The New York Times Slams Game of Thrones Viewers

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What? The New York Times, a failing publication from a bygone era of mono-opinionated journalism, writing a rage-invoking review of a genre, with which they have a history of pigeonholing, that is clearly meant to piss off fans and direct more traffic to their site?

I don't believe it. The NYT would never do that! They are a totally non-biased company that always employs the most level-headed writers to give fair and balanced opinions for the benefit of all members of society. They would never stoop so low as to reap a quick user-surge after a highly-anticipated premiere! Never in a million years...

Geez I take it none of them have read or seen the whole ME 3 ending reaction (the fanbase is a force to be reckoned with).
While I can understand the huge cast can be confusing but if they were bother enough to get a better grip of the show, they should of wiki the book lore to get a better understanding at who's who.

Well, that was ignorant. Though I wish Martin would tone the nudity back a tad, it's not exactly a deal breaker. I do find it funny how these reviewers mock fantasy when in fact stuff like Lord of the Rings is far beyond the D&D crowd

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 like to view my story-telling in a much wider spectrum than just "it's either the best thing ever or it's shallow hokum".

ASOIAF is somewhere in the middle, but probably closer to the 'quality' side of things than you choose to paint it.

honestly, your comment is as dismissive and insulting as the Times articles themselves.

albino boo:

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.

Woah, step back people, we've got someone with a lot to prove here.

There's so much attempted wankery in your post that it's hard to even consider where to begin, so let's just put it like this:

If all you're going to read as "real" literature are the "classics", or other such university hokum that they'd have you believe, you will end up with a limited, stuffy and narrow view on what can be accomplished with genre fiction.

As you do now.

Read more and with an open mind. It's good for you.

Yes, because a show that was nominated for 13 Emmy's needs to take advice from some jackass who generalizes all fans of fantasy as 'Dungeons and Dragons types' and doesn't even know the bloody source material.
Yes, there are references of a coming winter, but did you forget that there's a season between summer and winter? Have some friggin' patience. Not every show crams the entire bloody story in the first 2 seasons, only to meander off into a badly written soap-opera afterwards.

The Almighty Aardvark:

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.

Well of course. Don't you know that Tolkein's fanbase has always been entirely male? If he had only known he just had to write more sex scenes he would have doubled book sales!

I don't blame all the ladies in the house for liking the sex scenes: the woman who plays the main prostitute (Ros?) is fit as fuck.

I mean, even if each episode were twice as long and absolutely terrible, I'd endure it to see her. Then I'd remember we have the internet, and just Google her sexy scenes instead. But its the thought that counts.

Who cares? The NYT are snobs, this is hardly news. This is more than likely a knee-jerk reaction to the growing popularity of fantasy in general. People who subscribe to the New York Times would likely prefer all media to be devoted to political and social documentaries and art films. It's just pseudo intellectualism. I can tell you right now that no movie or TV series has been, or will ever be as intellectual as Kant's Critique of Pure Reason. Even social/political documentaries will inevitably skim on or misrepresent the facts or else they wouldn't be watchable. It's all just entertainment and should be judged as such.

albino boo:

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.

Because when one talks about classical literature, it needs to be firmly grounded in realism, right? Lord of the Rings is nothing but a bit of entertainment that only deserves a footnote in the history of literature, just like Beowulf, the Odyssey and the Divine Comedy.

*stern look* New York Times, I'm disappointed in you! You & the Wall Street Journal don't usually drop the ball like this. If you can give fair consideration to InFamous and True Blood, then you can take Game of Thrones seriously. -_- Please, you have a reputation to maintain...well, at least with me. >.>

Wow. A newspaper hired someone to review a show that they didn't like or care for the source material of. Yep, definitely groundbreaking news that. Right next to the sun is expected to rise in the east tomorrow and spring will bring warmer weather than winter.

What? You're saying that I should expect better from the New York Times? Why? Because they are a big newspaper? Seriously, they have the writers that they have. They are not going to hire a freelancer for that one show that is in a genre they don't get. It's a review. I'll live.

albino boo:

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.

Wow, I didn't know that I could actually retch from seeing too much pretentiousness in a single moment.

How do "reviewers" like this still have jobs? Forgetting the setting GoT has the BEST ACTING AND PRODUCTION VALUE of any show on television hands down. Half the cast are graduates of the Royal Academy of Dramatic Art.

