GAME OF THRONES Monday 9PM - Sky Atlantic
s it draws towards the end of its second series, Game of Thrones can boast a legion of fans. The HBO fantasy series opened in 2011, and is based on the novels by George R. R. Martin which are collectively known as A Song of Ice and Fire. The commissioning of a third series and the success of the first, which won a variety of awards, suggest that this is a series worth watching. The storyline follows several different plotlines as the struggle for control of the Iron Throne of the imaginary land of Westeros takes place across seven kingdoms, and Westeros is threatened by external forces. The multiple storylines are engaging, and frequent reminders of identities and familial connections ensure that confusion is largely avoided. The characters are well developed and varied, which provides ample opportunity for viewers to find a favourite. Tyrion Lannister is an example of the complex characterisation that makes Game of Thrones so compelling. Whilst he is part of the cruel Lannister family, who are involved in murder and incest, and is frequently engaged in scheming and manipulation, his friendship with Bronn and his mistress Shae shows a more likeable side, as does his assistance to the prisoner Sansa Stark. Peter Dinklage was awarded an Emmy for his portrayal of Tyrion, and his fellow cast members are similarly deserving of praise. Although the instant melting of gold over a small fire in an early episode may be factually dubious, this is nitpicking considering just how good this series is overall. Game of Thrones is not just for medievalists and Lord of the Rings fans, and anyone who likes a good drama, or even a good fight scene, should give it a chance.
Monday 9PM - E4
evenge is sweet." Glamorous and dark. The scene opens with the harsh sound of a gunshot; a body drops to the beach floor, setting the tempo for this fast paced drama. This action packed premiere promises everything you'd expect from a drama: deceit, greed, money, good looks, murder and revenge. You’ve got your blonde badass beauty, the evil ‘queen', the hunky prince charming, the comical best friend, the spoilt princess, the cheating husband and the millionaire electronic genius. Set in high society Hamptons, episode one sees a gorgeous Emily Foster move in to the beach house next to Victoria Grayson, the reigning Queen bee of the Hamptons. We later find out that Victoria is one of the many Hampton residents who were involved in the heist to frame Emily’s father, staging his arrest on the grounds of fraud. It is Emily’s intent to seek revenge from every resident that played a part in her father’s arrest. This first episode shows potential to develop into a captivating series. It has a void that could fill the void left by Desperate Housewives follwing its finale. Character to love - Mr. Daniel Grayson. I’m talking mouth-watering deliciousness. Character to look for - Emily Foster. Although we sympathise with her father’s loss, her vengeful and unpredictable character is somewhat off-putting for the viewer. Whilst your other shows are on hiatus or have stopped for the summer, Revenge offers a potential substitute to help pass the long summer days, whether the weather holds up during the break or not.
Rhian McLaughlin Judith Marzo & Lucia Linares
Reality Vs Reality Your Summer TV... Reality is king in the world of TV. With shows like Made in Chelsea and The Only Way Is Essex bringing a combined total of over one and half million viewers each episode, this is the time for scripted reality. The cultural impact these shows are having is phenomenal. Young teenage girls all over the country are said to have picked up the slogans “Shut arrrp” and “bye, babes”. These 'stars' are everywhere promoting their brand with products like vajazzle kits and tanning lotion. The TOWIE look is all the rage, and maybe the cast of Made in Chelsea can give them a run for their money with the ‘posh’ look. This doesn’t mean to say that other forms of reality like talent shows are fading from the limelight, in fact The Voice UK blows both of these shows out of the water with a staggering average of 7 million viewers each episode. Not to mention the huge ratings (and dosh) shows like Britain’s Got Talent and The X-Factor bring in every year, as well as the superstars they have created. In the face of all these shows, we have to ask, which ‘reality ‘ is the best? The bordering on fake reality show or the melodramatic talent show? With the creation of The Hills, it seems like lately we’ve been bombarded with shows based on the real lives of real people (with help of a few scripted moments here and there) all over the UK and the world. Constructed reality allows us to peoplewatch from the comfort of our own homes, without being deemed ‘stalkers'. In most of these shows (think Keeping Up With The Kardashians and Jersey Shore) we get an insight into a lifestyle that for most of us is far-reaching or obscure. If the Kardashians weren’t already wealthy and in the public sphere, they would never have made it to our screens, and would probably have been living in obscurity somewhere in the US. As interesting as these types of shows are, however, they do have a limited shelflife and popularity soon starts to decline once they’ve been splashed all over the tab-
loids. It happened to The Hills and Laguna Beach, and according to some reports, it’s now happening to TOWIE. The producers keep choosing ever more outlandish storylines and rivalries until eventually these shows become more fake than real. Audiences aren’t stupid, they can sense when they’re being lied to, so they slowly lose interest and ultimately just stop watching. The better type of reality shows are the ones based on talent. Shows like The X-Factor and Britain’s Got Talent let us choose for ourselves who we like and want to see for years to come. It has already proven to be a successful method as many ‘superstars’ have been made from these processes. One Direction and JLS have become famous worldwide, proving that an audience do know better than some random producer about what will be successful on an international scale. Talent shows have a longevity that other forms of reality clearly don’t. American Idol is now on its twelfth season, with ratings remaining as high as ever. The expansion of talent shows into areas other than singing, (think Next Top Model and So You Think You Can Dance) shows that talent shows have a recipe for success and many continue to follow and support the 'stars' after the show is over. Let's face it, it’s always better to support someone for having an actual talent than someone who is famous just for being famous.
With three long months to kill, these are our top TV picks to keep you entertained over the Summer holiday...
The big event will finally be upon us, and if you missed out on tickets for the 2012 London Olympics fear not because the BBC will be airing all 5000 hours of competition from various channels, starting with the opening ceremony on July 27.
Charlie Sheen just keeps on 'winning'-he's back after his infamous departure from Two and a Half Men with new comedy Anger Management, which first airs in late June. Loosely based on the Jack Nicholson film of the same name, it will be interesting to see whether or not 'the crazy is gone', as Sheen has claimed.
Luckily for football fans, Euro 2012 will be shown on both the BBC and ITV. Both broadcasters will share live coverage during the group stages, Quarter Finals and the Final itself, while the BBC will show both Euro 2012 Semi-Finals exclusively live.
The hotly anticipated new comedy Girls from HBO, the network that brought us Sex and the City, airs this summer, bringing us what is reportedly 'a window into a generation.' Written by young talent Lena Dunham, who stars in the show and created it with the help of Judd Apatow, tune in to see if this controversial comedy is to your taste.
Published on Jun 10, 2012