Guess who died last night? No, not some poor Ukrainian beat cop. That’s not important. Who cares about that guy anyways? One of the critical characters from Game of Thrones! No, I didn’t see the episode, but you can’t miss the result on most news websites today. I’m sure there’s not anything going on in the real world, so let’s make sure we spend Monday morning in fantasy land.
I’m calling the ending to Game of Thrones right now. They all die. No, that’s not a spoiler, I have no idea what happens. I’ve never and will never read the books. But I know how it ends. They all die. Hey, you ever see The Walking Dead? I know how it ends! They all die. Even if some of them actually live, what’s the point? They’ll all be so burned out from their death caravan that they’d be comfortable calling a serial killer their beer buddy.
Here’s a little advice for those chronic viewers fascinated or upset by all these people dying. Don’t mourn them, they aren’t real television characters, they’re just cardboard cutouts that you can ignore. What happens to them is irrelevant. But wait, you say, Game of Thrones has characters, it’s just the drama at work that takes them to the next life! If you never know when a character might die, it keeps you on the edge of a real true story! Well no, what it does is mentally separate you from the outcome because you have no emotional investment in a character.
Whether you realize it’s happening or not, when you watch Game of Thrones or The Walking Dead or Generic Meat Grinder Television Show #43a7.5b your mind mentally removes you from the story because what’s the point when they’re all walking skeletons.
So what are you actually watching in Game of Thrones? A decent plot and a spectacle of death. Now Game of Thrones seems to have a pretty detailed plot. I watched the first two seasons and it had some really great moments. The story can entertain, it’s really well made, and the actors are truly gifted. So why did I stop watching? Because I’m finished with the meat grinder.
I have no idea why the creators of Game of Thrones or The Walking Dead feel compelled to output this level of misery. Maybe they just need a woman? I’m sure a whole bunch of people who deem themselves smarter than I are going to quote art concepts, enhanced storytelling, whatever. Honestly, I think what these shows ultimately amount to is pornography. You think you’re watching a great story. What you’re actually watching is a moderately good plot, filled with death, flagrant nudity, and other base human desires.
You consider you’re observing true art with hints of philosophy, an updated take on drama, and a plot so detailed that only your elite mind can understand it. People who don’t watch just aren’t as smart as you. Well, I submit you’ve been had. What they’ve spoon fed you is a story that appeals not to your higher intellect, but your most carnal and basic nature. You might as well grab all your boyfriends and girlfriends, head off to the Coliseum for some brutality, and then cool off with a vicious orgy.
This is why so many dramas are now based not on good guys, but on truly horrible human beings. The Walking Dead is populated with murderers, slavers, and so on. Breaking Bad was all about one guy’s descent into pure evil. Again, you think what you’re getting is a contemporary drama that shows morals, society, and our values as they truly are. But what you’re really receiving is a window into your most primal nature, where morals, good people, and striving for a better tomorrow do not exist. It’s cave entertainment reborn.
Oh, and don’t tell me this is fresh drama that replaces decades of film and movies that were too stale, establishment focused, and generally not gritty. If you think old movies were hokey and lacked the true gravel of hard drama, then you haven’t seen old movies and television.
Go watch The Searchers and come to me and claim it’s lightweight and cheery. I’ll respond that you were high, I mean more than usual. That movie’s hero is a criminal, who allows men to commit suicide, nearly becomes a child murderer, and is generally just as nasty a person as anybody in Game of Thrones.
What separates this real character from say The Walking Dead are two things. He has a story to accompany his brutal nature and he has some manner of redemption. He has an arc, a journey of discovery. It’s a voyage we share with him as the audience. At the end of The Searchers, Wayne’s character finds some kind of inner peace. He doesn’t get the girl, he isn’t happy, but he leaves the movie a better person than when he started.
If they remade The Searchers into entertainment today he’d kill people about every ten minutes and then get beheaded horribly about halfway through the story. All without ever learning anything about himself or life in general. There’s something liberating about the dark journey of The Searchers.
There’s nothing redeeming about Game of Thrones. We have a different term we apply to entertainment where people are mercilessly killed with no purpose and almost no compensatory value. They’re called horror movies.
Now this might sound like an odd rant for a guy who’s usually far more cheery than your average kid in a candy store. But I guess that’s my point. If I want to beat myself with a wire brush, I can just watch the news. When I observe entertainment, I want to learn something, and I want to have fun. Folks can die, some characters can go through it without learning anything, bad guys are always needed, but without any redeeming quality at all? I’d rather just watch sports.
The only thing I find positive about this issue is there is some light here. Despite the obsession with Game of Thrones from the elite media, it draws only a little over five million viewers a night. This doesn’t even place it in the top ten, not even close. But from the news you read this morning you’d think it was the most popular show by a long shot.
This tells me two things. One, the general public also does not prefer the meat grinder either. Two, you can learn an awful lot about the media, and the message they want to send to you the viewer, when their number one preferred shows are all horror stories. These people are the ones who write your daily news. If this is what they call good entertainment, it’s probably something that should give you pause the next time they gleefully inform you that it’s they that you should listen to in order to learn about the globe and life in general.
Glorified B Horror Movie Hacks