The New York Times Slams Game of Thrones Viewers

 Pages 1 2 3 4 5 NEXT
 

The New York Times Slams Game of Thrones Viewers

image

Fans of HBO's Game of Thrones adaptation aren't too happy with a recent review that calls them all "Dungeons & Dragons types."

The New York Times did a pretty decent job of angering people last year when it assigned Ginia Bellafante to review the first season of HBO's Game of Thrones adaptation. Bellafante, not otherwise known as a particularly controversial reviewer, accused the show of pandering to females by focusing on illicit sex intrigue, while claiming "that no woman alive would watch otherwise." You might think that after running such a dragon-waking statement, the New York Times would consider assigning a more fantasy-savvy writer to critique the series for season two. Spoiler Alert: they didn't.

The New York Times has replaced Bellafante with writer Neil Genzlinger for its Seven Kingdoms coverage, but still seems to have found yet another someone with almost no knowledge of the community or genre. Still, at least unlike his predecessor, Genzlinger has decided to focus on which sweepingly generalized group of people would be able to enjoy the show, as opposed to which sweepingly generalized group of people wouldn't. In this case, the "Dungeons & Dragons types."

"What Game of Thrones needs if it is to expand its fan base beyond Dungeons & Dragons types is what most of the United States didn't get this year: a hard winter," Genzlinger writes. "Life in this particular fantasy land consists of seasons of indeterminate length, and since the series began there have been references to an impending winter of fearsome power."

This isn't the first time a NYT writer has decided that the fantasy genre is shoehorned by the dice-driven RPG. In fact, even Bellafante previously described the show's entire look that way last year, writing that if you "are anyone [other than a fan of the Dungeons & Dragons aesthetic], you will hunger for HBO to get back to the business of languages for which we already have a dictionary."

Genzlinger then goes on to write that "if you look forward to Joffery's scenes, there's something wrong with you," and that "your brain doesn't have [enough] neurons" to remember the large cast, coming to the conclusion that "If decapitations and regular helpings of bare breasts and buttocks are all you require of your television, step right up."

While reviews are, by nature, the statement of opinion, perhaps it would still be in everyone's interest (The New York Times included) to find someone on staff with a wider vision of fantasy than "Anything with a sword in it is Dungeons & Dragons." I have many friends who dislike or, at the very least, feel apathetic toward HBO's adaptation, but at least they come to their opinions from a foundation of understanding the genre and the community that supports it. There is sign of improvement, though, as the Times seems to have advanced from "girls would hate GoT without all the sex" to "the only people who like this are D&D types," so, who knows? Perhaps in the future we can look forward to a more even analysis.

Source: The Mary Sue

Permalink

This doesn't surprise me, the New York Times is run by a bunch of stuffy professors who haven't seen their significant others naked for years - resorting to plain missionary style sex after having turned the lights off and lifted both parties night clothes a fraction.

Thus anything showing something outside of this manner of action must only appeal to the animals of the lower rungs. Because that's how they do it.

I can make sweeping, irrational generalisations too.

I know this is going to be pretty much preaching to the choir, but I doubt my girlfriend is coming over today to watch the steamy sex scenes (which are just as fucking awkward to watch as they were to read), and neither of us have touched DnD. They need to stop assigning people who hate fantasy to do reviews of fantasy.

Interesting. When did the stereotype of "only watching for the nekkid" shift to women?

New York Times staff: We need someone to write a review for Game of thrones
New York Times chief: Lolnerds.

Sorry...The women are now the ones watching for the sex? Wow. Also. I adore Game of Thrones and own all the books and have never played D&D in my life. Sure I've been asked but I haven't ever taken an interest in it. You'd never use a generalizing statement like "Well if you're a white man you'll love this..." so why use it other generalizing statements that can be just as incorrect?

herp derp herp Good work NY times. Considering of my friends who watch/read GoT those with the penis are in the minority. None of us have ever played D&D.

