Vincent Safuto’s Weblog

Notes and observations

‘Game of Thrones’ may be next ‘Sopranos’

When HBO premieres a new series, inevitably the network devotes months to teases.

Back when “The Sopranos” was still in its run – I think it was in the fourth season – HBO began teasing a new series: “The Wire.” We all know how that turned out, and “The Wire” is acclaimed as one of the greatest TV series in history.

Some time back, I began seeing teases for something called “Game of Thrones.” It looked set in times past, and while I had enjoyed the epics “Rome” and “Deadwood,” I thought it was just a bit too, well, juvenile for my tastes.

I set my TiVo to record the season, but since I’m deep into “Treme” and “The Killing” on AMC, never watched the first three episodes I recorded, then deleted them.

So one night, I was sitting home bored and decided I wanted to give “Game of Thrones” a try. But of course I had to start from the beginning, but there were no episodes coming up from the early season.

Then – face palm! – it hit me that I have On Demand, and HBO on Demand.

There were those missed episodes, and I have watched the first seven of eight, as of this writing, and will watch No. 8 tonight before bed.

I have to say this: “Game of Thrones” may be the best series HBO has done since “Deadwood.”

And Ned Stark is the closest I’ve seen to Tony Soprano.

As the hand of the king, Stark rules his little corner of the world and you can see the years and the stress in his face. I won’t go into detail, but someone spared no expense in making this series. Visually, it’s spectacular.

But I always get back to Ned Stark, whose travails are what drive the show. The Lassiters, who appear to be the bankers and moneylenders, are into their own deals, and King Robert, who’s mortally wounded on a hunting trip, is someone who loved his booze, his blood sport and his women, but was less interested in keeping the budget balanced.

I wish I had started this series from the beginning, but I’ll be back to it when its second season airs. In the meantime, on to episode eight!

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June 10, 2011 - Posted by | Living in the modern age, Vinny's Book Club | , , , , , , , , , , , , , ,

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