Wednesday, 1 October 2014

Review : Game of Thrones Part One : Series 1 - 3

Game of Thrones, an American fantasy drama television series created for HBO by by David Benioff and D. B. Weiss. It is an adaptation of 'A Song of Ice and Fire', George R. Martin's series of fantasy novels, the first of which is titled 'A Game of Thrones'. The episodes are mainly written by Benioff and Weiss, who are the executive producers alongside Martin, in the process.

So Hello everyone. I am back after a three month absence of the summer break. I hope you had a good summer.  I certainly did, seeing a broad range of Films and TV series from all the different genres. I had quite an interesting and intense time watching 'Game of Thrones' because it's one of those dramas which plays on suspense and conflict very well indeed. In a nutshell, what do I think? The first series is enticingly gripping, tense, dramatic and exciting. The second series is where it really takes off and the drama finds its feet and things run their course in terms of continuation, story and production. Series Three, is the most recent series I have completed, I really enjoyed it. Much more than I enjoyed Series Two, but not Series One.

So I'm going to break down this review into Three parts where I talk about each series at a time, in turn. Before I come to full gone conclusion at the end. 

This is just the first part in a series of Game of Thrones review, unlike Breaking Bad where I reviewed it all in one go, there is still much more to come with 'Game of Thrones'. Series Five starts on Sky Atlantic next April, I've yet to watch the most recent Series 4 and It's been commissioned for a Sixth Series, so it's evident that there is more to come from this series. However having said that, I'm very excited because this will be the first Television series that I will review on this blog, which I'll be following along as it's happening. So brace yourselves.

So where to start? The beginning! That seems like a good place to start. Okay, I will start off with Series One.

Series One (2011)

To accurately give an opinion on 'Game of Thrones' I need to go back to late May, early June time when I first started watching it. So I started this getting into the Summer season. At first I wasn't all that fussed about watching it. However I knew that it was hot stuff, and that it was a 'Must Watch' kind of thing. It had taken off brilliantly in America, and it was popular with a british audience. I had been made aware of how popular that this series had become, and I felt like I was missing out on a party that everyone was enjoying.

So going into 'Game of Thrones' I hadn't read the book. I had no idea about The Starks or The Lanasters or any of them. I knew nothing about it. I knew the books egisited, and I saw the odd poster advertisement, but that was really it. I was abice to what this actually was. Going into it, you're drawn in from the moment it Episode One starts. I thought it was a clever mood to have a pre-title sequence before had just to get whoever watches it warmed up and settled into what they are going to need to engage themselves in for the next ten episodes.

I watched Episode One, I didn't mind it. I thought as far as first episodes go, that was really good. It's sets things up, it introduces the audience to characters. Characters who are unknown to us, Characters who we know, some we hope to get to know over the next couple of episodes and some we hope won't  be seeing very much of in a short space of time. But as far as start offs go, everything sat fine with me. I was left wanting to watch the next episode.

I think that's how a series, really grips you in a sense. It's down to clever writers knowing and thinking about what they think people want. They construct the story and script in such a way which that you have a strong start, information build up in the middle and then you have to start to build to the end, and how can you end it on a cliffhanger, every episode leaves the viewer wanting more. That speaks to me as being very engaging, the episodes are cleverly constructed in telling the story and not giving too much away.

You do get to know your characters, quite quickly. I had learnt most of the characters names and I knew who was who, by the end of series one/start of series two.  I like series one so much because it speaks a great depth in setting things up, especially in Episodes Nine and Ten. The thing with 'Game of Thrones' is you start the series, flow through each episode accordingly and Episode Nine is the one to watch, whilst Episode Ten gives a nice round off to the series in general. 8/10

Series Two (2012)

Series Two, It started off really strong and then towards the middle of the series (Episodes Five, Six, Seven and Eight) That's when the series took a bit of dry spot for me. It was quite damp, I didn't feel excited which of course meant I didn't enjoy it as much as Series One, which isn't a criticism, by any means.

If anything it just allowed me to understand why that was. There is something about the second series which didn't en role me into liking it more. I think it's multiple things, things to do with the pacing of it, the themes, the authenticity of it, etc.

The last two episodes of Series Two were amazing, they set things up for Series Three brilliantly. I think that's the pivotal point and what the series builds up to, only to re induct itself at the end. It's good on that respect.

I do think that there was so much more that could of been done better, in order make me understand it more though, there are pivotal moments in the Series that do bring storytelling to a brief stand still, slow things down and in turn make it quite damp. But you have pacy action to back that up as well as intensive one to one drama scenes with characters playing off one another for all of three - six minutes of an episode? It achieves drama very well, and a pivotal part of drama is conflict. There is a lot of conflict in this, a lot. 7/10

Series Three (2013)

Series Three, the series had found it's feet by this point. The popularity was heaving in, and everyone loved it, and for good reasons to. So Ten more episodes come in to thrive us in and satisfy our needs greatly. It's very cinematic in some cases, especially when your doing landscape shots and you're filming the wall, and the wastelands. Every episode counts for a reason, and every episode has a little bit of information which speaks for itself.

There is a sense of care about Series 3, which has all the action and drama and killing and people dying, as well as being heavy on dialogue and drawing things down to a lower more suttle level. I think that's the joy about HBO because they know how to spend money. That's the grace of American dramas. They can budget their films or TV shows and get the money back from profits. Here in Great Britain, we can't. We get our money from the tax man. therefore we have to be more careful with the way we spend our money, and manage our budget costs.

HBO know how to spend money, and know how to manage production values carefully in order to great, well established, cinematic, deep drama. Which speaks for itself, excellent costumes, divine sets, sublime acting, and above all a hard working production team which tell a good story.

In a nutshell, Series Three has its moments of capturing spectacular visual imagery in the form of film. The dragons for instance are excellent CGI work blended into the environment, blood and gore is realistic and there are the high and lows overall. 8/10

This concludes Part One of my Game of Thrones reviews. Giving Series 1 - 3 a grand total of 23/30. Which isn't bad going as far as I'm concerned.

It's good to be back!

NEXT TIME : I haven't decided what I'm going to review next. I have some good suggestions though. You'll find out in my next review.

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