"All right, you primitive screwheads, listen up."
There are certain television shows that I stumble upon as they premier, and I enjoy way more than anyone else -- "FlashForward" was a prime example. Then there are those series that I just can't get into. I saw a few episodes of "Lost", but it didn't take. I saw the first episode of "Glee", said "I get it," yet immediately knew I would never have to watch another episode. Then there are other series that I discover after everyone else. For instance, I never saw the reboot of "Battlestar Galactica" until earlier this year (for the record, it was one of the best series ever broadcast in the history of television, science fiction or not). And I actually saw Serenity before I ever watched a single episode of "Firefly".
I didn't have cable until a few years ago. I don't subscribe to HBO or Showtime. I don't have a subscription to Hulu Plus, Netflix, or Redbox. And there aren't many series that I'll buy or rent on DVD unless I know how compelling they are.
So... "Game of Thrones".
Until today, everything I've heard about "Game of Thrones" was incidental -- the violence, the nudity, Peter Dinklage. I haven't heard much about its starkness, its beauty, its pacing, or its production values.
A few days ago, I watched the first episode of the series online, and wow, what a beautiful show. Seriously, that's the one word that kept coming up with every new scene: "Beautiful."
The world of Pandora in Avatar...
The world of The Grid in Tron: Legacy...
...and its superior counterpart, "Tron: Uprising".
And every once in a while, SyFy fails to disappoint.
And from what I can gather after having seen only one episode, I completely understand the draw. One gets the sense there is more beyond the initial story, and things can only get more and more complicated as the series progresses. But aside from the spectacle, one thing stands out as the high point of quality that all television must aspire to -- human interaction.
Like "Battlestar Galactica", this is a human drama. The interplay among characters is filled with all things that make us human -- rage, fear, lust, hope, loyalty, betrayal. For this reason above all others, "Game of Thrones" succeeds in ways that lesser series do not. We feel the struggles of the characters, their desires, insecurities, and needs, and even through we live in different times, even different worlds, we can see how the events might play out in our own lives.
Is this what makes television so magnetic? Does great escapism reflect our realism, or does realism give our escapism the power it needs to draw us in?
One thing's for sure -- I'll be watching more of "Game of Thrones". No spoilers, please.
I would love to hear from you readers out there -- what television shows have drawn you in? What about them hooked you? Leave a comment, let me know.
Article originally published on Geek Goes Rogue. Find the article here.
There Is No Box.