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Entries in Game of Thrones (34)

Wednesday
Apr202016

HBO’s LGBT History: Game of Thrones (2011-)

Manuel is working his way through all the LGBT-themed HBO productions.

Last week we looked at the legacy of Larry Kramer via the rather hagiographic doc Larry Kramer in Love and Anger. And from the LGBT frontlines to the land of Westeros, we pause this week to talk about Game of Thrones which returns later this weekend. There’s obviously plenty to discuss in the George R.R. Martin fantasy series since sex and sexuality (not to mention its contiguity with violence) has been so central to debates surrounding the show. So I’m opting to focus instead on a minor character to single out perhaps the most underrepresented group of sexual minorities: asexuals.

When I taught gender and sexuality to college students, one of the things I’d often get asked when dealing with the ever-growing LGBT acronym was to explain all the letters. L, G, B, and T have always been pretty easy to identify (Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual, Trans* and/or any of its variations, including Two-Spirited). It was once we went beyond those that you’d end up really understanding the way such an umbrella acronym encompassed plenty of identities. Q, for example, could stand for “Queer” or “Questioning”; I stands for Intersex while some people would point out that * is necessary given that some people in the community refuse any sort of label (you can read the Wikipedia article on the acronym to see what else often gets lumped in!). A for many stands for “Ally,” a curious category since it seems less a sexual identity than the rest; often I pushed students to also consider A as standing for “Asexual.”

Whether asexuals, who have grown increasingly vocal (if not quite visible) within the mainstream in the past few decades, belong within this broad umbrella group is a discussion in itself, but since we’re exploring the way HBO has tackled various sexual identities, I figured we’d look at the most overt attempt by the network to take on the issue of asexuality. And so we come to Varys (Conleth Hill) on Game of Thrones.

Click to read more ...

Monday
Dec282015

Best of '15: The TV Experience

Dancin' Dan here to take a look at 2015 on the small screen. When I moved to NYC late last year I thought that I would be going to the movies all the time. After all, so many more movies play here than my previous home in the middle of Connecticut! But the sheer glut of movies to see, both old and new, caused a lot of second-guessing and a bit of paralysis, leading to a less robust slate than I had imagined.

But the plentiful offerings of television were there for me in my indecisive, paralyzed state. I didn't watch everything, but I did watch a lot. And these are...

15 Favorite Things About TV in '15
after the jump... 

Click to read more ...

Sunday
Sep132015

The Morning After: Creative Emmy Award Winners

Andrew on the Emmy Awards, Round 1

Are there too many Emmy Award categories? On one hand, considering that that they need two separate ceremonies to get through all the winners, it seems a reasonable thesis. It lends a longness to the procedures but how nice that they recognise everything, and appreciate the difference between prostethic and non-prostethic make up, credits music, and title design? 

Yesterday, eight days before the regular Emmys, the Creative Emmy awards were presented with prizes for costumes, choreography, production, design, music, guest acting and even TV movie. The creative Emmys, unlike craft prizes at the Oscars, are rarely a good indicator of what wins the big prizes. But let’s look at the notable winners and ponderwhether some of the surprises of last evening might carry over to next week's official ceremony. 

THE WINNERS AFTER THE JUMP...

Click to read more ...

Thursday
Sep102015

"Best Shots" from the Emmy Nominated Series

Andrew here with a special Hit Me With Your Best Shot inspired look at the best looking TV shows (according to Emmy voters).

The Creative Arts Emmy Awards are handed on this Saturday (September 12), the precursor to the main ceremony billed for the next week. So, in anticipation of Saturday's ceremony where all technical and visual prizes will be handed out here's a celebration of the cinematographic side of television.

The cinematography side of TV has been divided into two categories, instead of one, since 2000: Cinematography for a Single Camera Series (most, if not all, dramas on TV right now, and many comedies), Cinematography for a Multi-Camera Series (predominantly CBS comedies). (They briefly flirted with dividing the category by episode length in 2008 and 2009 and then returning to this current, which just goes to show how indecisive the Emmy rules committee can be.)

It's easy to see which category Emmy voters consider superior. There are 7 single-camera nominees, and 4 multi-camera nominees, and having watched all eleven episodes we're following their bias and focusing on the single category, too...

CINEMATOGRAPHY FOR A SINGLE CAMERA SERIES NOMINEES

7 nominees across 4 shows to represent the best photograped shows on television. One shot from each show follows to help you decide which to root for on Saturday.

Click to read more ...

Thursday
Jul162015

Emmy Noms 2015 ~ Drama/MiniSeries, First Impressions

Emmy Awards will be held on Sept 20th this yearYou've surely already read Team Experience Dream Drama Ballots so you'll know that for many of us Emmy Nomination morning can be a Waking Nightmare. For all the talk of "The Golden Age" of television, there's precious little evidence of that in what is essentially the official industry record each year. "But these are high quality shows!" You protest. Well, yes but...

Even if you accept as the gospel truth that all of the Emmy nominees are of high quality, a true golden wouldn't support a great deal of repetition. A true golden age would suggest such a high level of quality in the competitive pool that the nomination shortlists in each category would be quite volatile from year to year with slight or major dips or rises in quality for entire shows and individual characters reflected in dozens of different names and titles in the Emmy categories causing a revolving door effect rather than a copy and paste effect with some people popping up sporadically, others once and never again, etcetera. This is rarely if ever the case with Emmy. Once you're in the list you tend to stay in, screw the merits of individual episodes, character arcs or seasons that are officially in play. Hence no Golden Age... at least not according to Emmy. Maybe they'll catch up sometime? Yet with their darling Breaking Bad off the air, last year's disruptive force True Detective ineligible (no new episodes during the eligibility period), and Orange is the New Black forced to switch from comedy to this category by the Academy itself, changes were practically forced upon the Emmy voting body.

