Ox Notes: November 13, 2008

Christmas came early for nerds this year. HBO has ordered a pilot of Game of Thrones, based on George R. R. Martin’s A Song of Ice and Fire book series.

I cannot stress enough how good these books are, and how many people who usually avoid the fantasy and sci-fi genres love them. There are no orcs or trolls, and the series is not set in outer space. There are kings, queens, and knights, but little in the way of chivalry.

The characters have realistic emotions and motivations, but the story drives the action, sentiment for the characters be damned. Martin’s "gritty" style of storytelling is currently reshaping the genre, much like J. R. R. Tolkien did 60 years ago.

Pick up a copy of Game of Thrones, read it, and let me know what you think.

Catching up on Dancing with the Stars news, Lacey Schwimmer told People that she’s considering bribing judge Len Goodman with baked goods. And Misty May-Treanor sounds like she’d be up for a second attempt at DwtS after her leg is healed.

Kim Kardashian blogged about the elimination of her pal, Cheryl Burke, this week on DwtS. Kim recently landed a guest role on an upcoming episode of How I Met Your Mother.

On December 23, former DwtSer Marie Osmond will host an ABC special called Rediscovered, in which former wannabe child stars get their chance to perform onstage 20 years later. The show, co-hosted by Donny Osmond, will also feature old audition footage of stars like Justin Timberlake, Britney Spears, and Jessica Simpson.

NBC has pulled the plug on Lipstick Jungle and My Own Worst Enemy.

Comedian Chris Elliot’s 21-year-old daughter, Abby, makes her Saturday Night Live debut this weekend.

Variety’s Brian Lowry examines why British sitcoms are so much funnier than American sitcoms these days.

E! has a poll about the Top Chef: New York debut that asks the same question my husband asked as we watched it last night: what’s will all the bald chefs? Bravo’s website features blog posts about the episode by judges Tom Colicchio and Gail Simmons, and former contestants Lee Ann Wong, Stephanie Izard, Richard Blais, and Brian Malarkey.