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  • A series worth watching?

    **no spoilers please**

    Hey everyone. Just like with BtVS I'm well behind the times and I've never watched any of GoT. I have just noticed that S1 is about to be repeated on Sky starting tomorrow and just wanted to see if people think it is worth watching. I know even less about GoT than I knew about BtVS before I watched it, so basically nothing becomes, well, nothing at all. Scratch that, I do know there is a blond haired woman in GoT. Yep that is all, so please don't spoil anything! Basically I have lots of films, tv shows sat waiting to watch and I want to know if this is just another OK show (like TVD) or if people would rate it as a must watch series.
    17
    Brilliant series, definitely make time to watch it.
    70.59%
    12
    It is good enough to watch, but not to write home about.
    29.41%
    5
    It was bad and/or disappointing.
    0.00%
    0
    Last edited by Stoney; 29-06-14, 12:02 AM.

  • #2
    Even without knowing what is on your watch list I would say that you should find time to watch GoT before the new season starts next year. It will be difficult to stay spoiler free otherwise (it's difficult now tbh). Also there's only 10 episodes a season, so all in all watching all 4 seasons is like watching just under 2 seasons of Buffy time wise.

    GoT is a sweeping fantasy tale about 7 kingdoms and the various families, servants etc fight for power. It also has dragons and mysterious monsters called White Walkers. It can be pretty violent, there is a lot of swearing and even more nudity which doesn't bother me but I'm letting you know in case that would sway you in one direction or another.

    Oh and imo it's a hundred million times better than tvd!

    Hope that helps.
    sigpic

    Peter Capaldi is the 12th Doctor

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    • #3
      It definitely helps, thanks.

      I don't tend to look at anything that provides info on the details of shows so another series isn't likely to throw up spoilers for me. I really wasn't kidding when I said I only know there is a blond woman in GoT. The disadvantage of this is that I often come to shows late but the benefit is that I get to watch them unspoiled.

      I think TVD and The Originals are only OK tele that I follow just because I started following them and have stuck with it. I didn't want to take on another show that is only 'that' level of good because I do get myself stuck. It takes a lot to throw off my loyalty once I've started watching. But I would happily take on another show if it is going to be of a better level than that. Otherwise I'd prefer to make time to rewatch a great show than taking on another 'just OK' new one.

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      • #4
        GoT is totally different tv than The Originals or TVD. It is not the best show I've ever seen or anything, but it is definitely quality TV and there is quality acting. I do second the mention that it has LOTS of nudity/sex and can be quite gory. Besides that, I don't think you'll be sorry at all that you started watching it.
        I have loved you. - Ser Jorah Mormont

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        • #5
          Oh I didn't think it was going to be a similar show to TVD, I was just using that as an example of a show that I think of as just 'OK' and I'm not looking to start watching another one of that level. This one seems to be seen by most people so far to be better than that though so it is probably worth it. I don't mind nudity/sex if it has plot purpose/relevancy and I'm not squeamish so neither of those are off putting in principle, execution/use always varies of course.

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          • #6
            Originally posted by Stoney View Post
            **no spoilers please**

            Hey everyone. Just like with BtVS I'm well behind the times and I've never watched any of GoT. I have just noticed that S1 is about to be repeated on Sky starting tomorrow and just wanted to see if people think it is worth watching. I know even less about GoT than I knew about BtVS before I watched it, so basically nothing becomes, well, nothing at all. Scratch that, I do know there is a blond haired woman in GoT. Yep that is all, so please don't spoil anything! Basically I have lots of films, tv shows sat waiting to watch and I want to know if this is just another OK show (like TVD) or if people would rate it as a must watch series.
            It's great that you know nothing about it - I envy you on not getting spoiled on anything!

