Netflix is cranking out new programming like… something that makes a lot of things. I’m a fan of a lot of their stuff, House of Cards, Orange is the New Black, I even try to watch Lillehammer though I always end up getting distracted after a few episodes.
Enter Marco Polo, the (I think) latest new show from the upstart internet TV network. I’ve watched about half of the season (5 of 10 episodes) and so far I’m enjoying the crap out of it.
However, I can’t help draw parallels between this show and HBO’s crazy-popular Game of Thrones series, based on the Song of Ice and Fire series by George R.R. Martin.
As an aside, you should read the books. I read the entire series between season 1 and season 2 of the show. You should read them too so you can live in constant fear that the old geezer will croak before he finishes the last two (or fifty) books in the series.
Anyway, going back to the TV side of things. What Netflix cooked up in Polo is a somewhat dark series set in the court of Kublai Kahn 75 years into the invasion of South China started by the Kahn’s grand pappy, Ghengis.
You have a lot of the earmarks of HBO’s show here, the dark plot, beautiful cinematography. And boobies.
Lots of boobies.
The stories are very different, and so far, nobody I actually like has died. Polo Is historical fiction while GoT is high fantasy. But deep down they seem to share some of the same DNA.
It seems clear to me they’re going after the same audience, but in different ways. Ok, boobies, they have gratuitous sex in common. But I gotta say Marco Polo has the best naked chick doing kung-fu scene I’ve ever witnessed.
Perhaps saying Netflix is going after HBO isn’t quite right. This isn’t grandpa’s TV where you have to pick one over the other. The world is big enough for two sword and boob epics after all.
Living in the future is pretty cool.