There are naked shots of both men and women but all of them make sense in context with the story. Even the lesbian fingerbang scene isn't wasn't gratuitous, it was there to establish the motivations of Lord Baelish. The scene as a single minded person who is solely focused on his goals and cannot be distracted by anything including supremely distracting hot chicks making out on the couch next to him.

The "reviewer" just outed his bias against anything fantasy and nothing more.

Wow guys, it's just a joke...yeah it's a pretty bad joke (and the women reviewer's comments were just weird.) but it's not a news story. I've seen people make generalisations about nerds and such all the time in my newspaper, The Guardian, and I don't remeber anyone making a big story out of it.

Honestly, I couldn't give a shit. Next time, escapist don't waste a minute of my life making me read an article where I'd been promised I'd been 'slammed', when they just said something about D&D.

I don't find the D&D mention offensive. I like everything medieval, be it Lord of the Rings, Dragon Age, Dungeons and Dragons, The Witcher or Game of Thrones. Why should I stick to just one of those franchises? But I understand that GOT is much more gritty, but I get why you would consider them similar, because they are.

And I didn't know ladies were into watching lots of sexy stuff. Does it mean that I am not manly enough for liking those steamy scenes with lots of boobs? It just doesn't make sense. I can understand some girls liking that, but it's neither something so prominent in the series or something that guys shouldn't enjoy (at all!)

This is just a case of rubbish opinion, but not a big deal really. Call me a D&D guy all that you want.

I truly am the stereotype he refers to, but what about my mum the 45 year old nurse who read her first book in 10 years because she enjoyed it that much, what about my sister (the drum and bass chav) who loves watching it, my girlfriend, dad, gran, aunts, uncles.

Let me stereotype him, a snot nosed professor who smokes a pipe and has little idea of the world outside.

PrinceOfShapeir:

albino boo:

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.

Wow, I didn't know that I could actually retch from seeing too much pretentiousness in a single moment.

Nothing pretentious about speaking the truth. I've read a fair bit of Heinlein and Asimov. Asimov was quite obviously a scientist first and a writer...somewhere very far down the line. He made for entertaining reading but he was not high literature by any stretch. But that's fine, he was a writer of hard science fiction and that requires you be a scientist first and a writer second.

Heinlein was an odder sort. He was neither scientist nor psychiatrist. That did not stop him from spouting any number of odd opinions about both topics over the course of his long career. He was as often very far off base as he was spot on. His major strength in science fiction was not in his knowledge of physical or social sciences but in the all important ability to ask strange questions and speculate on what the answers might be.

Both men had a rather course prose compared to the literary giants mentioned here. I happen to like their style, but I refuse to delude myself into thinking that they are high literature.

Someone calls all Transformer movie fans brainless morons: perfectly fine, behavior that is to be encouraged.

Someone says all GOT viewers are the D&D types: shitstorm.

Oh, and I look forward to Joffrey's scenes. There we have it folks, it is beyond all doubt: something is wrong with my brain. I knew it.

The sex is the draw for women to the show? Then why is a large portion of the sex in the show prostitution or rape? Prostitution, while not terribly romantic, is at least exciting in a way. Rape has no appeal to the average female. No, I don't think the sex is the draw.

Personally I couldn't give a shit about Game of Thrones, but this guy is completely and utterly wrong. I have people on my social network accounts who have never even heard of Dungeons and Dragons or touched some kind of fantasy series who are obsessed with the release of the new season.

Of course, the NYT is famous for regularly browbeating popular culture just because it has to feel like part of the 'establishment'. Heck, when Kerouac's On the Road came out in the 50s, the first person to review it gave it a good write up - then they quickly replaced it with another scathing review once every grouchy literary critic had come out hating it.

Ludicrous. I recently showed the original series to my friend. I only needed to show him the first episode as soon as the push (spoiler?) happened I knew he was hooked.

I'm not sure what should offend me more: that the reviewer is mocking Game of Thrones viewers or that he's mocking D&D players.

SmashLovesTitanQuest:

Oh, and I look forward to Joffrey's scenes. There we have it folks, it is beyond all doubt: something is wrong with my brain. I knew it.

Amen.

OT: I do find this bit funny:

Thinking of jumping into the new season without having seen the first? Don't even try; your brain doesn't have that many neurons.

It just comes off like something someone (...ok me) would respond to with 'no shit sherlock'

rembrandtqeinstein:
There are naked shots of both men and women but all of them make sense in context with the story. Even the lesbian fingerbang scene isn't wasn't gratuitous, it was there to establish the motivations of Lord Baelish. The scene as a single minded person who is solely focused on his goals and cannot be distracted by anything including supremely distracting hot chicks making out on the couch next to him.

