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post #301 of 479

Dumping accolades on you seems pretty redundant at this point, but dude. 

 

You rock. And I intend to use "sassypants" at some point in work conversation this week.

post #302 of 479
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Jacob Singer View Post
 

Dumping accolades on you seems pretty redundant at this point, but dude. 

 

 

Never ever think that.  NEVER.

post #303 of 479
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post #304 of 479

You should be getting paid big bucks for this stuff. I don't think I've read even one other critic on this series who is as smart and incisive as you yet also so approachable and affable. It's really remarkable. 

post #305 of 479
Quote:
Originally Posted by Jacob Singer View Post
 

You should be getting paid big bucks for this stuff. I don't think I've read even one other critic on this series who is as smart and incisive as you yet also so approachable and affable. It's really remarkable. 

Agreed. Excellent stuff as always. EASILY my favorite online GoT column.

post #306 of 479
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You guys are too kind.

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Game Of Thrones - "The Book Of The Stranger"


Edited by Schwartz - 5/17/16 at 4:52am
post #309 of 479
Quote:
Originally Posted by Schwartz View Post

Game Of Thrones - "The Book Of The Stranger"

The link for this one is working for me.
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post #312 of 479

Man. 

 

This show (and the books, mind you) fill me with so much, visually, aurally, verbally, it's hard to comprehend sometimes. I need multiple viewings of pretty much every episode to sort it all out, both sober and inebriated. Reflection that's often hard to come by, and pricey in its demands.

 

And you sort it all out on Tuesday. 

 

You do remarkable work, Mr. Schwartz.

 

 

 

 

 

 

edited for a reluctant "l"


Edited by Jacob Singer - 5/25/16 at 10:21am
post #313 of 479
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It's a lot less impressive if you could see how unproductive I am at work on Mondays.

post #314 of 479

As someone who's also ineffective on Mondays, I envy the work you do during your downtime. Great job Schwartz!

post #315 of 479

Monday's a holiday in the States, so I expect an explicit and concise review as soon as I wake up around noon.

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post #317 of 479

There's a name-drop spoiler in the comments, by the way. 

post #318 of 479
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Grrrr...

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post #320 of 479

Another excellent review as always. I was down on the episode in another thread, primarily for the reasons you state. The Hound story, especially, seemed really rushed and inelegantly crammed into the proceedings. I still think this season is the best one since at least the third.

post #321 of 479
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I'm inclined to think it's the worst, because it's the only one where I can identify overarching issues that transcend a particular storyline. The timeframing is one, but resurrecting characters is the bigger problem.

Where is Melisandre anyway? She has sort of dropped out the face of the earth since demonstrating the ability to break the show.
post #322 of 479
Quote:
Originally Posted by Schwartz View Post

I'm inclined to think it's the worst, because it's the only one where I can identify overarching issues that transcend a particular storyline. The timeframing is one, but resurrecting characters is the bigger problem.

Where is Melisandre anyway? She has sort of dropped out the face of the earth since demonstrating the ability to break the show.

The Hound stuff is the first time where the timeframe really distracted me. Somebody on here called the show's storytelling as "moving at the speed of plot," but The Hound scenes were the first time I felt rushed.

I also agree that the show seems to be setting up numerous endgame dei ex machina this year, but it's exciting to see the show actually enter that endgame.

Maybe Melisandre high-tailed it to Dorne so she could be forgotten forever.

post #323 of 479
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Mangy View Post
 

The Hound stuff is the first time where the timeframe really distracted me. Somebody on here called the show's storytelling as "moving at the speed of plot," but The Hound scenes were the first time I felt rushed.

I also agree that the show seems to be setting up numerous endgame dei ex machina this year, but it's exciting to see the show actually enter that endgame.

Maybe Melisandre high-tailed it to Dorne so she could be forgotten forever.

 

I didn't think the Hound stuff moved too fast, just that it's one too many miraculous returns (well, 2 probably).  The problem as I see it is that "the speed of plot" has become very different depending on which corner of the map you're in, and the plots that are zipping along in fifth gear really should be intertwined with those that are idling in the parking lot until they catch up.  Why aren't the Sand Snakes attacking while the Lannisters march their army north?  Why are Jon and Sansa so bold walking across Ramsay's front yard to gather an army to challenge him?  Does nobody mind that Littlefinger has parked an entire army at a castle he doesn't own?

post #324 of 479
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Schwartzblog has move locations, and can now be found at http://www.theschwartzblog.com.  I'll be working on migrating the archives over next week, but for now:

 

Game Of Thrones:  "No One"

post #325 of 479

Wow, so no longer on CHUD? I'm running out of reasons to visit the main page.

