Despite the absence of the witches, wizards and magic, the everyday drama of J.K. Rowling’s The Casual Vacancy seemed destined to be more difficult to adapt than Harry Potter. Still, it was only a matter of time before the novel made the jump, and while the serialized TV format fits Rowling’s writing far better than the Hollywood blockbuster ever did, the results are a mixed bag.
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Though one of the defining characteristics of “The Golden Age” of television is that standout serialized storytelling no longer belongs exclusively to cable providers, it’s hard to argue that HBO hasn’t maintained its status at the top of the class. With a reputation forged on the critical acclaim of David Simon’s The Wire, hardened through six seasons of The Sopranos, and now emboldened by the most successful fantasy adaption since Peter Jackson’s Lord of the Rings, HBO has gone from strength to strength.
A man stands alone, wearing a designer suit and a shit-eating grin. An anonymous skyline occupies the backdrop behind him, imposed on a green screen. On occasion, some scuzzy-looking dude wearing a bikini top pops into frame. For over ten years, that has been the vehicle that delivers bite-sized pieces of TV at its trashiest right into your home, sealed with a snarky one-liner and a kiss.
Shonda Rhimes’ How to Get Away With Murder is a show with a lot of hype behind it, and rightly so. It’s hard to deny the series’ first season didn’t make a strong impression. It threw together an awesome and diverse cast, a fun episodic formula, and a serialized mystery that definitely hangs with the best of them.
That said, it was How to Get Away With Murder’s blend of contemporary college drama and sprawling murder-mystery that stuck with me the most, because it evoked a fascinating set of similarities to Donna Tartt’s seminal campus-murder novel, The Secret History.
By now we know that there have been several “self-styled” kings, and many that have claimed the rights to Game of Thrones’ kingdom of Westeros. Whether you have read all of George R.R. Martin’s books to date, or are only a fan of the television series, we have been subjected to a parade of aspiring leaders that all feel they have a claim to the Iron Throne.
But of these wannabes, which of these actually would make a good ruler? Which of them actually has a true and valid claim? Which of these people would avid readers and watchers of the Game of Thrones universe actually like to see sitting atop the Iron Throne?