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Home / Articles / Movies & TV / True TV /  Game of Thrones, Paul Reiser, Friday Night Lights, Mob Wives, Fall of Sam Axe
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Game of Thrones, Paul Reiser, Friday Night Lights, Mob Wives, Fall of Sam Axe

Epics, hacks, Lights, wives and origins.

By Bill Frost
Photo by HBO // Game of Thrones
Posted // April 14,2011 - TrueTV_PLAY.jpgGame of Thrones
Sunday, April 17 (HBO)

Series Debut: As Fantasy Geek Events go, HBO’s adaptation of Game of Thrones is probably more anticipated than The Hobbit, the final Harry Potter movie and the executions of anyone involved with Your Highness combined. Based on author George R.R. Martin’s epic A Song of Ice and Fire book series, Game of Thrones is a fantastical and grimly realistic medieval tale involving the classic elements of conquest, power and survival. What sets it apart is Martin’s willingness to go deep, and dark: multilayered storylines, incest, rape, casual murder, night-dwelling humanoids with a penchant for beheading—not the stuff of Burger King action toys. As expensive as it looks, Game of Thrones may not live up to Martin’s vividly painted world, but the lead performances are excellent. In particular, Peter Dinklage’s turn as younger dwarf brother Tyrion to royal (and, ahem, very close) siblings Cersei and Jaime Lannister is a show-stealer in a series with a whole lotta show. Be prepared to commit—Game of Thrones could last for years.

TrueTV_STOP.jpgThe Paul Reiser Show
Thursday, April 14 (NBC)

Series Debut:
Admittedly, Perfect Couples never quite clicked—but to be replaced with a show headlined by a hack who hasn’t had a regular TV gig since the ’90s? Dick move, NBC. The imaginatively titled Paul Reiser Show not only attempts the impossible task of sanitizing a Curb Your Enthusiasm-style show for non-HBO broadcast (Seen those edited Curb reruns in syndication? Not so funny) but also tries to make it … pleasant. Add some kiddies and puppets, and this could play on Nickelodeon. Even a pity appearance from Curb’s Larry David himself can’t help this limp suckfest from being an even bigger insult to the quality Thursday comedies around it than Outsourced. Aren’t there still some Perfect Couples episodes in the can, NBC? Queue ’em up.

TrueTV_PLAY.jpg Fire
TrueTV_PAUSE.jpg Ice
TrueTV_STOP.jpg Slurpee

TrueTV_PLAY.jpgFriday Night Lights
Friday, April 15 (NBC)

NBC Season Premiere:
The final season of Friday Night Lights finished its premiere run on DirecTV in February, and the DVD set was released last week—anyone who really cares about this show has already seen the end, grieved and moved on. The Only TV Column That Matters™ is only mentioning it to avoid the wrath of City Weekly assistant editor Rachel Piper. Done.

TrueTV_STOP.jpgMob Wives
Sunday, April 17 (VH1)

Series Debut:
Just when you think VH1 has scraped the bottom of the barrel, they burrow down under it and hit the septic tank: Mob Wives follows the stilted reality-TV “lives” of four cat-fighting Staten Island stereotypes, er, women, as they “struggle” to “pick up the pieces and carry on while their husbands or fathers do time for mob-related activities.” Great. So why are they on TV? “To finally set the record straight and show the world that, while their lives may seem crazy at first glance, they love, laugh and get their hearts broken just like everyone else.” That is, if everyone else stars in The Real Housewives of Jersey Shore. Another score, Vile Hubris 1.

TrueTV_PAUSE.jpgBurn Notice: The Fall of Sam Axe
Sunday, April 17 (USA)

I love free-wheelin’, freer-drinkin’ Sam Axe (Bruce Campbell) as much as any Burn Notice fan—but can he carry a two-hour “origin” movie? Yes and no: The Fall of Sam Axe, directed by Burn Notice star Jeffrey Donovan, smartly goes the comic route in telling how Axe went from Navy Seal commander to mojito-swilling Miami beach bum circa 2005, prior to partnering up with Donovan’s burned-spy character. But since this is Bruce Campbell, it instantly feels like a Syfy B-movie, minus the cheap aliens and half-naked women warriors wielding broadswords. Speaking of which, isn’t it about time for you to make another Syfy B-movie with cheap aliens and half-naked women warriors wielding broadswords, Bruce?

  • Currently 3.5/5 Stars.
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Posted // April 14,2011 at 11:14

And if "Fantasy Geek Events" are your cup o' tea, you're gonna get treated to another mind-numbing, brutal, disgusting fantasy piece. Why do they bother making up this kind of boring shit when real history contains all that predictable period-costume-drama-make-believe menu of Rape! Murder! Incest! Depravity! Beheadings! It looks like another video game conversion to the big screen. Dwarfs? Really!?!? Robert Redford has quietly crafted a wonderful looking little movie based on what actually happened days after Lincoln's assasination and it's more compelling and gratifying than any of this fantasy bullshit that takes tiny pieces of the look and feel of historical periods and adds dinosaurs, hookers and aliens to it. Lazy bastards!


Posted // April 18,2011 at 10:03 - Ok, watched "Game" followed immediately by "Borgias" last night and who knew there would be nearly identical rape scenes. . .of a female post-pubescent. . .an albino "family" member. . .a younger daughter given over in marriage to accomplish geo-political goals. . .brutally raped by her husband of five minutes. . .in the last five minutes of Each Show? Wow. I guess my tiny, non-geekified brain isn't developed enough to fully understand. Scott, "at least respect a show for attempting to inject originality into a familiar genre," I will do just that when the "show" shows some respect for my brain.


Posted // April 14,2011 at 15:02 - Ok, time to go. "Little people" aren't dwarves and this is an important piece of filmmaking history. Got it. I was just wondering, though, will Sean Bean's character have to locate the village blacksmith and trade his wife 2 loaves of bread for a gold key to open a treasure chest to find the Sword of Baltimore to fight the dragon? Jus' curious. I hope you both get to the next level, wherever that may taike you.


Posted // April 14,2011 at 13:41 - Um there are no dwarfs in Game of Thrones... Peter Dinklage's character is a little person just like in real life. He's the only one in his family, and is handled with striking realism in the way the medieval culture perceives him. One of the main characters also becomes paraplegic early on and remains so for the rest of the series (no magical remedies), and there are actual central gay (male!) characters whose relationship is very important (and graphically onscreen!). And all this from the relatively unenlightened mid-90s. Maybe you should redact a few of your ?!?!?!?s about "dwarves" and at least respect a show for attempting to inject originality into a familiar genre. Or, you know, you could at least know something (anything) about a work you can so enthusiastically mock.


Posted // April 14,2011 at 12:52 - Ah, but I have seen the previews as they run on HBO about every 6 minutes and the review previews, just like yours, are available to every amoeba in the universe through a system of tubes called the "Inter Nets," Bill. And, oddly enough, I just discovered, there's a Warcraft Game called Game of Thrones, so my intial "gut" was accurate as far as looking like another vacant video game adaptation. So, you're right. It was a pretty amazing assessment. I mean, don't you even giggle to yourself a bit when another generic pile of crap is cranked out with the background gamma and brightness turned way down and "brown and army green" are turned way up, everyone's covered in smeared make-up "mud" and every character, interestingly, speaks with a proper British accent. Those Brits! I'll keep with reruns of The Tudors and even the over-reaching Borgias instead.


Posted // April 14,2011 at 11:32 - Pretty amazing assessment, considering you haven't seen Game of Thrones. Likewise, I haven't seen The Conspirator but I already know it sucks.