            Game of Thrones is a great show... but the book series it is based on, A Song of Ice and Fire by George R. R. Martin, is even better. I read the books first (or rather, I read book 1, then went on to watch season 1, read book 2 then watched season 2, read the rest of the books and then watched the rest of the show) so the show can be disappointing sometimes when it fails to convey some important things from the books. But if you just watched it in vacuum, it's an excellent show. (Except for some parts of season 2. That was the weakest season, they diverged from the books in bad ways and IMO the disparity in quality between season 2 and the second book in the series, which it was based on, was really noticeable.)

            Although it's high fantasy, the series is brutally realistic - it's a lot more like Battlestar Galactica or Deadwood than Lord of The Rings. It has a lot of fantastic characters - both female and male (female characters are as prominent in the story and as complex as the male characters). And when I say a lot, I mean a lot - it's a complex story with lots and lots of major and minor characters (I think the show has some 200+ characters counting the minor ones, and the books have 1000+, but some 25-30 are really major, and about 10 can be considered main characters.)

            Originally posted by Stoney View Post
            Oh I didn't think it was going to be a similar show to TVD, I was just using that as an example of a show that I think of as just 'OK' and I'm not looking to start watching another one of that level. This one seems to be seen by most people so far to be better than that though so it is probably worth it. I don't mind nudity/sex if it has plot purpose/relevancy and I'm not squeamish so neither of those are off putting in principle, execution/use always varies of course.
            There is graphic violence and sex in both books and the show. However, you may sometimes get annoyed by obviously gratuitous scenes of nudity and sex (particularly female nudity) in the TV show. That seems to be a consequence of HBO demands - but rest assured that the books are not like that. There are sex scenes in the books, but those scenes serve a purpose; in the TV show, they add some pointless scenes just to get nudity in. Or they'll use the infamous "sexposition" (set a scene in a brothel and how sex/nude women in the background while a character is talking about something's important), though they toned in down over the seasons (the worst example of it was in season 1). That's, to me, the biggest blemish on another excellent show.

            I recommend both watching the show and reading the books. About a year ago, I was a newbie like you (though sadly, I was spoiled on a couple of important plot points.) I'm personally glad I read the books first, but if you don't want to dive into an 800-pages novel at once, watch the show first. If you like the first season, you'll probably like the show and the book series. If you really like it, you will want to read the books. They are long books, but every exciting; you look at a novel and see it has 1000 pages, but they go by so fast, and in the end you feel it's not enough and you want to read the next one. The first season of the show is very faithful to the source material, but later seasons contain some significant divergences. Also, perhaps more importantly, some of the characters, including major ones, are very differently portrayed in books and show. Some characters are cut from the show and some are invented for the show, some are marginalized and others given bigger prominence. The books contain a lot more detail, offer an insight into the major characters that gets often lost in the show (you are in the characters' heads in the books, since they are written from various POVs), contain a lot more backstory, information, subtext and foreshadowing.

            Also, since many of major characters are teenagers or pre-teens at the start of the story, they have been aged up for the show - something that initially confused me when I started reading, since, even before I saw the show, I knew the actors who played the characters!

            The show has finished its 4th season, and each season has 10 episodes (between 50 and 60 minutes long), so that's 40 hour-long episodes.

            If you decide to read the books: the series (A Song of Ice and Fire) is supposed to have 7 books, but 5 have been published so far:

            1. A Game of Thrones
            2. A Clash of Kings
            3. A Storm of Swords
            4. A Feast for Crows
            5. A Dance with Dragons

            In my opinion and the general opinion of the fandom, book 3 A Storm of Swords is the best and most exciting one. Books 4 and 5 are a special case since they happen parallel to each other and are split by location/characters.

            The next book is supposed to be called The Winds of Winter - the release date is still not known, but several chapters from it have already been released as teasers.

            The TV show has so far covered the first three books and some material from books 4 and 5 (season 1 was based on book 1, season 2 on book 2, and book 3 was split into two seasons, although season 4 also has some material from books 4 and 5).

