I've talked with my friends, who swear by it and everything that HBO airs. I've read the blogs that laud the show and heap praise on the costumes and the action. I did research about the period. I've done sociological studies. I let a fellow journalist interview me about America's love of vikings shows.
I even watched the damned thing on Sunday night.
And yet...no love.
What am I missing? What am I doing wrong? I found the dialogue to be outright silly. I couldn't follow what passed for a "plot," either.
I can only assume that I am at fault here. After all, Game of Thrones has captivated much of the rest of America. The nation clearly loves this show and just about everyone I respect waits impatiently for it to come on the tube on Sunday nights.
I suspect that the same sort of crowd that loved True Blood love Game of Thrones despite the evident differences in plot, period and characters. True Blood, you see, flourished (I think) because it contained a definite fantasy element and gave viewers a refreshing sense of escape from their normal humdrum lives. Instead of obsessing about the problems in the economy or their office, they could go on a magic-carpet ride with Anna Pacqin & Co., watching vampires in Louisiana (come on -- where else would blood suckers want to set up shop, anyway?).
The True Blood characters were beautiful, if completely unrealistic and unimaginable. They didn't exist in real life any more than, say, the cast of Girls. But Girls is rooted in reality. We can relate to those characters (well, maybe) and their day to day hassles and insecurities and dreams.
But with shows like Game of Thrones, I can't relate to nuttin.'
The one characteristic that Game of Thrones shares abundantly with True Blood (and lots of other cable dramas) is shots of naked flesh. The women are lovely and sexy and, to a middle-age man's delight watching at home, occasionally -- or often -- scantily clad if not completely naked. Sex sells on HBO, and perhaps that is the real lesson of Game of Thrones' success.
Maybe I'm just a cynic.
Or maybe I'm just stupid.
Or maybe I'm just a stupid cynic.