By now many of you have (hopefully) tuned in to watch HBO’s new fantasy series, “Game Of Thrones.” And by now you may even know about the fan outcry against some of the unkinder reviews, particularly the one in the New York Times by Ginia Bellafante, in which she asks the question, “What is ‘Game of Thrones’ doing on HBO?”
A lot of the ire directed at Bellafante comes from her claims that women really won’t (or ought not to) be interested in the series. But what infuriates and baffles me just as much about her review is that she professes to enjoy a lot of the same series I do. “Rome,” “Deadwood,” “The Sopranos”… I love these series for how they explore situation and character, in a way that’s dramatic, intelligent, and insightful. That’s also precisely why I love “Game of Thrones” the book series, and was so excited to see it come to HBO: I thought this would be the opportunity, at long last, to topple the lingering snobbery toward genre material as inconsequential fluff. “Game of Thrones,” as its many readers can attest to, is the kind of work that has the depth of character and unerring sense of drama that HBO’s best series are known for.
And yet here we are, right back at square one. Despite great acting, great production values, and a great story, “Game of Thrones” is being dismissed out of hand, really for no other reason than it’s imaginative. It’s fake!