Monday, June 20, 2011

The pay off and the piss off.

The Game of Thrones and The Killing.


O.K. Tell me the Game of Thrones didn't pay off, in spades. Great last episode. I was riveted and I read the book! Linda pulled down the book and read the last paragraph out loud, and the show just nailed it.

I liked the show all the way through, but it seemed a little plodding compared to the books. Now I think, like all good things, it just needed to wind up and prepare for the sheer power of the story. Bland camera movements, but you know what? I'm sick of jiggly camera's representing movement. Let the story speak for itself.

Terrific. A couple of times, it sent chills down my spine. When Jon Snow's friends proclaimed their oath, and the dragon unfurling at the end.

Can't wait for next year -- and can't wait for the fifth book.

The Killing.

Come on, really!?

To me this was like watching someone do the most obvious and easy things in very elaborate and sophisticated ways.

First thing I thought when they were talking gas mileage was -- what if the suspect got the car filled at the end of the drive instead of the beginning? But it took the two 'detectives' the whole show to figure that out.

The one detective's total betrayal came out of left field.

Too bad. Great atmosphere, great emotions, great acting, great editing.

Stupid plot.

I'll watch next year, because I'm a sucker.


H. Bruce Miller said...

DVRed the last episode and haven't watched it yet, but you didn't spoil it for me because I've read the book and I know how it turns out. (In fact I'm almost through the second volume.) Martin knows how to tell a story -- it's a ripping yarn, as the Brits say. The series seems faithful to the book both in story line and in tone.

I'm wondering how you would compare Martin's series with LOTR. Tolkien's creation, I think, is a greater imaginative tour de force; Martin just takes standard medieval material (even adapting the same terminology) and transplants it into a fictional world. But Martin is a more skillful story-teller and writes better dialogue. (Having written for TV, that's not surprising.)

H. Bruce Miller said...

Re The Killing: Yeah, I also feel like I've been diddled a bit. And the series has dragged on too long and has gotten tedious. I don't think it's engrossing enough for me to bother with another season. I never cared much about any of the characters, and at this point I'm pretty indifferent to who killed poor little Rosie.

Duncan McGeary said...

I always tell people that Martin is the "second best fantasy writer."

Nothing will ever compare to LOTR's for me, because I was at that prime age of 13 when I read it and reread it and reread it.

Anonymous said...

Tolkien vs. Martin (Disclaimer: read GoT and stopped. Won't finish till he does).

Dialogue: Martin. HBC is right; TV helps here. He's as good or better than anybody in the biz.

Descriptive writing: Tolkien. Martin can be a little flat with that.

World-building: Tolkien. Martin's hit-and-miss. The whole thing with the seasons is hard to swallow — a culture that dealt with decades'long winters wouldn't look like medieval England.

"Realism" (in human interaction): Martin. People act like real people, including an extraordinary degree of nastiness. Not that Tolkien fails here — that's a BS critique of his works. Tolkien's Men and Hobbits are flawed and fallible creatures. It's kinda silly to compare the mores of an Edwardian Oxford Don with those of a modern American writer, but Martin's world does include sex.

Martin would be the first to tell you that there's no Song of Ice and Fire without LOTR.

For the record, neither can match Tim Willock's The Religion in depictions of battle. Even though JRRT was in one of the biggest ones in history.

Jim Cornelius

H. Bruce Miller said...

"World-building: Tolkien."

Definitely agree. I don't think anyone has ever equaled Tolkien's imaginative achievement in creating a believable fictional world complete with its own geography, history, mythology, cosmology, languages and even species.

"a culture that dealt with decades'-long winters wouldn't look like medieval England."

No, it would look like present-day Bend, Oregon. (Sorry, couldn't resist.)

Anonymous said...

Hah! Funny.

And the DA's office is beginning to resemble the politics of King's Landing.