I don't understand the whole 'dungeons and dragons' or sex stuff. Granted I have never watched the HBO adaptation of the Song of Ice and Fire but I seem to recall it was mostly political plotting and intrigue. Sure there was sex, and sure there was battles but I don't recall that taking center stage to all the intrigue.

Mike Kayatta:
"Anything with a sword in it is Dungeons & Dragons."

Seriously, maybe they need to question these morons before they let them write articles.

Don't they realise that these are adaptations of very well respected fantasy novels? The series by nature is tied to their fantasy plotlines, even then the books (and series) are more about feudal/clan/family politics than they are about wizards and dragons.

I smell snooty bullshit.

Remember how everyone hated it when Tony Soprano's girlfriends ran around without their tops off and his openly sexist behavior? Or all the complaints when that sort of thing happened all the time in Deadwood?

No? Me neither, come to think of it.

It's full of sex and violence, much like the real world. The books, however, have much more of both. Just for comparison, the audiobook of the first volume alone clocks in at nearly 40 hours.

It's not a bad adaptation, though had I not read the books I don't think I'd be enjoying it as much, since I'm able to fill in the blanks.

The D&D commentary is pretty ludicrous, given what a low fantasy world Westeros is, but that would require them to actually know something about D&D, which is clearly beneath them.

Of course, the NYT is just shamelessly trying to generate traffic for itself, and so it's 'become the story'. Rather than reviewing GoT, it's just crying out for attention, the poor thing. They're just mad that anyone who doesn't fit their stereotype of a fantasy nerd enjoys this show. Makes me wonder what they thought about LotR and Harry Potter.

synobal:
I don't understand the whole 'dungeons and dragons' or sex stuff. Granted I have never watched the HBO adaptation of the Song of Ice and Fire but I seem to recall it was mostly political plotting and intrigue. Sure there was sex, and sure there was battles but I don't recall that taking center stage to all the intrigue.

if you watch a show that is 60% plotting 20% graphic sex and 20% incredible violence which bits would you remember? also i guess it is one of the things that set it apart from all the other big fantasy things like lotr.

When in doubt, insult the fanbase. It always works, honest.

Some days I'm not sure what the difference between a troll and a reviewer is - no, wait, reviewers get paid.

Sweeping generalisations are piss easy! I reckon I've found me a new career. To the New York Times Offices!

Micalas:
Interesting. When did the stereotype of "only watching for the nekkid" shift to women?

http://www.escapistmagazine.com/articles/view/comics/critical-miss/8853-All-About-the-Thrones

Somewhere around then.

Lets put it bluntly Game of thrones isn't the greatest piece of literature in the world. Trying to say that its more than an entertaining bit of hokem is significantly overstating the case. Its a soap opera with added swords and battles and works well on those terms but thats all it is

Hell, if we are talking ineptitude, let's go on to the "Dungeons and dragons type" statement.
There are, or atleast used to be, different standard worlds and settings in DnD. It's hard to use it as a type when we have stuff that differs alot like planescape and dark sun.

I just hate ignorant generalization. I can tolerate informed generalization, but don't like it.

Well, at least they've move beyond overt sexism. Sadly, they haven't moved beyond trolling for pageviews. Dear NYT: you guys aren't Jezzies - you're a respected pillar of print media. Have a little self-respect.

So women liked season 1 because there was a midget having orgies with a roomful of buxom ladies?

And the only people that like season 2 are the mouthbreathing neckbearded stereotype of D&D players?

Huh.

A writer going out of their way to insult the fanbase of a genre and franchise they clearly have no understanding of or appreciation for?

I didn't know Movie Bob worked for the New York Times.

DnD types is another way of saying "dork". They're not exactly wrong here, get over it guys.

Gee, how did they ever figure out that I enjoy DND? Those clairvoyant NY Times critics and their ways!

Ignatz_Zwakh:
Gee, how did they ever figure out that I enjoy DND? Those clairvoyant NY Times critics and their ways!

