Monday, June 09, 2014

Game of Thrones : "Some Weird Ritual of Self Flagellation"

Now that Game of Thrones is officially HBO's most popular show, I think it's fair to look at the show not just in terms of its own narrative, but in terms of the "phenomenon" it may stand to represent. So perhaps we can say a judgement of the show is in fact a judgement of ourselves. To a small extent, that's fair enough.

So, what can we see in that? To start with, I think HBO got "gritty" right with True Detective; it's bleak and realistic in its way but then just when you think it's all darkness you see what the point was all along. Meaning demands some kind of contrast even if the moral center is totally subjective. If there's no light then it all becomes senseless barbarism. That is in fact one of the takeaway points of the final scene of season 1.

Game of Thrones does something else entirely. I went from being fine, even happy with not investing in the stereotypical fantasy meta-narrative, the good guys on a quest or whatever, to just feeling like the entire point of the show is to antagonize the audience and slap your hand whenever you follow such "conventional" thinking as "maybe we can get through tonight's episode without the one character I care about at this point not getting raped?"

I'll still probably watch it at some point because I do like eschewing ideological cliche and seeing how they are playing with that. If only the process didn't feel like some weird cultural ritual of self flagellation. Like is this culture really hung up on punishing any thought of human kindness and genuine contact or what? How many torture scenes can you watch, how many hopes and lives pointless crushed, before you go from "we get it, life sucks and never works out" to admitting you're actually just punishing yourself and using the show as the straight razor.
And if that kind of mirrored social commentary is intentional then it's genius but I'm not sure they don't just want to show titties rake in cash and give the world the middle finger and all the rest is just incidental

[Take a Trip with us... Mythos Media.]

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