forcing Joffrey to attend to Bran and to imply to his siblings that he knows they threw Bran from the window because Bran saw them screwing.
  2. Who is Jon Snow’s mother? The King does not know who the mother is even though the King seems to have otherwise detailed knowledge of Eddard’s ladies on the side. Given that he refused to tell both the King and Jon Snow the identity of the mother, she must be important. Further, given that he promised to tell Jon next time they meet, I can only surmise that Eddard expects himself or Jon or them both to be dead before any such meeting can take place.

Partially related: in a departure from my norm, I bought the A Game of Thrones novel today. I plan to catch up by Sunday and then read the book in conjunction with the adaptation. I briefly considered The Pale King, as it was on sale for 30% off, but after reading Adam’s post today, I decided that a novel whose plot turns on a proper description of the Chicago transit system was not for me.

“The Killing” I’ve figured out the format: last five minutes of the episode–big reveal; first forty minutes of the next episode–big reveal turns out to be absolutely nothing; last five minutes of the episode–big reveal… Too bad the role sucks, but Eric Ladin really commits. (See his video diary on the “Generation Kill” DVDs if you haven’t.) Joel Kinnaman’s character is about the only tolerable one. Even Callum Keith Rennie disappoints. (He was a great cylon.)

“Supernatural” Forgot to mention this last week. Two episodes ago: Balthazar goes back in time and prevents the Titanic from sinking. Benefit: 50,000 extra souls to be exploited by Castiel who has seemingly gone rogue. Benefit: Celine Dion is some “obscure lounge singer in Canada.” Detriment: somehow Bobby is married to Ellen. Detriment: Jo is alive. While I like the idea of Celine Dion being obscure and unfamous, Ellen and Jo is just too much. Fortunately, everything gets sorted out in the end: Celine Dion is famous and Ellen and Jo are dead. Most recent episode: Dean and Sam go back in time to frontier Wyoming to kill a Phoenix because the ashes of a Phoenix are apparently needed to kill Eve. Or something. Dean is very excited and buys Western fetish wear. He gets back in time and everyone makes fun of his appearance. He’s excited to meet hookers; turns out late nineteenth century hookers have syphilis. Sam steps in a lot of horse shit. A subplot has some controversy between Castiel and an angel called Rachel–apparently his lieutenant. Rachel tries to kill Castiel, but Castiel ends up killing her. The reasons for all this remain rather obscure. Overall, the season has been kind of flat failing to commit to any season-long arc, at least in any coherent way. All the same, the show has been renewed for a seventh season.

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April 27, 2011 - Posted by | Spoiler Alert Thursdays

10 Comments

  1. To answer #1: Tyrion is alive because he’s nobility (House Lannister). In this world, a common person as deformed as he is would be left to die as a child. He’s a smartass and often clashes with people, but he’s also very clever and a member of a powerful family.

    Comment by john n | April 27, 2011

  2. The plot does not turn on the Chicago transit system. My post is about a very small set of details that the vast majority of readers would not notice, nor would they need to.

    Comment by Adam Kotsko | April 28, 2011

  3. Oh, GoT 1.2 just felt so damn predictable in Martin’s dour intelligent kind of way. I mean, everything and everybody, down to the three shaggy dog stories, acted totally according to type.

    I’m bored already. I want dragons.

    Comment by bob mcmanus | April 28, 2011

  4. There are shaggy dog stories in this show?

    Comment by ben | April 28, 2011

  5. 4:I was trying to avoid spoilers. Okay, just tearjerking dog stories.

    Comment by bob mcmanus | April 28, 2011

  6. Justified is shaping up pretty well this season. They seemed to be struggling to figure out what to do with Boyd for the first half of the season, but it’s all come together pretty nicely.

    Season finale of Archer was somewhat disappointing, though this season as a whole has been better than the first in my opinion.

    Those are the only two current shows I’ve bothered to keep up with since leaving Kalamazoo and giving up cable. I’m thinking about following Treme this season, but more likely I’ll just wait for the good old DVDs.

    Comment by Adam Kotsko | April 28, 2011

  7. John: I didn’t mean as a child, but as an adult. Clearly, nobles are murdered all the time. For instance, the murder of the King’s Hand in the first episode and the attempted murders of Bran and Catelyn. Given the features of Joffrey, I can only assume that he is actually a product of incest rather than of Robert and Cersei–I’m sure more than a few nobles (and commoners) will die to protect this secret.

    Adam: it was a joke.

    Bob: it’s a fantasy TV show based on a fantasy novel with rather strong soap opera tendencies–playing to type is to be expected, isn’t it?

    I only made it to Robert asking Eddard to be the new Hand in the novel last night. I think the TV show could have been more explicit on the heraldric emblems of the families: the dire wolf, the dragon, the stag, and so on. This would have brought out the significance of the dead stag and dire wolf. Not to the mention the dragon eggs. The precarious situation of the Targaryens could have been a bit clearer as well.

    Comment by Craig McFarlane | April 28, 2011

  8. I’ve been meaning to mention, but keep forgetting, the following: with the Will Ferrell episodes of “The Office,” we’ve actually been watching that show. The first one was fairly good (all things considered), but the second was basically garbage (the Dundies one). I liked how Will Ferrell immediately turned on all of the employees, especially Andy and Jim and Pam. His cruelty to Andy was sublime. Because there are no “Friends” repeats on immediately after “The Office,” we stuck around to watch the past two episodes of “Parks & Recreation.” My conclusion: overall, it is a terrible show, but it would be a lot better if they got rid of Karen from “The Office,” Tina Fey’s sidekick, Rob Lowe, the Roy from “The Office” knock-off, and the Roy from “The Office” knock-off’s girlfriend. In sum, what we are left with, is Will Ferrell’s brother from “Step Brothers,” the Tea Party guy, the fat black lady, and the fruit vendor from “Flight of the Conchords.” Surely, such a cast could be no worse than “Outsourced.”

    Comment by Craig McFarlane | April 28, 2011

  9. Bob: it’s a fantasy TV show based on a fantasy novel with rather strong soap opera tendencies–playing to type is to be expected, isn’t it?

    Yeah. And it makes me do some thinking about genres in this particular, and in general.

    And since my reaction was kinda instinctual, it makes me wonder if I personally need some level of distance, alienation, exoticism in my entertainment now. Decadent or exhausted maybe.

    Comment by bob mcmanus | April 28, 2011

  10. some more violent gifs and i’d be successfully warded off the blog / a joke
    i tried to watch made men 4, disk 3, which was labeled disk 4 for some reason, but i watched it nevertheless, so i’m not sure which one 3 or 4, but the tv series can be watched any order i guess, some things just happen in the episodes not that relevant chronologically
    and disliked sexism of all the males in the episode, couldn’t like believe this was how it was in the 60ies, in America, cz in the soc system everything was comrades and equality, so it felt like shoking and much
    work to watch so i didn’t watch it all yet

    Comment by read | April 29, 2011


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