This made me lawl

Also, I am not surprised in the slightest that a big publication has no idea what people like, especially when that something has anything to do with the fantasy setting.

Never played D&D. Read the first book, didn't like it. Saw the first season, it was meh.

But, this "critic"... is just dumb.

I guess I'll have to tell my future mother-in-law (the retired judge) that she's a D&D type who only reads the books/watches the show for the sex.

Yep.

albino boo:
Lets put it bluntly Game of thrones isn't the greatest piece of literature in the world. Trying to say that its more than an entertaining bit of hokem is significantly overstating the case. Its a soap opera with added swords and battles and works well on those terms but thats all it is

I'm trying to find a way to say this nicely, but I really don't think I can, so I'm just going to say it: I think you have a warped view of what literature is, or you don't know enough about Song of Ice and Fire and fantasy literature in general to be making such claims.

There are a few authors who are legitimizing the fantasy genre as literature, much like Heinlein, Dick, Clarke, and Asimov did for science fiction back in the day, and Martin is one of them.

DVS BSTrD:
A writer going out of their way to insult the fanbase of a genre and franchise they clearly have no understanding of or appreciation for?

I didn't know Movie Bob worked for the New York Times.

Zing! Although I don't think that the NYT article had a section complaining about how all people who play sports are mouth-breathing jocks who hate nerds.

yundex:
DnD types is another way of saying "dork". They're not exactly wrong here, get over it guys.

But what is a 'dork'? Are they saying that because it has swords and a fantasy-medieval period, it automatically makes it dorky? But if it has swords and a real-medieval period, like The Tudors , it is a masterful work with clever intrigue, and a "steamy period drama" (NYT review, March 28, 2008).

We are just upset that the fact that it is openly fantasy means that it has negative connotations, while if it told the same story while pretending to be realistic it would be suddenly be more 'worthy'.

mattaui:
It's full of sex and violence, much like the real world. The books, however, have much more of both. Just for comparison, the audiobook of the first volume alone clocks in at nearly 40 hours.

It's not a bad adaptation, though had I not read the books I don't think I'd be enjoying it as much, since I'm able to fill in the blanks.

After enjoying the first series I'm really tempted to read the books, but I don't as I've had too many films/TV series made less enjoyable as they missed stuff from the book.

OT: Arn't the viewing figures around 3 million in the US? Didn't think there were that many D&D players.

Wonder if they're just trying to stir up controversy. Game of Thrones seems to be a cultural phenomenon, so it's clearly not just gaming nerds.

Micalas:
Interesting. When did the stereotype of "only watching for the nekkid" shift to women?

It didn't really shift. More expanded. After all, even violent romance stories tend to be the domain more of women (in terms of customer base, not in terms of what women want overall). And that's not even entirely new. Vampires have been so tied to erotica that a lot of vampire novels at LEAST as early as the 80s were appealing to women even if the subject matter wasn't particularly the romance novel that is the stereotype.

Truly, there's a lot of a market out there and not just for guys.

Though I'm not sure if this applies to GoT, having not seen it.

Azuaron:

I'm trying to find a way to say this nicely, but I really don't think I can, so I'm just going to say it: I think you have a warped view of what literature is, or you don't know enough about Song of Ice and Fire and fantasy literature in general to be making such claims.

There are a few authors who are legitimizing the fantasy genre as literature, much like Heinlein, Dick, Clarke, and Asimov did for science fiction back in the day, and Martin is one of them.

The last book I read was Life and Fate by Vasily Grossman. It chronicles the similarities between Nazi anti-Semitism and Soviet anti-Semitism. The most moving segment involves and overs 40s single woman coming to understand the meaning of motherhood by looking after an orphan child on the way to death camp. That's my idea of literature. http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Life_and_Fate

I have read Martin, Heinlein, Dick, Clarke, and Asimov. They are all well written pieces of entertainment but they just don't stack up against Grossman, Tolstoy, Dickens, Thackeray and Chesterton. I read science fiction and fantasy for escapist entertainment and it does what it says on the tin, sometimes I want more than that and then I go for the classics.

yundex:
DnD types is another way of saying "dork". They're not exactly wrong here, get over it guys.