I'm sure they could've found another way to get the point across if they'd wanted to. ;D (Or, as another person put it, "Baelish was in that scene?")

I'm sure I'll get over it eventually.

This would be the same New York Times who opened their review of Zone One (a rather dense, cerebral zombie apocalypse novel) with, and I quote, "A literary novelist writing a genre novel is like an intellectual dating a porn star."

NYT doesn't give two shits about any media they consider beneath their standards, which apparently encompasses anything you wouldn't find law professors discussing on their downtime.

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.

Political plotting and intrigue take centre stage in the TV series as well, the reviewer clearly can't pay attention outside of the violence and sex which makes up a small amount of the show.

Well, he's right about one thing- the only Joffrey scene you should be looking forward to is

Oh, and maybe the one where he embarrasses himself by cutting himself on the Iron Throne and runs off in wussy tears in front of his entire court. That'll be cathartically amusing. Evil little shit.

HobbesMkii:
Remember how everyone hated it when Tony Soprano's girlfriends ran around without their tops on 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.

Yeah, but those were in respectable TV shows! Not in a show for NERDS!

(Currently reading Clash of Crowns. It is amazing.)

jklinders:

PrinceOfShapeir:

albino boo:

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.

Wow, I didn't know that I could actually retch from seeing too much pretentiousness in a single moment.

Nothing pretentious about speaking the truth. I've read a fair bit of Heinlein and Asimov. Asimov was quite obviously a scientist first and a writer...somewhere very far down the line. He made for entertaining reading but he was not high literature by any stretch. But that's fine, he was a writer of hard science fiction and that requires you be a scientist first and a writer second.

Heinlein was an odder sort. He was neither scientist nor psychiatrist. That did not stop him from spouting any number of odd opinions about both topics over the course of his long career. He was as often very far off base as he was spot on. His major strength in science fiction was not in his knowledge of physical or social sciences but in the all important ability to ask strange questions and speculate on what the answers might be.

Both men had a rather course prose compared to the literary giants mentioned here. I happen to like their style, but I refuse to delude myself into thinking that they are high literature.

It's not -not- liking Heinlein or Asimov that I thought was the terribly pretentious part. It's the implication that anything that isn't crushingly depressing or over a hundred years old isn't -real- literature. Of course, if you want crushingly depressing, A Song of Ice and Fire delivers it in spades anyway.

Only "D&D types" would like GoT? Yeah, that makes total sense. Must be why my dad (age 76) is a bigger fan than me, and that's saying something.
Pro-tip, NYT: Don't hire hacks.

Okay so this is just ridiculous, and I'm not talking about Bellafante's review here. I really can't believe how the 'Game of Thrones' Fans can get up in flames about what is essentially a subjective opinion posted in a daily newspaper.

Because really now, as much as true that it's pretty unprofessional of New York Times to post a review with such sweeping generalizations, I have hard time siding with the rabid superfans who are currently bombing the critic with hate mails.

PrinceOfShapeir:

It's not -not- liking Heinlein or Asimov that I thought was the terribly pretentious part. It's the implication that anything that isn't crushingly depressing or over a hundred years old isn't -real- literature. Of course, if you want crushingly depressing, A Song of Ice and Fire delivers it in spades anyway.

I'm going to start by saying that I definitely don't believe it's impossible for genre fiction to be literature. However... A Song of Ice and Fire really isn't it. At its best, the series is a decent character drama and an average story of political intrigue, at its worst it comes across as erotic fiction and is seriously hard to struggle through. Everything it tries to do, I'd say The Wheel of Time does better, whether it be political intrigue, an epic fantasy story, a large cast of complex characters with often conflicting motivations, or just a different fantasy world from the normal roster of elves, dwarfs, and dragons (well... you get the picture :P ).

These are all my personal feelings, of course, but when most of the "intrigue" in The Game of Thrones just boiled down to "Littlefinger did it", when Cersei turned out to have no real motivations beyond just being batshit insane, and when Martin chooses to gloss over most of the battles but zoom in with great detail on every sex scene, I found it hard to take the series seriously.

to OP and related:

It continues to shock me how out-of-date the thinking of the New York Times staff was, is, and possibly will be.

We are entering a new age of cultural relativity in America and across the globe. Those who do not recognize this had better start looking forward to a pension....

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