Watched House Of The Dragon, I Wouldn’t Recommend It
HBO tries its hand at the Netflix Original
House of The Dragon is not Game of Thrones, that’s for certain, and I wouldn’t recommend it to my worst enemy. I’ll try not to spoil anything for those who’ll watch it anyway, so all I’ll say is that there are bare-minimum expectations that should be met by any attempt to tell a story, which are:
1) That the main characters each have established backgrounds, which are as important for the audience to understand each character as they are for the writers of the show. Whenever a character has weak motivations, or when they don’t really know what to do or how to respond to novel circumstances, you can be sure that the writers haven’t established a firm backstory. They don’t know who they’re dealing with. A simple rule is that our histories tell our future, Game of Thrones does a good job illustrating the profound value of the rule. Everything Robert Baratheon does is because of his history, everything known about him relates to his history, we can predict what he’ll do under a number of courses because we know his background. Backstories are important, shows that don’t put time here are almost never good.
2) That the rule to “show, don’t tell,” be inverted. Telling is always better than showing, always. If this wasn’t the case we would never be able to spend hours listening to podcasts, where the stories told are pure narrative. There’s just something compelling about pure narrative, there’s a wealth of information that I don’t believe visuals can transmit. Words work wonders for us, for whatever reason. This small fact is the basis od so many facts of life, it makes relationships possible. Imagine how miserable we’d be if we could only appreciate a story if it were acted out in full. The best seasons of Game Of Thrones (1-4) were ones where they didn’t have a big enough budget to show anything, and the plots were driven almost entirely by dialogue.
A show that spends more energy showing than telling will almost always fail.
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