TV: Once Upon a Time and Game of Thrones

Anthony G Williams

Greybeard
Writer
Joined
Jul 14, 2007
Location
UK
TV: Once Upon a Time, and Game of Thrones


This is my second look at Once Upon a Time as I commented a month ago after seeing the first episode, but I've only just seen the first two episodes of Game of Thrones as I had to wait for the DVD (not having satellite TV).

The two programmes are similar in that they are examples of that rare beast, a TV fantasy series meant to appeal to adults. In fact, in the case of GoT only to adults; the language, nudity and sex gaining it an 18 rating. In contrast, OUaT is entirely family-friendly. One other incidental similarity is in the detail: both include evil queens who are far more beautiful than the heroines (those seen so far, at least) - a very subversive feature!

Having said that, the two series are very different. Judging by the first two episodes, GoT is less of a fantasy and more of an alternative history. There are no fantastical elements included and it is little more than a fictionalised but convincing depiction of life as it was in Europe about 1,000 years ago. Perhaps it develops in more interesting directions later; the camera keeps dwelling on some supposedly fossilised "dragons' eggs" in a rather suggestive manner. Anyhow, while viewers are awaiting such developments, we can enjoy a well-scripted, well-acted show with high production values. The only downside is that I find it all rather depressing; after all, life at that time tended to be nasty, dark and dirty, and this is faithfully reflected in the story, which also has a sense of doom about it. Not an alternative world I would choose to live in even as a member of the aristocracy, let alone a pleb.

OUaT is far more whimsical and lighthearted, despite the darker elements introduced by the evil queen and Rumpelstiltskin. It is also completely unrealistic in almost every respect - except that it is set in an ordinary-looking present-day American town, and the heroine is (as far as she knows) an ordinary American young woman. It is the clash between our expectations of the mundane setting as seen from the heroine's viewpoint, compared with what we discover is actually going on in that town, which provides the intrigue. There's a faint echo of The Truman Show here, except that in this case hardly anyone in the town is in on the secret. A picture of the events which led up to the present situation is built up by occasional flashbacks showing the town's inhabitants as they had been in their lost fairy-tale world of castles, royalty, dwarves and magical powers. The series is still holding my interest.




(This entry is cross-posted from my science-fiction & fantasy blog.)
 

Kevin

Code Monkey
Staff member
Joined
Mar 20, 2004
Tony, with Once, how caught up are you watching the episodes? The number of people who know the truth about the town seems to be increasing lately.
 

Anthony G Williams

Greybeard
Writer
Joined
Jul 14, 2007
Location
UK
Tony, with Once, how caught up are you watching the episodes? The number of people who know the truth about the town seems to be increasing lately.

Well, more people are being told the truth, but whether they have fully accepted it seems rather debatable. In part they seem to be humouring the young lad (although where he got the idea that his fairy-tale book has anything to do with his town is unclear).
 

Kevin

Code Monkey
Staff member
Joined
Mar 20, 2004
Well, more people are being told the truth, but whether they have fully accepted it seems rather debatable.
So far Emma, Snow White, & Jiminy Cricket are the ones who has been told the truth but won't believe it, though the first two are slowly coming around. The others that I am thinking of are already self-aware of the truth (Evil Queen, Rumpelstiltskin, Pinocchio, Mad Hatter, & the boy).

In part they seem to be humouring the young lad (although where he got the idea that his fairy-tale book has anything to do with his town is unclear).
Good point. Thinking back to the first few episodes, I don't recall how the boy made the connection between the book and his town.
 

arohk

Scout
Joined
Apr 22, 2012
Location
Canada
I haven't seen game of thornes but I do watch OaAT I like the show it's different I am sure I would like GoT if I could figure out when it's on they keep changing the time for it here.
 
Joined
Apr 9, 2012
I have read and watched the Game of Thrones but I am not yet really watch nor read the Once Upon a Time. I like the story of Game of Thrones and to expand my understanding to this, I will watch the Once Upon a Time to know the differences and similarities of the two story.
 

Maarkean

Scout
Writer
Joined
Jan 25, 2012
Location
Houston
Both are really enjoyable television. I was pleasantly surprised by "Once". GoT was also very good, though I am a season behind.
 

LatinumHeart

Quirky Sci-Fi Enthusiast
Joined
May 4, 2012
Location
Where Alpha meets Omega
I am actually behind on both. Maybe I can catch up with Netflix after a few seasons have aired. I did that with Star Trek: Deep Space Nine and BattleStar Galactica, and Jericho. I started watching both series years after they were over. I kind of like doing it that way though, that way I can watch the episodes back to back rather than wait a whole week before the next episode. (I know I'm a cheater, hahaha)
 

wifiso

Cadet
Joined
May 29, 2012
Location
Berlin
just started game of thrones and i am addicted!!! good thing if you start late is you got plenty of episodes to watch :)
 

ngubandgeek

Cadet
Joined
Jun 7, 2012
I love the Once Upon a Time series. i had to catch up on a lot of it because of school but I really enjoyed it. I would love to watch GoT but its harder bc its not on a normal television channel
 

actionavenue

Artist, Cartoonist and Dude
Joined
Aug 4, 2011
Location
Iowa
Once Upon a Time Series definitely puts a new spin on the classic fairy-tales we grew up with.

Grimm kind of does that too, but it's more of a spin with mixing a "Law & Order" type procedural cop drama within as well. Don't watch Once Upon a Time, but my sister-in-law does and seems to like it very much. Now onto Game of Thrones: I haven't watched this show either ( I know, I'm missing out), but I don't have HBO and I haven't had the time to rent the DVDs yet. I've heard that it is good and some controversy surrounding the show has come to light. Just recently, the production found itself immersed in some "hot water" by using several prop heads in a scene showing the heads spiked on poles. One of the prop heads was a Pres. George W. Bush head, and I guess it had a wig on it and was hardly recognizable, by reports in the media. HBO executives were still not happy. They have ordered that any scenes with the fake George W. would be deleted from future DVD printing. On a lighter note, I heard that replicas of the throne are being sold at the price of $30,000. That sounds like the ultimate collectible!
 
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