Yes, but when you go onto say things like:

"if you look forward to Joffery's scenes, there's something wrong with you,"

"your brain doesn't have [enough] neurons" to remember the large cast,

"If decapitations and regular helpings of bare breasts and buttocks are all you require of your television, step right up."

THEN you've given-up the right to have your opinion be taken seriously.
And I'm pretty sure Genzlinger says "Dungeons and Dragons types" the same way Faux News says "Bronies"

And now GoT fans can relate to how JRPG fans are treated by the gaming press.

Double points if you're both.

Micalas:
Interesting. When did the stereotype of "only watching for the nekkid" shift to women?

The moment it became plot convenient for the review.

More to the point: there is ample space for improvement in Game of Thrones, but this is the equivalent of describing modern art as "my niece can do that": uninformed, unargumented, unhelpful, and a total waste of time.

albino boo:

I have read Martin, Heinlein, Dick, Clarke, and Asimov. They are all well written pieces of entertainment but they just don't stack up against Grossman, Tolstoy, Dickens, Thackeray and Chesterton. I read science fiction and fantasy for escapist entertainment and it does what it says on the tin, sometimes I want more than that and then I go for the classics.

While agreeing with the overall sentiment I must note here that Martin is indeed one of the better fantasy writers. While easily compared to Tolstoy (mainly War and Peace) when it comes to length, scope, and amount of characters, he still is inferior in overall quality and depth. But it certainly is a big step in the right direction.

DVS BSTrD:

yundex:
DnD types is another way of saying "dork". They're not exactly wrong here, get over it guys.

Yes, but when you go onto say things like:

"if you look forward to Joffery's scenes, there's something wrong with you,"

"your brain doesn't have [enough] neurons" to remember the large cast,

"If decapitations and regular helpings of bare breasts and buttocks are all you require of your television, step right up."

THEN you've given-up the right to have your opinion be taken seriously.
And I'm pretty sure Genzlinger says "Dungeons and Dragons types" the same way Faux News says "Bronies"

I constantly have to deal with the same things when being told the Illuminati is a crazy conspiracy by people who don't know a thing about it. It doesn't matter what anyone says, they're always right and were always wrong so the best thing to do is to just get over it and move on.

yundex:
DnD types is another way of saying "dork". They're not exactly wrong here, get over it guys.

Well it's great to hear that the NYT aren't the only ones making sweeping generalizations and lording their superior interests over other people.

Really? No women alive would watch it without the sex? I guess that all women have exactly the same interests, so that's probably true. I mean that'd be almost as crazy as girls playing video games or D&D.

yundex:

DVS BSTrD:

yundex:
DnD types is another way of saying "dork". They're not exactly wrong here, get over it guys.

Yes, but when you go onto say things like:

"if you look forward to Joffery's scenes, there's something wrong with you,"

"your brain doesn't have [enough] neurons" to remember the large cast,

"If decapitations and regular helpings of bare breasts and buttocks are all you require of your television, step right up."

THEN you've given-up the right to have your opinion be taken seriously.
And I'm pretty sure Genzlinger says "Dungeons and Dragons types" the same way Faux News says "Bronies"

I constantly have to deal with the same things when being told the Illuminati is a crazy conspiracy by people who don't know a thing about it. It doesn't matter what anyone says, they're always right and were always wrong so the best thing to do is to just get over it and move on.

Oh sorry, your solidarity didn't translate over the interwebs.

 Pages 1 2 3 4 5 NEXT

Reply to Thread

Log in or Register to Comment
Have an account? Login below:
With Facebook:Login With Facebook
or
Username:  
Password:  
  
Not registered? To sign up for an account with The Escapist:
Register With Facebook
Register With Facebook
or
Register for a free account here