            I think you'll get hooked and enjoy the show and the books; and if you do, that's enough to get you by till next season starts in April 2015. Maybe The Winds of Winter release date will be around that time (cross my fingers...).

            In any case, don't go on any forums and don't look for GoT or ASOAIF online until you've finished all. I made that mistake and got spoiled on a few further things!



            ETA: And I'm with you on TVD not being anything special, I don't know why so many Buffy fans are obsessed with it. I saw the first two seasons on TV and stopped watching somewhere around the beginning of season 3 just because I didn't care enough to make an effort to look for episodes online.
            Last edited by TimeTravellingBunny; 29-06-14, 04:15 PM.
            You keep waiting for the dust to settle and then you realize it; the dust is your life going on. If happy comes along - that weird unbearable delight that's actual happy - I think you have to grab it while you can. You take what you can get, 'cause it's here, and then...gone.

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            • #7
              OK, I've bought the kindle of the first book so I'll read it whilst I record series 1 and see what I think. Thanks everyone for your help/thoughts, appreciated.

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              • #8
                Stoney

                * Does Sky censor stuff? This show has a lot of sex and violence.



                TimeTravellingBunny

                * I don’t think HBO demanded the “sexposition”. It’s likely either the writers and/or producers did that to try to get more viewers for the show.

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                • #9
                  I'm not sure but I've heard that HBO often asks for graphic sex in their shows. It brings in viewers. Didn't they recently promote HBO with "It's not porn, it's HBO!". And if you look at Girls, True Blood and Game of Thrones they do have that in common. It's nice when a show doesn't have to cover up every breast or bottom because that's just silly but especially GoT and TB are softporn from time to time and often it's absolutely pointless.

                  About Game of Thrones: I've not watched it's most recent season because the show disappoints me. Perhaps I'll marathon it later this summer but I feel very little desire at the moment. While it's a complete different genre the show does remind me of Downton Abbey. There was a good first season, it's obvious that there is a lot of money to make it look fantastic and there are some great actors (Alfie Allen, Peter Dinklage, Charles Dance, Sean bean & Jack Gleeson stand out IMO) but the cast is weakened by average actors playing some of the most important roles (Emilia Clarke and Kit Harrington come to mind). The writing is hit or miss (in the later seasons more often the latter). By example: there are obvious issues with pacing and there are some big issues with the development and writing of characters. Both DA and GOT get that "one of the best shows on tv" hype and I think neither deserves that. Especially not after it's first season. Doesn't mean that it's not fun to watch if you like the genre and if you like beautiful landscapes, decors and costumes you should certainly watch it. It's just not a must-see show for everybody; there is better stuff on tv.
                  Last edited by Nina; 08-07-14, 10:23 AM.

                  Comment


                  • #10
                    Originally posted by MikeB View Post
                    Stoney

                    * Does Sky censor stuff? This show has a lot of sex and violence.



                    TimeTravellingBunny

                    * I don’t think HBO demanded the “sexposition”. It’s likely either the writers and/or producers did that to try to get more viewers for the show.
                    Neil Marshall, director of episodes 2.9 and 4.9, said this is in an interview:

                    It was pretty surreal. I’d not done anything like that in my films before. But the weirdest part was when you have one of the exec producers leaning over your shoulder, going, “You can go full frontal, you know. This is television, you can do whatever you want! And do it! I urge you to do it.” So I was like, “Okay, well, if you— you’re the boss." This particular exec took me to one side and said, “Look, I represent the pervert side of the audience, okay? Everybody else is the serious drama side—I represent the perv side of the audience, and I’m saying I want full frontal nudity in this scene.” So you go ahead and do it.

                    He doesn't say who that exec.producer is; but it looks like they are there to think about the demographics of the audience. We can't say for sure that HBO demands that, but it's clear they're doing it because the show is on HBO and they think they have to. A lot of those scenes and moments were not required by the plot at all.

