June 4, 2013

The Weekend was dark, and full of terrors...

This past Sunday gave genre fans a 1-2 punch of awesome in the form of an absolute killer of a Game of Thrones episode, and the long-awaited return (at least for us) of The Killing.

Roose Bolton is more of a bastard than his bastard is.
 *There are NO SPOILERS below, so feel free to read on in a safe manner.

Game of Thrones is the best show on TV right now, period. Its narrative is strong due to the fact that it comes from some very strong source material, and the Showrunners have done the books great justice by translating it extremely well to the small screen. Westeros is a rich, deep world populated by interesting and multi-dimensional characters, and there is never a shortage of intrigue or incident.
With "The Rains of Castamere" Game of Thrones gave us one of the most harrowing penultimate TV episodes that we've seen in recent memory. We've read the GOT books and we knew what was coming, but to see the events of the Red Wedding unfold in front of our eyes was a jaw-dropper none the less.

When the screen went dark, and the credits began to play in dead silence, the Internet exploded with cries of "Screw you, HBO!" and "OMG I'm crying so hard right now, this show just destroyed my soul!" Show fans were dismayed and in shock, and rightly so; I honestly can't tell you the last time I've seen an episode of TV that brought that level of mayhem and horror into my home. It was truly a game changer.

The beauty of this story, both in book and TV form, is that George R.R. Martin isn't afraid to do horrible things to his characters in the name of compelling storytelling. No one in Westeros is safe; there's no hero who is invincible and lives forever, and often times the bad guys seem to win. Most compelling of all is how unsafe the audience is; the characters they grow to love will suffer, die, or worse. GOT will mess with your head, and it's a better show for it.

Unpredictability is a beautiful thing in a TV show; the overwhelming majority of TV dramas play it safe, follow formula, and offer little in the way of true danger for their stars and the characters they play. Look how many shows just drag things out to fit their sweeps schedules, and just rinse & repeat. From the last scene in the first episode of GOT however, it was apparent that this show was going to do some very different things, and that playing it safe would never, ever be a part of the equation.

If you're not already watching this show, you're truly missing out on some God Tier entertainment. For everyone else who already knows the joy (and pain) of the GOT universe, get ready, because things only get crazier from her on out.

Holder does not play!
Screw the haters; we loved The Killing, and we're happy as hell that AMC decided to un-cancel it and give us a third season. The main gripe that most people had after watching the first season of The Killing was that it dragged the case out for too long, and teased a resolution that didn't come until the end of season two. Let us not forget though that The Killing was an English language remake of the Danish TV show Forbrydelsen, which took 20 episodes to wrap up its "Rosie Larsen" case too. American audiences are just too impatient sometimes.

The Killing brings to TV a dreary and hopeless atmosphere in setting, incident and character alike. The Cops are as imperfect and defunct as are the suspects, and the cases that they take on and obsess over are not all neat and easily resolved. This isn't a police procedural show that wraps up a new case in every 42 minute episode; The Killing plays the long game, and its tension and mystery builds slowly with all of its twists and turns.

It's really Holder that we love the most about The Killing; Joel Kinnaman is awesome as the grungy, borderline-shady detective, and we're glad we get to see some more of him in action. He's going to be the new Robocop, so you know he's got skills.

Season three started off interesting enough, and ended with a truly grisly scene, and we hope that it delivers on the level that we're expecting it to. If not, it'll still be better than True Blood, so we're good either way.


  1. I have seen a lot of awesome projects get cancelled for no other reason that they were too awesome and the average guy would not get it. I don't know how HBO will pull it out, but if I were a betting man I would bet that GOT will get cancelled midway. I hope it will not, but then again, I always do before my favourite shows get cancelled.

    It is still well that there are the books one can read. Too bad R.R. Martin writes a book per century, though.

  2. from howard

    i had 4 discussions with people who freaked out over sundays episode .
    none of them (obviously) read the books , so each week is creating great frustration for them.
    each of them has a kindle or ipad - i emailed them the books and asked them to read all 5 books by next season - none of them knew it was based on a series of books. : )
    with only 2 seasons left , its nice to see this type of show - as opposed to walking dead which is complete nonsense and will repeat itself over and over , season after season , GOT is the real deal and a real story.