It’s crazy how much my opinion of game of thrones went from “I enjoy this, despite its flaws, for the small handfull of characters I like and the gorgeous visuals” to just deeply resenting its popularity and acclaim and general existence after watching black sails… like;
GoT: throws in random prostitute characters just for eye candy to distract any dudebro viewers who get tired of plot and talking, then kills said characters off in gross and sexualized ways the second they start having anything resembling a personality.
BS: one of the main protagonists and several supporting characters start off as sex workers who are portrayed as complex, savvy, ambitious business women just trying to make a living in one of the only ways available to them and have hobbies and interests outside of just “being sexy”. The main ones all end up rising above their station and becoming genuinely powerful and influential figures. The only one that dies isn’t killed in a sexualized way, is still remembered several seasons after her death and designs the symbol that becomes the legacy of piracy
GoT: has its token background gay character imprisoned, tortured and humiliated for being gay, and then kills him off without any resolution or catharsis just to further straight characters storylines.
BS: has its entire narrative is structured around the main protagonists fury over the way he and his male lover are treated at the hands of a homophobic society. His trauma and anger and desire for revenge are treated as something completely legitimate AND he still gets a happy ending. And a very significant portion of the other central characters are also gay/bi
GoT: has a very shaky grasp of who its characters are, where their storylines are going or what their arcs are about.
BS: every character has a thoughtful and carefully planned arc that parallel one another and all interact with the story’s main themes in fascinating and complicated ways.
GoT: gore, deaths and plot twists just for shock value, mostly to distract from the fairly thin narrative
BS: carefully planned out plot twists that make sense and deepen the story, intensely emotional character deaths that have meaning and a lasting impact on the plot and aren’t just forgotten about, and only a handful of truly gruesome moments that aren’t gratuitous and focus more on the emotion of the moment.
GoT: has a long and meandering plot with subplots that go nowhere and just exist to fill up time, no clear sense of overarching narrative and lots of fake deep dialogue with no real sense of what the story is actually trying to say
BS: has a carefully structured 4 season story arc that has very clear and well thought out themes about storytelling and identity and the idea of being seen as monstrous or “other”, and every storyline contributes to and interacts with these themes.
Plus everything game of thrones does have going for it (production values, amazing soundtrack etc) black sails does just as well. Like, not to be a dick to anyone who enjoys game of thrones, but in what universe is it the better show? I just feel so bitter about this sometimes.
(This post has been brought to you by my resentment toward all the IRL acquaintances i have who haven’t bothered to watch black sails but insist that GoT is a masterpiece.)