If You’re Not A TV Nerd You Can Ignore This…
…but if you are you should keep reading.
(By the way, by “TV nerd” I mean you either love nerdy television shows or you nerd out over really really quality television. Either way, this applies to you.)
Tonight in America, HBO will premiere their new show Game of Thrones. You may have probably missed out on the month long advertising blitz they’ve been doing, but it’s been pretty ridiculous. This is the new show for HBO and apparently they’ve spent about 70 – 80 million dollars on the 10 episode first season. I’m pretty that’s the most money spent on a TV show in the history of the world. In contrast, five years ago HBO shut down Carnivale because they couldn’t get costs down to 2 million an episode.
Anyway, HBO is really pushing this show. And that’s awesome, because although they’re taking a risk on it, it’s going to be an epic. And not just because HBO has the Midas touch.
See, Game of Thrones is based on a series of novels by a guy named George R. R. Martin. The series is called A Song of Ice and Fire and it’s a fantasy series. I know what everybody thinks about fantasy and sci-fi books. You know the look you get from people when you talk about fantasy or sci-fi. The “that’s not real literature” look. Yeah, that special category, it’s called the sci-fi ghetto. Fantasy and sci-fi writers have been struggling against it for decades. But whether or not most fantasy/sci-fi counts as “real literature,” A Song of Ice and Fire is in a league of its own. It’s probably the best fiction I’ve ever read. Seriously.
It’s hard to sum up, but it’s a gritty, realistic, no-goblins-and-no-orcs, no-schools-of-wizardry, the-good-guys-could-die-at-any-moment-if-there-was-any-character-that-fit-the-description-of-good power struggle in a fantasy setting. It’s hard to really describe it, but trust me, the source material for this show is amazing.
(Check this for more reasons you should read the series.)
So, awesome source material, awesome network, awesome amount of money and effort put into development, perfect mix right? Yeah. In case you still aren’t sold, here’s a few quotes from Atlantic articles:
“Despite its setting, Game of Thrones is more comparable to The Wire than anything else on television.”
“The show, based on George R. R. Martin’s epic novels, gets compared repeatedly to The Sopranos—and less frequently though perhaps more accurately to The Wire—for its complicated moral canvas and vast cast of characters. The comparisons are apt: Game of Thrones is deftly and movingly acted, visually lush, and tremendously exciting. But they’re also a signal that Game of Thrones means fantasy is not in the land of Harry Potter or Bella Swan anymore. This is an unflinching political and familial drama where the fantastical, which appears only fleetingly in early episodes, may be as much a threat as a promise.”
“HBO hasn’t really changed that much. They’ve gone from “Omar’s coming!”—practically a tagline for The Wire—to “Winter is Coming,” the motto of the Stark family that serves as a tagline for Martin’s whole series.”
Those are from three separate articles. They aren’t comparing the show to The Wire just to associate it with the best television show ever made, it’s a valid comparison. And Game of Thrones may actually steal that title from The Wire.
So why am I telling you all this? Because I want you to watch it. And enjoy it. And talk about it. With me, if possible. I’m really excited about it; it’s probably going to be one of my all time favorite televisions shows ever. I would love to be able to discuss it with my friends. And with you guys.