Critics Say Thrones III Got Game

US critics are in an effusive frenzy over season three of Game of Thrones, which premieres here Monday (SoHo, 8.30) within three-and-a-half hours hours of its HBO debut.

This is the medieval fantasy’s fastest turnaround yet on NZ TV — although Australia’s Foxtel will screen it even earlier.

Foxtel’s Showtime will premiere the first of 10 episodes two hours ahead of SoHo, at 4.20pm AEDT.

While Sky and the networks have improved their turnaround of key US and UK shows to often within the same week of domestic broadcast, their Aussie counterparts still shame them by rewarding their viewers earlier.

Prime starts Doctor Who on Thursday whereas ABC1 in Australia launches it tonight (and in HD!).

And while SoHo will run season six of Mad Men within a week of AMC, which will be two weeks quicker than season five, on Foxtel it will screen directly after airing in the US.

But having to wait fractionally longer than the Aussies to see Thrones will be worth it if the US reviews are to be believed.

“Having watched the first four episodes of Season 3, there are barely a handful of series that generate this kind of fervent appreciation for the skills at hand,” raved The Hollywood Reporter.

“It’s like being in some epic tale that never ceases to be engrossing and creates a kind of demanding, spoiled attitude that culminates in this despondent and annoyed declaration: ‘Why do they only make 10 episodes a season!?'”

The Washington Post even declared viewers are not worthy of such a creative colossus: “Game of Thrones is a masterpiece in the making, now entering the hallowed territory of The Wire.

“It demands your attention, but it also rewards any effort you give it, no matter how small. Part of the pleasure is in letting it wash over you, admiring its craftwork.

Game of Thrones revels in the epic breadth of its source material, but never forgets that some of us slobs are simply watching television.”

For those slobs who need a refresher course on the first two seasons, New York magazine ran this speedy guide while one of the best primers is in today’s Culture section of the Sunday Star Times, which, inexplicably, hasn’t been loaded on to Stuff.

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10 Responses to “Critics Say Thrones III Got Game”

  1. First ep of Doctor Who is pretty good but I won’t be watching it on Prime in yukky SD!

  2. Is the new Doctor Who on the Internet? I’m watching TV shows on Graboid, hope I’m not breaking the law 🙂

  3. YAY, the new Doctor Who turned up on Graboid so I have seen it and I loved it … I love Clara 🙂

  4. I really enjoyed the first episode of season three of Game of Thrones. Awesome that we get to see this show three hours after screening in the US. Picture quality was very good, but I was disappointed that audio was only stereo and not Dolby Digital 5.1. I wonder what the reason for this was. I have noticed on SoHo that a few individual epidodes of shows screen with a stereo sountrack rather than DD 5.1. Hunted and Strike Back both had a couple of episodes in stereo during their series.

  5. Sky have now informed me that the Dolby Digital soundtrack on Game of Thrones was faulty, hence the reason for stereo sound only on episode one. Hopefully, there is no problem with the soundtrack for future episodes.

  6. “First ep of Doctor Who is pretty good but I won’t be watching it on Prime in yukky SD.” Could have been worse. Sky could have put it on SoHo and then on Prime six months later.

  7. I wish that Sky did show Doctor Who on Soho and then on Prime six months later!

  8. Game of Thrones S3 Ep2 again in stereo not Dolby Digital 5.1! If faulty, will Sky give us a credit? Not! Why do I bother to pay for a top product when I’m not getting what I pay for! Somebody please tell Sky. 🙁

  9. Thanks for the heads-up, HDgav. Sky is finding out for me what exactly went wrong but in the meantime says the problem has been fixed in time for tomorrow’s encore screenings (and hopefully Monday night broadcasts from now on).

  10. I watched Game of Thrones on Monday with stereo sound. I have just watched a repeat of this episode which screened today with Dolby Digital 5.1 sound. Not surprisingly the Dolby Digital soundtrack was a significant improvement over the stereo soundtrack.

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