Excellent stuff as always, Schwartz.

post #326 of 479
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It's not clear to me what's going on what the main page at the moment, but it is clear that if there are going to be issues, I should be backing up and archiving the reviews somewhere else.  To that end, I'm a total noob at such things, so if anyone wants to offer advice on how to migrate things to a new blog, I'm all ears.

post #327 of 479

" ...but you still want to slap him around a bit for falling for the line he does."

 

You are brilliant, as always.

post #328 of 479

Hey Schwartz,

 

I'm a very new reader of your work, but I love it. And this is coming from a guy who's been reading the best movie criticism online for years, so take that for whatever it's worth.

 

Having said that, as soon as I get hooked on your brilliant insights, you stop reviewing GOT? When will I know what to think of, "No one" or the GOT Pay-per-view special (otherwise known as "Battle of the Bastards")?

 

Surely I can't be expected to form my own opinions on this.

 

Chris

post #329 of 479

So, I'm an idiot. Keep up the good work.

post #330 of 479
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post #332 of 479

Awesome as expected.

 

Quote:

 But if the setups have gotten clunkier, the payoffs have gotten even more grandiose

Pretty much a perfect summation of this season's strengths and weaknesses. I wonder if some of the wonky time issues will be cleared up now that Dany's finally moving east and much of the cast was slaughtered.

I also wonder if Sam's bit was delayed until the finale due to finishing up the vfx work. I agree it was strange to see that in the finale, although the way they shot Sam when he walked into the hall, it certainly seemed designed to be a climactic moment.

post #333 of 479
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Mangy View Post
 

Pretty much a perfect summation of this season's strengths and weaknesses. I wonder if some of the wonky time issues will be cleared up now that Dany's finally moving east and much of the cast was slaughtered.

 

I have to think so.  The storylines are contracting (is there any reason we would return to Essos at all next year?  maybe if Jorah is still wandering around over there), so the need to fudge things to keep Arya or Dany or Bran out of the general scrum has faded.  Which is quite exciting.

 

 

Quote:
I also wonder if Sam's bit was delayed until the finale due to finishing up the vfx work. I agree it was strange to see that in the finale, although the way they shot Sam when he walked into the hall, it certainly seemed designed to be a climactic moment.

 

It may have felt more climactic in an earlier season, where Sam finding a place he belonged would be uplifting in itself.  But with that plot compression we were just talking about, it's undercut by the knowledge that obviously he can't stay there long.  Loved the mirror apparatus reflecting light on the different levels, though.

post #334 of 479
Quote:

Originally Posted by Schwartz View Post

 

It may have felt more climactic in an earlier season, where Sam finding a place he belonged would be uplifting in itself.  But with that plot compression we were just talking about, it's undercut by the knowledge that obviously he can't stay there long. 

 

Agreed. I genuinely did a double-take when Sam showed up, thinking "Really? Now?", and then that amazing shot of the library itself just made me groan with anticipation that I'm sure is going to go unfulfilled.

 

And Holy Cow, are you one interesting critic. Even when I disagree with you and think you're a looney, you always deliver the goods. I'd happily comment on your blog, but I don't want to start a trend.

post #335 of 479
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I'm not trying to lead any mass defections.  I had to relocate it by necessity, and figure I need to at least see GOT through to the end.  But a quick comment could encourage others to do so, which would encourage me to keep adding things in the off season.

post #336 of 479
Thread Starter 

Also, I'd be curious to know what made you think I was a loony recently.

post #337 of 479
Quote:
Originally Posted by Schwartz View Post
 

Also, I'd be curious to know what made you think I was a loony recently.

 

It was just the unabated "Sansa risked everything for no reason but stupid drama!" stuff, that seemed to overtake any fun discussion in the threads. I admit, I might give the show and the books too much leeway in regards to tactics and strategy, but when it comes down to it, it's how the show makes me feel. 

