The New York Times Slams Game of Thrones Viewers

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Given the series garnered enough fans to warrant a second season with an extended budget, apparently there are an awful lot of "Dungeons and Dragons types".

And one might not want to anger them. Many of them have swords.

I resent that...

If it were a show for D&D types, I'd be interested in watching, yet I'm not. :P

Now, I don't think as highly of Game of Thrones as most people do around these parts. I may have been quoted saying that it is neither as clever or as morally ambiguous as it claims to be. I may have secretly thought that it actually only pulls off about half of the fantasy it attempts and maybe a bit on top of that of the drama.

That said, the tone of the quotes mentioned here defines the writer more than the show.

But, in the interest of fairness, there is something else worth pointing out. It is this:

The full text of the review in question isn't in the link featured in the article. Or in the link featured in the article that link leads to. It's three links away. This is a quote of a quote of a quote.

The full review is here:

http://tv.nytimes.com/2012/03/30/arts/television/game-of-thrones-on-hbo.html

And seems to point out that the show starts slow, has a humongous cast and, while it shows some potential, it's doing a fair amount of wheel spinning, mostly because, without Ned, there is no single character to carry the weight of the show until either Tyrion or Daenerys are given more to do.

That, to be fair, is a decent point, even if you disagree with the review as a whole.

So, to clarify, the people being defined by this review:

- A moderately snooty TV reviewer, and
- A few internet bloggers quoting incendiary out of context stuff, presumably for clickbaiting or simple lack of professionalism.

PrinceOfShapeir:

jklinders:

PrinceOfShapeir:

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.

The point of my post...you have missed it. It is not the type of story written that literature makes but the quality of the prose written. Heinlein would have laughed at the idea of being a literary giant. He had no pretensions whatsoever on the quality of his work in the grand scheme of things. Asimov I'm not as sure about. They are both very storied and revered authors but the actual work they did was pretty rough around the edges. They were very light on the kind of things that make good lit. Like characters that are not intended as archetypes of some kind of social agenda but strong in their own rights. Well defined character and setting descriptions. Subtlety. Honestly, can you say you have ever read a book by Heinlein that did not make you feel like you were beaten half to death by his opinions on some subject or another? A better author would have been a little less anvilicious about it.

Dune was literature IMHO. Not really a pleasant read but it had a strong story in it's own right as well as a complicated social agenda that didn't leave me feeling I was beaten to death by the man's opinions. Asimov was fairly subtle but was way too barebones in his style. Heinlein had more style but too little subtlety. I enjoy reading them all but let's not lower the bar too low on what constitutes lit. Lord of the Rings is considered a good standard of Lit by some. I can't stand it myself but that's just opinion. It is neither depressing nor old by any standard.

Mike Kayatta:

"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."

Yes. Skip over a couple books worth of information--heck, my friend, who is on the first book, says its getting late autumn--and just get right to the winter. Time moves fast in TV land and we should alter everything for that. Just ignore all the characters and plot development, we need a pompous newpaper to respect it.
And really? Just for the sex? I mean, that's a plus, but the political intrigue and vast mystery surrounding the Wall, the fate of the entire continent, as well as the entire vast diversity of characters' personalities in a human perspective on fantasy that is grimdark and realistic.
-A current-Book-2 Nerd rage.

I just find it funny that the NYT is spewing out all this inane nonsense about this show that's receiving massive critical acclaim. Don't these people read the news ?

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.

*artfully raises a carefully manicured eyebrow* So... Just taking Asimov as an example. Inventing robotic laws and then placing human beings in a situation where a mind reading robot who is prevented from causing humans damage is forced to constantly lie to protect the humans feelings until it self destructs because of its inevitable failure is merely... entertainment?

You understand my point. The motherhood death camp thing is a very poignant moment I'm sure, but just because a story involves robots or dragons does not automatically mean it doesn't have it's own share of greatness in the same vein. Frequently, I find that fantasy or science fiction is far better at communicating great ideas and sublime instances and etc. simply BECAUSE it is not constrained by this silly thing we call reality.

If you want an "excepted" example, see Toni Morrison's Beloved. One of the best damn vampire stories ever made. http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Beloved_%28novel%29

Basically what I am getting at here is that there is a difference of opinion. Respect mine, and I will continue to respect yours.

Edit: dammit that should be accepted not excepted... silly me.

"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."

Since when is all fantasy=bad? I'm sorry, NYT writer, do you have the inability to think outside the box and become uncomfortable when someone stretches your worldview a little bit?

Also, I didn't even know I liked D&D. Huh. Well apparently I do now.

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

yeah, id like to know this as well. i know you like to keep men guessing ladies, but you cant just go and reverse a whole cultural dynamic on us.

man, what is it with journalism nowadays? FOX is more popular than ever, the whole gaming industry misinterprets fan backlash as wanting a "happy" ending, and now this. you do know that your job is to gather facts and information AND THEN give opinions on them, right? the first part is kind of important.

Interesting. I'm not a big fan of fantasy myself and tend to more thoroughly enjoy modern-day or science fiction stories. I never got into Dungeons and Dragons and I highly doubt that I will, but still I enjoy watching a Game of Thrones, partly because of its cast of rich and diverse characters, but also because of the lively aesthetics of the various settings.
Furthermore, I do look forward to the scenes with prince Joffrey, but only out of hope that I get to see him die a slow and cowardly death. I am not usually in the business of wanting to watch people die a slow and cowardly death, but for Joffrey I'll make the acception. Grrr...

