Friday, March 30, 2012

If "Game of Thrones" Is For Nerds, Who Is The NYT For?

Just days before season 2 of "Game of Thrones" is set to premiere, Neil Genzlinger wonders if the show can extend its appeal "beyond Dungeons & Dragons types..." But why? It's already hugely popular, just like the books. Genzlinger suggests that what the series really needs is some kind of outside threat to bring the show "back on track." But one of the best things about the series is that it takes the time to explore at length the shifting allegiances, competing plots, and various contingencies that affect all of Westeros, the frozen North, and beyond the Jade Sea. Genzlinger's point, that "Game of Thrones" is only for nerds and the D&D/fantasy/LARP-ing crowd, seems not only feeble, but misguided. Tens of millions of people read fantasy novels, play fantasy videogames, dress up at the weekend and forge chainmail or eat turkey drumsticks. Interest in medieval fantasy is pretty mainstream. Maybe it's just writers for the NYT who aren't into it. Besides, the show is good enough so that people who might not ordinarily watch will tune in (even if only to be part of the conversation). Hey, I don't love Westerns, but I could not get enough of "Deadwood," and I know plenty of people who hate small-town dramas who loved "Friday Night Lights."

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