Thursday, May 10, 2012

HBO's: A Game Of Groans...

As a fan of George R.R. Martin I was as close to positively giddy as an old Marine can be to see how the theatrical presentation of his magnum opus fared on the little screen. A Song of Fire and Ice was simply the best action/adventure/fantasy series of books I'd ever laid eyes on, and while HBO's Game of Groans Thrones couldn't possibly measure up, old George was executive producer so it had to at least be halfway decent, right?

So-so at best. And that's a stretch because I really like George's work. In re-reading just the first 20 pages of the first book I was far more spellbound than the series has far to date woven, and that's just a crying shame.

ALL cable series rely upon two, no, three things to keep the viewer occupied; breasts and "adult" language. Minus the T&A, The Sopranos would have been nothing more than a fat guy weeping to his shrink, and while The Tudors..Showtimes venture into merry old England's most bloodthirsty of royals...was entertaining, it was held firmly in place by the same two, no, three things to keep us occupied. And wow, but the costumes and scenery were superb.

But to have this series yawn on and on with little action/adventure fantasy to sink ones teeth into, we'd have needed superb actors to make the transition work, and all they've given us is a damned fine midget. Films simply cannot present as many characters as a novel can, because we read at a leisurely pace but expect movement from teleVISION, something neither the cast nor the producers or directors seem to understand. The production staff seem bound and determined to feature bad actors doing their level worst to flesh out good characters pouring wine when there are far more heads in need of rolling.

Were it War and Peace, well, okay. Maybe. Awaiting the landing craft to finally hit Omaha Beach was worth it, so the rest of The Longest Day could ramble by without too much yawning, but Fire and Ice is about FANTASY and should have been no holds barred from the get go. Sure, introduce the tediously bad  thespians as you went along, but a taste please, a taste of the real deal should not have taken a season and a half before showing sparks.

If it already hasn't garnered rave reviews, it will, because if its one, no, three things professional reviewers need in order to stamp their seal of approval upon because that means its cutting edge, modern, realistic, and a sight to behold, then Game of Groans Thrones will be a smashing success because it has that in spades.

There was a very good reason Martin entitled every chapter with the name of the character featured therein. The reader could skim the ones he found boring without losing anything of value with regards to the plot.

Take a cue from old George and tape the series, then fast forward to the good stuff. Yes, there's the odd tidbit of genius hidden behind the bad costuming and cheap sets, but keep your finger on the pause button least you miss them.

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