Did it free up their thinking? Let's find out. The nominee list with first impression commentary after the jump...

Click to read more ...

Sunday
Jun142015

Blogs He Linked

The Dissolve Disney's announces the replacement voice cast of The Good Dinosaur - what is going on with that movie?
Guardian this sounds really cool. Director Gillian Armstrong (Little Women, Mrs Soffel) has made a documentary about the Oscar winning costume designer Orry-Kelly called Women He Undressed. He had a fascinating career and was quite a famous figure in Hollywood's golden age, friends with Bette Davis and more than friends (rumored) with Cary Grant
They Live By Night "This is our Furiousa" a reflection on a rare quiet moment in Mad Max Fury Road
Elle randomness! Talking to the art director of the cover of Madonna's debut album 
NYT talks to the cast of Goodfellas on their 25 year old classic


The Playlist new images from Terrence Malick's Knight of Cups. Isn't it time to release this one? (I'm getting a To the Wonder vibe)
The Guardian looks back at Helen Mirren's breakout part at 22 (!!!) in Age of Consent (1969) 
Shadowplay has a super fun series called "The Sunday Intertitle" and the latest is about Tarzan (1929). I was brainstorming a similar series years ago but never committed so I'm so happy someone else has one! My only complaint is there is no way to link the complete series.
Pajiba wonders why critics and the internet are turning on Game of Thrones for doing the exact same things it's always done (gorey violence, lots of rape, brutal torture, etecetera). I knew to get out after the first season and second book -- definitely way too sadistic/sexist/exploitative for me -- so I've found the recent outrage peculiar since it's describing the show I saw five seasons ago to a T. 
EW Mark Harris on the sudden pop culture fascination with actual transgender celebrities as well as their fictional counterparts, particularly on television

Geeky Fandom
CineMunch continues their amusing favorite actress podcast showdowns. This one's about Pfeiffer, Witherspoon, Binoche, and The Lovely Laura Linney among others
Toybox Penny Dreadful action figures!
New Statesman Excellent piece on the enduring appeal and fan obsessiveness towards Star Wars
HuffPost Disney princes reimagined in queer context
Twitter Mulder & Sculley reunited

Two stories from the real world.
The first is horrific and the second heartwarming. A gay man has been severely tortured and his family's business vandalized in Delta, Utah. I bring this up because I've actually been to this tiny tiny city innumerable times in my life. My mom lives near there in an even tinier city and I've even posted about Delta's one movie theater before. Because that story is just too terrible to contemplate -- it could have been me or any LGBT person or any person thought to be gay whether they were gay or not and will likely be someone else in the future of any stripe (hate & violence being dumb, nonlogical, non discerning and pathological) unless the people are caught. Because that story is too depressing for words, here's a cute story about a NYPD officer who saved a kitten and now the kitten is named after him! Awwww. 

Friday
Jun122015

FYC: Gwendoline Christie for Best Supporting Actress in a Drama

 Members of Team Experience were asked to share personal dream picks for this year's impending Emmy nominations (with the caveat that they can't have already won the Emmy in that category). Here's Michael C...

 Aren’t you just marvelous! Absolutely singular.”
- Lady Olenna upon meeting Brienne of Tarth

I’m guessing the reactions of a great many audience members mirrored that of Diana Rigg’s Queen of Thorns when they first saw Gwendoline Christie as Brienne of Tarth. She cuts such a striking figure, and the match of actress to role is such a flawless one, that it might have taken a few episodes to move beyond fascination with her presence and notice the skill. In a show with numerous longstanding mysteries, Christie has turned the character of Brienne into one of the most consistently compelling. What drives this astonishing woman with her fierce loyalty and her unshakable sense of honor?

This most recent season has offered glimpses into her past, particularly Christie’s moving monologue about the humiliation she received as a youth, but such a wonderfully complex character can’t be reduced to a single anecdote. Brienne is the closest thing to a pure hero that George R.R. Martin’s brutal worldview will allow and Christie manages to keeps her multi-dimensional enough that she is not out of place on such an unsentimental canvas. The actress articulates every wrinkle of Brienne’s prickly personality careful not to skip over her flaws like her stubbornness or the idealism that verges on naïveté. 

Her Brienne of Tarth also stands as a magnificent piece of physical acting. Christie doesn’t just sell her character’s legendary fighting prowess – no small accomplishment – she is able to modulate her fighting style to Brienne’s state of mind. 

In lesser hands Brienne might have come off as more of a concept than a person. A self-conscious attempt to toy with Martin’s favorite theme of outsiders with no place in society. But Christie keeps her so specific that the idea of tokenism never enters into it. She isn’t just the idea of a female warrior there for symbolic value. She is, as The Hound memorably put it, Brienne of fucking Tarth.

Previously on our Emmy series
The Americans, Best Drama | Jane the Virgin, Best Comedy | Lisa Kudrow, Actress | Jon Hamm, Actor | Ruth Wilson, Actress | Matt Czuchry, Supporting Actor and... Cara Seymour on creating "Sister Harriet" on The Knick and that insanely competitive Supporting Actress in a Drama Series Race