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

Double points if you're both.

Doh!

How the hell will we ever survive? Wait...does anyone actually "listen" to the press?

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

It didn't, reread what was said. "illicit sex intrigue". They're not watching it for the titties, that's still guys. They're watching it for the 'sex intrigue', generally the same sort of appeal as when you get women interested in trashy romance novels. Some sort of lame drama stroy telling side of things anyways, one that usually happens to lead to boobies, but isn't done for the sake of them.

I'm being Judge mental this is me judging you
They did this but without any research
They are wrong, the only danger is anyone taking them seriously

dragonswarrior:

If you want an "excepted" example, see Toni Morrison's Beloved. One of the best damn vampire stories ever made. http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Beloved_%28novel%29

Gasp! What are you saying? Toni Morrison's Beloved can't be horror, because it's critically acclaimed! That's why David Foster Wallace's Infinite Jest is totally not science fiction, Cormac McCarthy's The Road is totally not a post-apocalyptic story, and Franz Kafka's The Metamorphosis is totally not fantasy. Critically acclaimed books can't be genre fiction marketed to a different audience! The very idea!

I love DnD and think GoT is a waste of time after the first three books, WHERE DOES THAT LEAVE ME, OH NEW YORK TIMES?

*Grabs hold of Editor*

Go to the New York Times, and send a message. Tell them, Winter is coming for them...

That's all I have to contribute to the conversation. Whoever wrote those reviews just seem to be dicks...

Meh its the New York Times, this would only matter it it was coming from a news source that people actually pay attention to. Now if the BBC said that it would get my hackles up but they wont because they don't hire retards to do reviews.

Isn't the New York Times lot just really conservative old farts that listen to patriotic true American music while dreaming about hunting, and are faster than neutrino's on dismissing change as something that is even remotely good?

Just me?

What's funny is that the NYT actually gives favorable reviews to the Song of Ice and Fire books...

Maybe have the same guy(s) who reviewed the books review the the show?

Down here in Australia GoT is popular with EVERYONE. That and Spartacus are 2 of the most popular shows around atm, so it is clear these reviewers have no idea. They are both full of violence, gore (spartacus), nudity, sex and they have fantastic story lines! GoT was slow to start off with but it got really good towards the end so it is annoying to hear that useless over-opinionated journalists are covering quality TV

I'm a bit disturbed at how many people here find being considered a D&D type an insult.

Why so quick to turn your back on your roots? You Skyrim types are all alike ;)

Some will.
Some won't.
So What.
NEXT!!

DalekJaas:
Down here in Australia GoT is popular with EVERYONE. That and Spartacus are 2 of the most popular shows around atm, so it is clear these reviewers have no idea. They are both full of violence, gore (spartacus), nudity, sex and they have fantastic story lines! GoT was slow to start off with but it got really good towards the end so it is annoying to hear that useless over-opinionated journalists are covering quality TV

Not everyone, it's so boring -_-'

Seriously, after book 2-3, it's just a bowl of lukewarm porridge.

And what is wrong with Dungens and Dragons guys?
No thier are not dorks, i know many DnD players that you would think never saw a fantasy game in thier life. generalizations like these are idiotic. nerd stereotype does not exist anymore.

Yeah, well, newspapers are a dead medium, anyway. Rather fitting that the guys writing them should be out-of-touch old fogies.

interesting. The new york times has the inability to think critically for 2 seconds. So like most media outlets. Guess nothing changed in the past 24 hours.

So was this reviewer MovieBob?

What? Too soon?

Lol, implying anyone that has any relevant interest in the show gives a fuck what other people think.

Bugger the NYT.

I've been reading ASoIaF for close to a decade. I love the books, the characters, the world, and GRRM has smashed every other author I've read into the dust.

People can think it's the dumbest, lamest story ever conceived, and their opinion won't be worth a mummer's fart to me.

Thats stupid. Even our version of Jocks watch it cos it is to quote them 'badass'.

They better not show the guy Spartacus, it has 10X the gore and nudity.

Also what about Boardwalk Empire? Violence, nudity, large cast of characters that speak different languages, because god forbid we speak something besides English.

NYT's reviewer must think its the 50's where women only wear dresses and anyone who speaks a foreign language is a possible communist.

I considered complaining but to be honest I don't watch the show and haven't read the books. (Nor do I plan to) I'd probably be just as dismissive and a tad more snarky than this person in reviewing most TV series (and their audiences). That being said, I'm not paid to do it.

I just read the review. It honestly doesn't seem that offensive, if you're a D&D type (Read: Really into conventional medieval fantasy) then you'll like this. The rest of the 'insults' seem to imply that if you're watching you're doing it more for a fantasy fix than you're doing it for its quality. Which, if her review was accurate, would be true.

How do they explain it being incredible successful and getting nominated for an Emmy?

I'm a DnD type, and would really like to watch Game of Thrones. Maybe they're right...

image

Meh, the series is doing such a good job and is met with such acclaim, i really can't be bothered to give a fuck.

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