Game of Thrones Ratings Surge
The season two premiere of Game of Thrones has aired and the numbers are in. Deadline is reporting that the first airing (9PM on Sunday) drew 3.9 million viewers. That number is up nearly a full million viewers from the previous series high of 3 million during the season one finale. The aggregate number of viewers over all airings on Sunday was a solid 6.3 million.
All of this strong ratings news comes at an opportune time, following a slew of backlash toward a New York Times review on the season premiere. The critic who wrote the Times piece is critical throughout the length of the article, which is fine and expected in a review as negative as the one in question. Where the writer loses me is when he asks if it will be able to break out from its “fan base [of] Dungeons & Dragons types” and then goes on to pose that it cannot and will not.
It is not my intention to conflate this into a defense of the show’s quality based on an increase in popularity, because that kind of argument is as juvenile and indefensible as the position that the New York Times piece holds. If it is that journalist’s opinion that Game of Thrones is a weak show that leans too heavily upon gore and nudity, then that is one that I can respect even if I do not at all agree with it. What drives me mad and causes me to stand on this soapbox is when self-righteous critics who are known to speak in hyperbole without much thought attempt to use cultural stereotypes to denigrate a fandom.
Game of Thrones is a popular show that has significantly more viewers than simply Dungeons and Dragons players. In fact, it has more viewers than many of the shows on television (and people have to pay for the privilege to view it). A reasoned argument is fine but it is time to leave the petty critiques and name calling at the door. More should be expected from people who claim to have a love of TV, especially those who are paid and given a prime location to express their opinions.