To Watch or Not to Watch?

We now have free HBO. It’s actually cheaper to have it than not. So here is a question. Should we watch Game of Thrones? Or should I watch it alone because N is sensitive? Or should neither one of us watch because it’s fantasy and we both detest fantasy? But then I loved Buffy, and isn’t GofT like a pale copy of Buffy, in a way?

We are on the last season of The Americans and need to make a decision soon.

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6 thoughts on “To Watch or Not to Watch?”

  1. “isn’t GofT like a pale copy of Buffy, in a way?”

    NOT AT ALL! Buffy was a campy, light-weight horror comedy much beloved by pre-adolescent girls who wanted to grow up to be like her, and GofT is the most important masterpiece ever to be shown on television since the famed 1950s anthology series “Masterpiece Theatre.”

    I’ve never seen an episode of it (I also loath medieval fantasy), but I’m so sick of seeing literally 50 references to its characters every day on political news websites like CNN.com, Salon.com, Slate.com, Foxnews.com, etc. that I hope the show goes off the air forever, and all copies of its episodes are destroyed.

    Enough already!

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    1. And not just in the US. I’m seated in a public library in Australia, and this was on the table in front of me as I read your comment…

      In the Australian version, the guy already on the throne, got to stay on it.

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  2. Eh, the books are a lot better, But you don’t know if you’ll like it until you try it. Not sure if I would start with the current season, though. See if you can find a day when they’re doing reruns, and start with the first season. It’s a bit of a better introduction.

    It’s not anything like Buffy, though. That was and always will be one of my favorites. I highly recommend Joss Whedon’s Dollhouse, which is apparently no longer on Netflix but is available through Amazon and some of the other online networks, I think. It stars the actress who plays Faith in Buffy and is very, very well-done.

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  3. I resisted watching GoT for a long time but once I did I really enjoyed the first four seasons…. and then it kind of goes off the rails (I haven’t started the last season yet). I tried to read the first book and only got 80 or so pages in before bailing. Interesting world building but the writing was kind of heavy and flat.

    The problem is (after listening to a bunch of stuff by fans who are invested in the books) is that the show runners probably never got what the book was about and began making dumb changes.
    For example: In the book one character promises to marry in order to help strengthen a political alliance and then he breaks that promise for tragically wrongheaded reasons that make perfect sense in context and it all leads to horrible tragedy – in the show he falls in love with a sassy modern girl and wants to marry for love rather than politics… (yeah…)

    There are also scenes involving miscarriage and similar so I’d advise a pass…

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  4. I’d say it’s more like a soap opera than like Buffy – whereas Buffy was more of a character piece, this is very large and full of betrayals in all directions – whereas people watch Buffy because they like Buffy, people watch GoT to see what the fuck’s going to happen next, especially to the characters that they like. The fantasy elements are secondary – the show mostly works as historical fiction (of the particularly overdramatic sort) in a world that happens to have some magic to it (far less of it than the Buffy universe, by the way). Some of the actors (Peter Dinklage for example, or the British theatre folk playing some of the secondary characters) are quite good. If N’s sensitive I’d say he should skip this (there’s quite a bit of nasty stuff – rape, torture etc – in it, often filmed to exaggerate shock value, and a lot of the characters are psychologically abusive to other characters, including children). It might be a good idea for you to skip the last episode of season 1 (stillbirth subplot) – maybe just read the synopsis on Wikipedia (or if you’d like, I can have a quick look and tell you between which minutes you should skip ahead).

    But I’m definitely suggesting you watch it. Of course, it’s not art in any way, but it’s been such a huge pop culture phenomenon (in a way most of the TV series you’ve mentioned here over the years – except Buffy – weren’t) that it’s definitely worth stepping out of your comfort zone and giving it a try. You’ve mentioned never doing something new unless you drag yourself kicking and screaming into it, more or less, so maybe try the first season as a stuff-you-haven-t-done-before challenge, and if after episode 9 you absolutely can’t stand it, stop there.

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  5. It’s a good show to watch and an excellent one to have opinions on. Plenty of enjoyment to be derived from it even if you do dislike it.

    I’m making a covert bet on what I expect your favorite character to be.

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