Recently I finished Parks and Recreation and Unbreakable Kimmy Schmidt, and I absolutely loved both of them. Unfortunately, I didn’t review them, because that would get in the way of binge-watching.
Shows I’ve binge-watched include Orphan Black, The Blacklist, and Broadchurch, but I’ve never really marathoned Game of Thrones, choosing rather to skip most of season 2 and all of season 3. I did do some heavy watching of The Wire and Breaking Bad, but that was maybe 2-3 episodes a night.
Here’s some theories why Game of Thrones is so hard to marathon:
1. The WTF Threshold
Game of Thrones is chockful of human ugliness. Corruption, incest, violence, cruelty are the meat and potatoes of the show. Kindness is like the sprig of parsley on the side. Humor is the gravy that makes forty some minutes of people being mean to each other a little more palatable.
And lest, you think I don’t like GoT, I do. I am addicted. But sometimes I have to decompress and watch some cat videos. Or read Hyperbole and a Half.
2. What Just Happened?
I have read the GoT books twice, but still I have moments when I have no clue who someone is and if I’ve ever seen them before. Or we meet someone and we’re like, who are they friends with? Where are we even? I need to look at a map and a flowchart. And what does the banner even mean?
I would like to to say that Game of Thrones respects their viewers enough to not pander to them (besides gratuitous sex and violence), the plot and characters are legitimately hard to follow. Unlike other TV shows where each episode is a stand alone capsule, problems are rarely brought up and concluded within the neat confines of 40 some minutes, nor are they thematically cohesive.
It’s like they plotted out the entire season with the dozen or so story lines on a huge white board and then cut them into episode-chunks. While this may seem like it would make Game of Thrones easier to binge, it doesn’t because it’s like the show creators just chucked you a handful of puzzle pieces. Damn you, George R R Martin!
3. The Post Episode Round Table Discussion
On a similar note of just figuring out what happened, there’s also discussion with friends/the internet on why Character A did this to Character B and what consequences will it have on Character C, who is currently hundreds of miles away from A and B but is still crucial to the plot line. And well, you could binge, but they might not pick up that story line until next season? (e.g. What happened to Baby Rickon Stark?)
Binging on GoT doesn’t necessarily give you the answers to the questions you need. Better to talk about it amongst yourselves.
4. Well That was a Stupid Idea — I Need to Lie Down
Everyone has shitty ideas, not everyone commands armies or are in positions of authority. Or dragons. And sometimes someone does something so stupid that I have to take a moment or ten to fume.
Like when Ned told Cersei that he knew. Yea, maybe Ned is all noble and stuff, but you know what he also is? An idiot, who underestimates women and has negative political savvy. This happens in the books when Arya uncovers a plot against him, and he’s like “Shhh. Child, go and play. Daddy is busy.” Yes, Daddy is busy…getting himself murdered.
And also, Lannister clusterfucks! Have you met a more dysfunctional family?!
What are your favorites? For this season, mine include:
- Ellaria Sand’s child abduction plan
- Jaime’s rescue mission
- Cersei arming religious fanatics
- Daenerys giving her dragons a taste for human flesh
- Daenerys repeating telling the people of Meereen that their traditions don’t matter
And no, I am not being extra judg-y to women, but it just hasn’t been a particularly active season for the menfolk. Tyrion has been tied up most of the time, Littlefinger is being major creep-o chess master. I suppose Varys was pretty dumb for letting Tyrion out of the box, but Tyrion can be pretty annoying. Jorah Mormount is crazy in love. Jon Snow…Jon Snow is picking from a bag of 100% unfortunateness. All decisions will not end well. And the Boltons be cray-cray.
The number one reason you can’t binge watch Game of Thrones, because that would mean falling behind in the series and eschewing all social media lest you fall into Spoiler Hell. This is something that book readers once scoffed at, but it is now a very real possibility.