Newspaper article The Evening Standard (London, England)

Catch Up TV... Missed the TV Moment Everyone's Talking about? Alastair McKay Looks at the Shows You Should Have Watched (and Still Can) and Gives a Serial Update

Newspaper article The Evening Standard (London, England)

Catch Up TV... Missed the TV Moment Everyone's Talking about? Alastair McKay Looks at the Shows You Should Have Watched (and Still Can) and Gives a Serial Update

Article excerpt

Byline: Alastair McKay

INSOFAR as a heavy metal drama can be about anything, Game of Thrones (Sky On Demand) is about sex, in peculiar varieties; done slave-style, or with prostitutes, or a willing dwarf. It is about whores. Lovely whores, mostly, wholesome and peachy, with bodies honed to a 21st-century template of naked beauty, with fine breasts and carefully trimmed topiary. It is about war and power, which are boring subjects on their own, but become perkier if you add the bosoms and the tarts and the hedgerows as a kind of half-time orange to assist hydration. And, least excitingly of all, it is about dragons, which are computergenerated and thus every bit as realistic as fabulous creatures can be, which is not very.

Much of the above is generic, and would apply to any X-rated fantasy drama though that's a small sub-genre, because, in general, fantasy drama is an adolescent aberration, the literary/cinematic equivalent of extra-strength cider imbibed surreptitiously behind the bus shelter.

But Game of Thrones, being a product of cable TV, gets to have its pubescent cake and eat it, so the opening episode of season five began with a warped fairytale about two bored posh girls visiting a Goth witch in a bivouac and hearing unpleasant prophesies. "Oh, yes," drawled the witch, sucking some blood, "you will be Queen for a time". And this line delivered with a Sid James chortle "The king will have 20 children, and you will have three."

So here's the thing. It's quite an obvious thing. Game of Thrones is a boys' drama designed for women. The boys are still welcome, as there's plenty to enjoy those mulberry bushes, the rumpy, and the thrusting soldiers, and the comedy dwarf, and the sudden slitting of throats. There are things for gay fellas too chests and bottoms, mostly. But the drama inhabits a kind of postfeminist soapy landscape, where the women are interesting, powerful, active and vengeful. …

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