Tv Review – Game Of Thrones

Game of Thrones is the newest series from the warm nest that is HBO. This tv network has a couple of great series already and can add another one to its list with a Game of Thrones. Even though the first season had only 10 episodes it has become wildly popular and a second season has been announced. I know I’m a bit late reviewing this, but the show hasn’t aired in my country yet and I prefer to watch it in HD so I waited for a while. So I finally watched it a week ago, and here are my impressions.

Game of Thrones is based on the books ‘A Song of Ice and Fire’ by George R.R. Martin. The first season revolves around the first book in this epic series. The story takes place in Westeros, a land that consists of 7 kingdoms where the 7 noble families vie for control. During the series the story focuses on one or more of these families.

The current king (portrayed by Mark Addy) is feeling threatened and seeks the support of his old friend Eddard ‘Ned’ Stark (portrayed by Sean Bean). Ned Stark follows his king to King’s Landing, the capital, to serve as ‘Hand of the King’ which is a sort of advisor/regent position.

In the meantime, quite a few events are afoot. The children of the last king of the ‘Targaryen dynasty’, Viserys and Daenerys, are trying to take back the land they feel belongs to them. The wife of Ned Stark has her hands full in the north of Westeros and Ned Starks bastard, Jon Snow, decides to become a ranger and protect ‘The Wall’ (a gigantic wall that separates the kingdom from a whole lot of bad shit). On top of all that, the queen and her twin brother keep a secret and conspire against the king and his loyal followers such as Ned Stark.

In summary, enough material to fill a couple of seasons.

The atmosphere of the series is excellent I must say. A lot of time has been spent on costume design and it shows. Same for the set pieces. The fantasy element is obviously quite dominant but the CGI is brilliant as well. Even the intro has seen a lot of work! On top of that I really like the distinct accents that each of the actors have. Few things are crushing immersion as much as a bunch of Americans running around screaming (no offence).

The casting has been done quite good as well. Sean Bean as Eddard Stark is simply amazing. Bean has quite the resumé already (He’s Boromir in LOTR) and he feels quite at home in the Game of Thrones setting. Mark Addy (Robin Hood) and Lena Heady (Terminator: The Sarah Connor Chronicles) deserve an honorable mention as King Robert and his bitch queen, respectively. Peter Dinklage portrays the dwarf brother of the queen, Tyrion, and he does a marvellous job. He also seems like the only sane person of the entire Lannister family.

Personally, I didn’t know the books before I saw the series and I see the series from a whole different point of view, no doubt. There are some references to places and names that mean nothing to me (yet) but I’m sure that those of you who read the books know quite well. Don’t worry, I fully intend to read ALL the books!

The first few episodes might feel a bit overwhelming if you’re just entering the world of George R.R. Martin, but the pace slows down a little bit in the later episodes.

Finally, I like that the makers don’t shy away from blood, violence and sex (which is there in abundance) and that the writer of the books doesn’t hesitate to kill off characters (you’ll know it when you see it, blew my mind really)

In short, Game of Thrones promises to have a great run on HBO. Don’t miss it!

/Niels

Tv Review – Bones

Today is a premiere for this website, it’s the first time I’m ever writing about a tv series! Hooray! No really, it’s not very different from writing about a movie. Most of these tv series posts will be reviews of shows that I recently watched or have watched over the years, so not all of these reviews will be as current as this one. Today I’ll be talking about Bones. No not actual bones … the tv series Bones!

Bones is an American drama/crime/police series that’s been on tv since 2005. The show mainly focuses on Temperance Brennan (Emily Deschanel) and Seeley Booth (David Boreanaz), who work together to solve murders. The only real, tangible evidence for these murders are the bones of the victims. Due to the extensively detailed forensic investigation the show somewhat resembles CSI. Fox (the producer) only recently announced that there will be a 7th season of the show which makes me quite happy.

The show is loosely based on the books of writer Kathy Reichs. She works as a consultant on the show, reading through scripts to filter out all the scientific impossibilities (though I’m sure several still remain in the show). Reichs once said that she dislikes watching CSI because the scientific impossibilities annoy her, and who can blame her really … CSI would be more realistic if it took place in the future to be quite frank. Though, some of the toys in the show are anything but realistic, take the hologram thingamajjick for instance. It can create moving scenario’s, show a person’s face based on their skull and a couple more fancy things, all in 3D …. If that were real, I’d totally get me one, but as far as I know it’s not (yet). 

Back to the show. The story revolves around Temperance Brennan, who is a forensic anthropologist working in the Jeffersonian Institute. Together with her team of highly talented scientists she helps the FBI solve murder cases. This is where Seeley Booth comes in as he plays the FBI agent/liaison. The relationship between the FBI and the Jeffersonian isn’t always smooth, which is reflected in Booth and Brennan (Booth calls Brennan ‘Bones’ because of her work).

Booth is sort of the romantic of the entire show which stands in contrast to Brennan who is the woman-scientist-doctor type, is also chilly and damaged. We know this because she says things like ”My most meaningful relationships are with dead people” and because her parents vanished when she was 15, leading her to a career of giving closure to the dead. For me it’s the Mulder-and-Scully, opposites-attract stuff that keeps me hooked to the show.

The show naturally has several other regular characters on the show. There’s Michaela Conlin as Angela (the hippy type), T.J. Thyne as Hodgins (obsessed with conspiracy theories), Tamara Taylor as Saroyan (down to earth type) and John Francis Daley as Sweets. The conversations and tensions between the various characters often make for a very enjoyable and funny episode. Personally, I like when Booth and Brennan go to Sweets for counselling, Sweets keeps analyzing them which annoys Booth endlessly. It often makes for extremely funny situations which takes the serious nature of a murder and the following investigation and lightens it up a bit.

All in all, I find this series very enjoyable and I prefer watching this over CSI for much the same reason that I like NCIS. It’s really the light-hearted spirit, with all the sexual tension, puns and comedy that does it for me. The forensic part? Well, that’s pretty fancy and interesting too, but not why I watch the show.

So if you’re a fan of CSI and are looking for something a bit less serious, Bones is just the thing for you. If you like NCIS and are looking for more along the same line, Bones will do the trick for you.

But don’t take my word for it, go and watch and episode or 2 and decide for yourself. let me know what you think in the comment section!

Enjoy!

/Niels