 

And your reviews as well. I always feel smarter for having read them.

post #338 of 479
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I think it offends me as a poker player, because Sansa totally succumbed to Fancy Play Syndrome.  She almost turned a winning hand into a loser when she could have just bet it on every street. 

post #339 of 479
Quote:
Originally Posted by Schwartz View Post
 

I think it offends me as a poker player, because Sansa totally succumbed to Fancy Play Syndrome.  She almost turned a winning hand into a loser when she could have just bet it on every street. 

 

I am so going to use Fancy Play Syndrome in everyday talk tomorrow, especially with the roomie getting out of hospital.

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post #342 of 479
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Telltale's Game Of Thrones Adaptation Is Better Than HBO's

 

 

 

Also, I made a Schwartzblog Facebook page.  If that is easier for people to follow.

post #343 of 479
I never understood why those "highly intelligent and educated people" who denied that video games are an art form would so regularly fail to comprehend that "calling something art is not calling it good".

Anyway, a top notch read as always. I'd never thought of the angle that while games may fall short in terms of character they may exceed fixed-narrative storytelling in terms of the ideas they can communicate by way of the more in-depth moral universe they're required to create to accommodate all those extra narrative possibilities.


Edit: Changed it to make sense in English.
Edited by Bucho - 9/9/16 at 9:44pm
post #344 of 479
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Bucho View Post

I never understood why those "highly intelligent and educated people" who denied that video games are an art form would so regularly fail to comprehend that "calling something art is not calling it good".

Anyway, a top notch read as always. I'd never thought of the angle that while games may fall short in terms of character they may exceed fixed-narrative storytelling in terms of the ideas they can communicate by the more in-depth moral universe they require to create to accommodate all those extra narrative possibilities.

I hadn't really thought about it in those terms until I was writing the piece, and started thinking about how much more sheer volume of writing a (modern, branching-narrative) video game requires than a book or film. You can't generate that much material without the author's values coming through. Yes, they have to try to script as many scenarios as possible, but each of those scenarios has to present a reward or punishment for a particular choice. Even if the author is a committee, that committee is forced to take positions constantly on so many more points, that it can't even really feign any "I just present the facts, it's up to the audience to decide what it means" kind of detachment.

And now this is getting me started down a whole different line of thinking....hmmm, probably not a whole essay in it, but we'll see.
post #345 of 479
Quote:
Originally Posted by Schwartz View Post

And now this is getting me started down a whole different line of thinking....hmmm, probably not a whole essay in it, but we'll see.

 

Yer goddamn right there's an essay in it. Get to work, bub.

post #346 of 479
Quote:
Originally Posted by Jacob Singer View Post
 

 

Yer goddamn right there's an essay in it. Get to work, bub.

 

 

We want that essay, Schwartz of House Forrester...

 

And we will have what we want.

post #347 of 479
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It's just a thought that I haven't been able to work into any more complete thesis, but it's about the nature of video game narratives as opposed to more traditional forms of storytelling like novels, films or plays.  Those media, and the scholarly analysis of them, is rooted in Western traditions and theology.  The author is styled as God and Creator of their fictional universe, even when it's not entirely appropriate (as most people that work in film will tell you Auteur Theory is a rather large oversimplification of a complicated process).  But if the novelist  is God, he is  the God of Abraham - remote, generally inscrutable, alternately harsh and forgiving, but always final in his judgments.  A novelist may take a compassionate view of his characters’ faults, but that verdict is immutable once the final page is turned.  The reader’s understanding of it may change as they mature, but the text is singular and unchanging. 

 

Not so with games, where different permutations of the same story are the rule.  And then you look at the areas where gaming has taken up the most cultural real estate - places like Japan and Korea.  And Eastern theological traditions are built upon concepts of reincarnation and gradual transcendence.  The gods may be fickle, but they can also be tested, with the punishments for failure being more temporary.  In the broadest strokes possible, the Eastern tradition is a theology based upon trial and error, while the Western is trial and judgment.   And a video game is only a game by virtue of its embrace of the principle that there is more than one way to skin a cat.  

 

So that's about it.  Video games as a mode of storytelling internalize more fundamentally Eastern concepts than Western audiences/scholarship are not as comfortable with, and that is why Asian cultures have embraced them more readily than Americans.  Maybe.  It's a thought, anyway.

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