Game of Thrones - The Complete Second Season: BD Review
Feb 27th, 2013
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HBO knocks it out of the park again with this unbelievable piece of high-def fantasy catnip....
HBO / 560 Minutes / 2012 / Unrated / Street Date: February 19, 2013
George R.R. Martin's Song of Fire and Ice series is lush but dense, an exceptionally long (and still-continuing!) saga that spends ample time outlining both the inner struggles and kingdom-wide vies for power that fuel its innate fantasy narrative. But if I enjoyed reading the first couple books of the series, I must admit to absolutely being blown off my ass by both the first go-round and now The Complete Second Season of Game of Thrones in a fashion I haven't experienced since the days of our beloved revamped Battlestar Galactica.
It's an unpopular stance, perhaps, to prefer the filmed incarnations of Martin's world to its literary precursors, but Game of Thrones on Blu-ray is a perfect hybrid of Martin's shadowy mythology and a wonderfully utilized hour-long television format. Game of Thrones would be a shell of itself as a 2- or 3-hour feature film, but on HBO, the second book in the Fire and Ice series gets a chance to convince us of its merits over the course of about 9.5 hours, which is perfect: it definitely condenses the book's elongated page count, but there's still a lot of roundness to this Complete Second Season set that makes it feel far more lived-in than most features.
I'm not even going to attempt a ground-floor synopsis of this labyrinthine piece of television simply because cannonballing into Game of Thrones (especially considering we have an entire season as backstory) is a thrill for both those familiar with its story arcs and those who have no idea what all the fuss is about. Sporting a killer cast (we'll call Peter Dinklage's performance as Tyrion MVP), Game of Thrones is a thrilling, frequently surprising yarn about the lust for and conquest of power, and how these struggles bring out both the warrior kings and grotesque imps in its characters.
And with thankfully predictable grand HBO power, Game of Thrones absolutely sizzles in high-definition. This is the kind of Blu-ray box set that not only milks the format for all it's worth, but offers up the kind of bigger-than-life, rapturously engaging entertainment that only HBO can bring. In short, it's some of the best TV I've seen in years, and this high-def collection is pretty much bad-ass across the board.