The Nudity Problem on Game of Thrones

I'm a sadly typical dude. I love breasts. And the women in Game of Thrones are all very attractive. But within the context of the show, the nudity is distracting, occasionally insulting, and almost always annoying. Why? Because HBO is supposed to be commercial free!

Every unnecessary bosom in Thrones is a glaring advertisement for subscription cable. It would be less distracting to have Jon Snow turn to the camera in the middle of a wall battle and take a long refreshing swig of Pepsi Cola. Hardworking Americans are attempting to enter a richly layered narrative about the inhumanity of power, only to get sidetracked during every episode by a perky pair of reminders to stay tuned in to the Home Box Office.

I'm not a prude. There are moments when nudity actually serves the story. A recent walk of shame comes to mind. And, during the post-Mad Men era of endless on-screen introspection, nakedness can be effective at portraying vulnerability.

But for christ sake, I don't need to see some brunette extra who's gonna be shot with a crossbow in 20 minutes take her clothes off just because the showrunners are required to remind us that this is premium cable. It ruins the whole point of the show. (And that point is that that fantasy worlds would have their own logistical and existential nightmares, humans have no free will, drugs and crime in Baltimore are a living systemic institution, everything is nothing, and escapism is futile because there is no escape.) (And now for some mud wrestling by the Duff Beer girls!)

Every time Petyr Baelish interrupts my sprawling political science / economics / history / philosophy epic with a back-room meeting in one of his goddam brothels, my amygdala sparks up like a Lite Brite saying "Booobies!" It's undignified. But then maybe that's the ultimate message of Game of Thrones -- that dignity is an illusion, and even pleasure is suffering.


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