On Sunday Game Of Thrones, the TV show based on a series of fantasy novels by George R. R. Martin, premieres on HBO. In her New York Times review, Ginia Bellafante writes:
Like "The Tudors" and "The Borgias" on Showtime and the "Spartacus" series on Starz, "Game of Thrones," is a costume-drama sexual hopscotch, even if it is more sophisticated than its predecessors. It says something about current American attitudes toward sex that with the exception of the lurid and awful "Californication," nearly all eroticism on television is past tense. The imagined historical universe of "Game of Thrones" gives license for unhindered bed-jumping - here sibling intimacy is hardly confined to emotional exchange.
The true perversion, though, is the sense you get that all of this illicitness has been tossed in as a little something for the ladies, out of a justifiable fear, perhaps, that no woman alive would watch otherwise. While I do not doubt that there are women in the world who read books like Mr. Martin's, I can honestly say that I have never met a single woman who has stood up in indignation at her book club and refused to read the latest from Lorrie Moore unless everyone agreed to "The Hobbit" first. "Game of Thrones" is boy fiction patronizingly turned out to reach the population's other half.
Wow, that's too bad. The show looks pretty awesome in the 14-minute preview, and I just started reading the books after two (female) friends recommended them to me. But now that I know the sexy bits are only thrown in to pander to women I guess I'll move on to something else. I really should get around to finishing The Silmarillion one of these days.