Score Technician: Sean McConnell
As the show approaches the event horizon that is the production schedule of the most successful cable drama of all time and the absence of any existing source material from which to take it to its conclusion, we can only sit back and anticipate being crushed by the black hole that will be fans of the show supplanting readers of the book as the most obnoxious person in your office/improv group. Somebody call HR. It's about to get snarky.
Thankfully the nanobots aren't moved by "books." Or "TV shows." Or "schedules." They're just a sophisticated nanotechnology specifically geared towards providing real-time scientific data around HBO's (nay, America's!) fear of dong. If you've ever wondered what the cost of such fear is, simply keep reading.
- Seeing Charles Dance's name in the opening credits. = +10pts
- "Don't be afraid of my father." is the Westros equivalent of "I'll be right back." The moment someone says it, you know something bad is about to happen. = +3pts
- Apparently, in Westeros, many people spent their halcyon days traipsing through swamps hunting dirty swamp witches. = +2pts (For not flashing back to those other halcyon memories. You know, the ones with all of the raping. Because, hey, it's Westeros!)
- Cutting your thumb open so that you can feed a dirty swamp witch with your blood. = -1pt
- Putting eye coins on a dead Tywin Lannister in order to make him seem...more terryfying? = +5pts (It worked!)
- "Flushing the toilet:" A Westeros-ian term used to describe how one might dispose of their fecal matter through the use of any hole/gap in any box/window/door. = +3pts (For valuing sanitation over comfort.)
- Vomiting on the fancy carpet of the man who saved your life. = -4pts
- Chasing that with a goblet of wine. = +8pts
- Oddly enough, "Do Unsullied Dream of Electric Dong?" is one of George Martin's least successful deleted files. = No points just a fact.
- Training the kid who killed your girlfriend on how to kill more of your girlfriends better. = -2pts
- Nothing says romance on The Wall quite like a freezing trip on a rickety-ass gondola of death. = +4pts
- Goth Sansa. = +3pts
- After five seasons of brutality and misery, Game of Thrones finally takes a break from doom and gloom and offers up some comedy in the form of Robin Arryn learning swordplay. = +10pts (Never has a show done a better job foreshadowing a painful death in a more hilarious way.)
- Not wearing shoes to a funeral... = -2pts
- Or an undershirt... = -2pts
- And were assuming underwear as well. = -2pts
- Game of Thrones goes out of it's way to avoid dong by combining two things you never thought should go together: This scene from Armageddon, and this scene from Austin Powers. = -10pts
- Talking about the "war to come" five seasons into a show. = -5pts
Season Score: +10pts
Look, almost every season opener of Game of Thrones feels like table setting. You remember the trauma of the last season and you're immediately filled with dread/excitement to jump right back in and be slapped in the face by some unforeseen twist or death. But this rarely happens in the season opener. And, after five seasons, we think it's safe to assume that Benioff and Weiss will, at some point, crush our face with their writerly hands so that they can laugh and bathe in our tears. So be patient and enjoy the amuse bouche that is any scene with Tyrion and Varys.
All that notwithstanding, there are two things that need to be said.
- Stop talking about the "war to come." We are five seasons in. War is already here. At least, we (the viewers) think we've seen a lot of war. Haven't we? If the show is to actually end in season seven (like the showrunners continue to assert, even if HBO seems to be hedging their bets), then this "war" better happen soon. For all we know, it may never happen. We at the SC feel that "war" may be to Game of Thrones, what "communism" was to Clue, a red herring dancing around the periphery, diverting our attention from the real crimes and motives of the characters. At the moment, we are on the fence as to whether or not this is a good thing. Who knows, perhaps we've all been duped by the greatest macguffin in the history or television (and books) because, let's be honest, thousands of pages into The Song of Fire and Ice and "winter is still....(snore) coming." This is the season the show officially lasts longer than America's involvement in WWII. While it's made for great TV, there's only so long we're going to be satisfied with "just the tip." Hey, speaking of! That brings us to...
- At this point, just the tip would be preferable. The elaborate ways in which HBO continues to showcase nude women, while staging laughably Austin Powers-like scenes of naked men, is bordering on the puritanical. In a show that seems to make victims of the virtuous, it feels more and more contrived in its portrayal of sex and the human body. Watching some guy artfully bend his knee while another man goes animal crackers on his privates only shows the audience how disingenuous you are about portraying men as sexual objects. Especially, when you have many (oh, so many) scenes featuring full frontal females. (You can call it a merkin all you want, but if it's a merkin that looks like a vagina. It's a vagina.) Ask any man who's ever rolled over in bed, and any woman/man who's been in bed with that man, and they'd probably tell you that it's called a dong for a reason, because a penis, on average, behaves more like a dong than a rod. It flops. And leans. And dangles. It's part of a body. I'm not sure we even want to get into the physiology of a scene involving men who are supposedly in an aroused (or post-arousal) state. But hey, we did it any way. Watching naked men roll around on each other like shadowed Ken-dolls is actually more disturbing, and sends a pretty clear message about who should be protected in our culture. But protect us from what? Sex? The human body? On a show featuring naked contortionists? Really? Call us obsessive, but it's actually becoming the most distracting thing about a show that attempts to market itself as a "gritty" portrayal of the cost of human impulses. At this point, it's pretty much a drinking game. Every time a naked male character stands to pour himself a drink in front of a strategically placed carafe of wine? Drink! Anytime a scene defies physics by shadowing out/Buffalo-Bill-ing a guys junk? DRINK!! We're not asking for porn here. Stop being weird about it HBO. I mean, we at the PSC hate to use this phrase, but have some balls already.