BALTIMORE, April 27, 2012—The New York Times would like you to know that the fantasy genre is unworthy of your attention. Never mind the millions of fans, the myriad of conventions that center solely on fantasy literature, or the millions of fantasy books sold every year.
They want you to ignore it and move on, nothing interesting there. At least that is what they must be saying with their recent review of “The Games of Thrones” - the massively popular HBO series based on the books by George R.R. Martin.
According to the article written by Neil Ganzlinger, the cable series has no appeal outside the “Dungeons and Dragons” set. He tears the show down for being what it purports to be - a series based on a book. Mr. Ganzlinger seems particularly upset that there isn’t an easy linear plot for him to follow. He is distressed that Sean Bean’s character is gone and no heir to the Throne is readily apparent. Well, Mr. Ganzlinger, if the heir was apparent it wouldn’t be much of a game, now would it?
Might I suggest that Mr. Ganzlinger stick to reviewing formulaic series and that the New York Times procure themselves a reviewer who understands the genre to take over the duty that this reviewer considers to be so onerous?
The fantasy genre has been around for over a hundred years and has spawned numerous books series, movies, fandoms, and new authors over that time. Fantasy worlds, by definition, don’t operate as they do in our reality. By suspending this reality, fantasy worlds have risen up so vast that the stories told within become Epics. These works are the great literature works of our time, works that will last long past our generation. To dismiss them is to remove a vital part of our current culture.
This isn’t the first time the New York Times has assigned someone woefully unqualified to review the series. The first season was reviewed by Ginia Bellafante, who was not only out of her depth but downright insulting. She insinuates that the sex scenes are thrown in to the series to attract women, because (wait for it) women won’t be caught dead watching it. Presumably because we are weeping into our Cosmopolitans at the demise of “Sex and the City.”
Mr. Ganzlinger and Ms. Bellafante do have one thing in common beside their insulting reference to the Dungeon’s & Dragon’s crowd, which is their diatribe that HBO should not be producing such series. They go on to lament the days when HBO produced such wonderful series such as “The Wire” or “The Sopranos.”
It is with a heavy heart that I urge The New York Times to stop reviewing fantasy series, especially one as popular and well-done as The Game of Thrones. Oh, don’t be sad, dear editors of NYT – it’s not you, it’s us (and by us, I mean fans of the fantasy genre). You see, we expect reviews to be done by people who know what they are talking about. They should know the fantasy genre inside and out; authors, fandoms, conventions, series, and, languages. The reviewers should know that those of us who love these books are more than just D&D players, and some of us are even, gasp!, girls.
We are smarter at this stuff than you, and there is no shame in that. There are plenty of shallow, empty, plot-in-an-hour shows for you to review and you are good at reviewing that kind of mindless drivel. The fantasy fans are smart, savvy, and, most of all, we are economic powerful – and we will gladly take on the ‘nerd’ or ‘geek’ label that you throw at us.
However, seeing some of your other reviews lately, maybe you are living in fantasy world all your own. Now, that is something worth reviewing.
Baltimore based, Amy Phillips is a columnist, blogger, public speaker, twitter addict and all around nerd.
Follow Amy on Twitter @amydpp.
Amy Phillips is an independent writer for the Communities. Read more from Amy at her Accidental Musings blog.
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