Game of Thrones
Game of Thrones has been one of my favourite guilty pleasures, a gorgeously made and endlessly compelling fantasy with Peter Dinklage absolutely marvellous as my favourite character, Tyrion Lannister. But season four has taken a dive; not in quality, but in its story. The fault then probably lies with George Martin, the writer of the novels. I don’t really care who’s to blame. All I know is that a number of my favourite characters, including Tyrion and two female characters, have suddenly become obsessed with revenge and violence. This just doesn’t work for me, on all kinds of levels. Is it honest? Would the characters I have come to know for three seasons become suddenly so violent, given all they have gone through? Perhaps, but not necessarily. And my hope for the series lay in the ‘not necessarily’. I don’t think I can watch Game of Thrones anymore. It makes me too sad, and then there’s all those zombies, or equivalent (I just have no use for zombies). Sigh. My mug is no longer held up.
The fifth and final season of Boardwalk Empire, on the other hand, was one of the best seasons in the series. The focus is on Nucky’s life, beginning with his childhood, and we all know how it’s going to end. But it doesn’t matter, because the story moves along at just the right pace and with great class, closing off the various story lines as they needed to be closed (and I suppose much of it was based on actual events). Buscemi is wonderful, and the writing, acting and cinematography are outstanding. Great television, though it won’t make my favourites list thanks to all the violence. My mug stayed up all the way through, though the third and fourth seasons were the weakest for me.