I tell people to check it out if they haven’t seen it and they say: “Oh it just isn’t for me.” or “I’m not really into that type of thing.”
Of course I’m talking about Battlestar Galactica. It’s one of the great shows of the past 10 years, right up there with The Wire, The Sopranos, Mad Men and Breaking Bad. But because of its setting, it’s often shrugged off as some Star Trek rip-off or the like.
This isn’t something you should let happen with HBO’s recent addition Game of Thrones .
Often works of genre fiction — sci-fi, fantasy, westerns — put themselves in that category because the story is more about the setting, and the setting dominates everything that happens. Occasionally a work is so transcendent that it no longer is deemed worthy of fitting into a neat little genre box. The Dark Knight comes to mind or The Lord of the Rings. They work because fundamentally they aren’t about a man who dresses as a bat or Elijah Wood trying to fit into a world of normal sized people and Orlando Bloom. They work for the same reason any story works, they work because they are about us, humanity.
And Game of Thrones — based on the series A Song of Fire and Ice by George R.R. Martin — works for the same reasons. Strip away all the medieval fantasy trappings, the blood, the sex, the sword play and this is still a great story. The same goes for Battlestar Galactica or Harry Potter.
Plus, Game of Thrones has something that Battlestar Galactica never had. A budget. HBO executives go to sleep each night on beds of money and their pillows are stuffed with the ashes from the 100 dollar bills they use to light their cigars with (they recycle, it’s good for the Earth). And HBO has come off incredibly dedicated to making everything work, and have spared no expense in time or delays to make sure everything is just right.
And the show? It’s great. I just binged through it after a couple of friends raved about great it was constantly. I didn’t really plan on it, but I couldn’t stop. If you choose to catch up and watch the first season this summer (the first season just wrapped up and it was only 10 episodes long so you don’t have too much to catch up on) be warned that this show, like a lot of HBO shows, puts a good deal of expectations on the viewer. You really have to keep an eye on things and all the character introductions can be a mess to untangle in the first couple of episodes. But once things hit stride around episode five, Game of Thrones really takes off.
I’m already looking forward to next year, so you should do yourself the favor and check out this brilliant show.