                    Originally posted by Nina View Post
                    I'm not sure but I've heard that HBO often asks for graphic sex in their shows. It brings in viewers. Didn't they recently promote HBO with "It's not porn, it's HBO!". And if you look at Girls, True Blood and Game of Thrones they do have that in common. It's nice when a show doesn't have to cover up every breast or bottom because that's just silly but especially GoT and TB are softporn from time to time and often it's absolutely pointless.

                    About Game of Thrones: I've not watched it's most recent season because the show disappoints me. Perhaps I'll marathon it later this summer but I feel very little desire at the moment. While it's a complete different genre the show does remind me of Downton Abbey. There was a good first season, it's obvious that there is a lot of money to make it look fantastic and there are some great actors (Alfie Allen, Peter Dinklage, Charles Dance, Sean bean & Jack Gleeson stand out IMO) but the cast is weakened by average actors playing some of the most important roles (Emilia Clarke and Kit Harrington come to mind). The writing is hit or miss (in the later seasons more often the latter). By example: there are obvious issues with pacing and there are some big issues with the development and writing of characters. Both DA and GOT get that "one of the best shows on tv" hype and I think neither deserves that. Especially not after it's first season. Doesn't mean that it's not fun to watch if you like the genre and if you like beautiful landscapes, decors and costumes you should certainly watch it. It's just not a must-see show for everybody; there is better stuff on tv.
                    Writing is the show's biggest problem, whenever the show diverges from the books it tends to do badly. And while season 1 was faithful to the books, from season 2 onward they really started to diverge. Although their original material made up for the show was better in season 4 than it was in the previous seasons (the dreadful Qarth storyline from season 2 comes to mind). I don't know if I can be objective, though, as a book reader - many book readers have been disappointed by the show. Personally, I don't mind some of the plot changes and I like some of the stuff they've added, but I have a real problem when they mischaracterize the characters or when they turn them into stereotypes. I didn't like how they wrote (spoiler tagged because of Stoney)
                    Spoiler:
                    Robb after season 1, Jon and Dany in season 2, Sansa in season 3, Jaime in season 4, the way Catelyn was marginalized, and some characters get whitewashed and are far less interesting as a result (Tyrion, Jorah), I also really dislike the way they've turned Brienne into a stereotypical 'badass warrior woman'/killing machine (when in the books she is naively idealistic and trying to be a true knight, and it's a big deal for her when she kills people for the first time) and I hate the way they turned Renly and especially Loras into gay stereotypes.
                    Although in some cases, the lack of internal dialogue hurts the complexity and understanding of characters (especially with Catelyn, Jon, Sansa and Dany).
                    Last edited by TimeTravellingBunny; 08-07-14, 05:43 PM.
                    You keep waiting for the dust to settle and then you realize it; the dust is your life going on. If happy comes along - that weird unbearable delight that's actual happy - I think you have to grab it while you can. You take what you can get, 'cause it's here, and then...gone.

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                    • #11
                      I tried to read the books but stopped reading after a few chapters (not a huge fan of the way GRRM writes and I already knew what happened in season 1 so a lot of the excitement of finding out what will happen was gone) but indeed I do have issues with how some of the characters you just listed are written. I can forgive the lack of depth for most characters since they have to work with probably the biggest cast of a tv show ever but characters are often inconsistant or their actions don't always make a lot of sense. Probably because they try to speed things up and cut out essential developments. But still... it's annoying and serously hurting the show.

                      Spoiler:
                      That said Dany's storyline as a whole bothers me and it has little to do with the lack of inner monologue or development. It's the whole theme of a white girl being the saviour, queen and teacher/tamer of people of color that is jarring. The final scene in season 3 where they carry her after she freed them was one of the most disturbing things I've seen on tv recently. There was no critical remark made by the writers; I had the feeling we're supposed to think that it was beautiful. No idea how much of this is also in the books and how much of it is show-only but it's difficult to watch.

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