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The first season of the “Game of Thrones” prequel series “House of Dragon” earned a 68 out of 100 on Metacritic, an aggregator of film reviews.
For comparison, the panned final season of “Thrones” scored a 75. And the floor for a show of this magnitude is around 50. So, a 68 is every bit the D+ you received in high school.
There had been a time this poorest score would suggest a disappointing series. That’s hardly the case today. Aside from sports writers, no media group has a more prevalent disconnect with its audience than film/TV critics.
Reviewers allow their biases to blind them to the quality of a story. They rate a show based on the whiteness of the characters and subtle nods to modern American politics.
The critics saying the new Game of Thrones isn’t any good makes me think HBO didn’t woke it up like we all feared. Good news.
— Bobby Burack (@burackbobby_) August 19, 2022
“Yellowstone” is the most popular show on television, but critics say it’s not any good. These same critics rave about “The Sex Lives of College Girls,” a show that’s not any good.
Thus, a bunch of woke critics belittling the early episodes of “Dragon” does not reflect the opinions the country at large will share of the series.
The New York Times gives the season a 50, discussing its “exploration of the social contract in a decadent monarchy and an allegory for a grab bag of modern ills, including patriarchal sexism and the corrosive effect of weapons of mass destruction.”
A far-left outlet called Slant gave the season a failing grade of 38. The only positive Slant found is that the showrunners “[understood] that a prequel to Game of Thrones must be about the ruin that comes from following the sexist customs of male-led succession.”
How loathsome is that blurb?
Fans don’t care about any of this. “Thrones” fans want to see twists, dragons, fire, blood, wolves, and wild sex scenes. Ultimately, fans want writers to tie up loose ends, an objective the original series failed to accomplish.
Critics were always going to have issues with the portrayal of characters in “Dragon” as its creators vow to closely follow George R.R. Martin’s “Fire & Blood” novel. An increased presence of Martin ensures less pandering to social media and focuses on historical fantasy tropes and patriarchy.
Martin also serves as the EP of the series and handpicked showrunner, Ryan Condal, to follow his lead. “Thrones” showrunners David Benioff and D.B. Weiss — the true antagonist of “Game of Thrones” — aren’t around to tone down Martin’s vision this time.
There had been some signs HBO would woke up “House of the Dragon” by declaring disapproval of supposedly sexist scenes and recasting Martin’s characters to cut down on whiteness. But the shade from critics suggests the show kept the wokeness to a minimum.
Good to know.