I’ve never made any secret of the fact that I hate most of the prime time tv that gets the attention these days. Walking Dead, Lost, Breaking Bad, Game of Thrones, Battlestar Galactica etc. It’s nothing new. Just prime time soap operas making a come back, but blended with genre fiction in several cases. For the most part I try to ignore it.
For those who are curious, some of it is simple taste. I don’t like overly serialized tv shows for starters. TV is something I watch for enjoyment, not to get addicted to because I have nothing better to do with my life than obsess over entertainment.
I generally don’t spend any time talking about what happened on shows I watch. I take it in, then move on to something else. I honestly don’t understand the impulse to sit around discussing fiction. Not unless it’s at a professional level. Since I am a writer, that is how I view things like this. Seriously… Do you REALLY not have anything better to do, than talk about tv shows? Is your life really that bereft of substance? Okay… sure, chit chat is one thing… but discussing the politics and personal BS of fictional people like it actually matters? REALLY?!?!
I can’t stand soap operas, and/or shows that spend a lot of time on personal life melodrama BS.
Or shows that aren’t showing me anything I don’t already know. Or perhaps, more honestly, treating things that are obvious like something amazing that I should spend hours or my life watching. Like breaking bad. The premise is ludicrous to begin with, but I simply have to ask. Why should I watch this? Why should I give a fuck? The answer, simply, is that I don’t. I already know getting involved in meth is a bad idea. AND that power corrupts. It’s only one of the oldest plots there is. AND, there is the fact that in order to get from Mr passive pussy… to drug king pin, requires a whole lot of really contrived set ups. To have characters who consistently make the worst possible decisions, never using their heads, never applying any sense… That is something I just can’t tolerate. Rampant stupidity, incompetence and a general lack of thinking things through. I may have to tolerate it in the real world, I don’t in fiction. THAT has always been one of my biggest issues with all soap operas, and melodrama. The writers who feel a need to have EVERYTHING be dramatic. The stupid fuck can’t even order a pizza or deal with a house fly without it getting turned into a fucking drama. It’s… I don’t know if there’s a word for just how pathetically ridiculous it is.
To me the criticism is reversed. I like episodic shows like CSI. Every episode is a new case. A new puzzle. Competent, intelligent characters using their brains to solve problems. Breaking Bad and those others? Same characters doing the same shit every week. Until they get killed off, and then another character shows up to fill the same role, doing the same shit. Just like all soap operas. Incompetent, stupid, moronic characters who do nothing but make MORE problems. Which I guess is another personal thing. But then, I don’t enjoy misery or pain. I don’t get anything out of watching real or fictional people feeling bad, it just makes me feel worse. Same reason I can’t stand shows like The Office. It’s just a way to laugh at people behind their back, without feeling guilty about it. Because that’s the psychology it uses. It’s sociopathic.
And honestly, I got tired of depressing, melodramatic, over the top, grimdark, misery fest shit a long time ago. I watched part of Irreversible, that was MORE than enough for me.
Even CSI, and similar shows, often leave me wanting to take a shower and watch something funny.
I hate zombies, because they ARE the stupidest movie monster of all time. I don’t care about some moron who thinks cooking meth is a good idea. I don’t give a scuttering fuck about fake politics in space, or a fake version of real life politics in the case of shows like The West Wing. If I want to watch fantasy, I will watch fantasy. If I want to watch history, I will watch documentaries. Not some bad fanfic, sword and sorcery soap opera version of history.
Basically I have zero interest in these shows for a variety of reasons.
There is ONE show that sort of falls into the same category I do like. Farscape. But it doesn’t really count because it had a sense of humor, and was actually smart and creative.
So, that aside. The reason I wanted to post this is because I’ve been arguing with some jackass on youtube over a comment I made. Stating that Star Trek was superior to breaking bad and game of thrones. I’m no trekkie. In fact, I really can’t stand fanboys of anything. But Star Trek I usually give a pass to. And this reply pretty clearly states why.
“I understand those shows just fine.
Star Trek inspired people. That makes it superior.
No one is inspired by game of thrones or breaking bad. Hopefully. The language of the fans of those shows is how horrible they make you feel. That, and the tribalism, pretentious BS, and dogma used to justify watching them. At best it shows people what NOT to do, but then… if you needed a tv show to inform you that getting involved in drugs, or raping and killing people was bad… And there’s the rub. Star Trek showed people something they hadn’t seen before. Opened up their minds to possibilities. New horizons. Game of thrones and breaking bad are just over dramatized, fictional representations of things people already know. Banality. Which just leaves the question… why did you feel a need to watch it?
Game of thrones is a sword and sorcery soap opera. George Martin worked on soap operas in the 80s. There is nothing complex about it. Not in the way you want the word to mean. Complex in the technical sense that there’s a lot of shit going on, and to keep up you need to give a shit about it? Sure. The same is true of all soap operas. But it isn’t hard to understand at all. There’s a bunch of generic characters, most of whom have no actual personalities or character traits, that are all fighting over a throne, or for revenge, or whatever other generic, random plot they pull out of the bag. No one has ever heard of diplomacy. No one has any sense, or ever uses their brain, they’re all driven entirely by their emotions. Because intelligence isn’t dramatic. You could see all the same shit on any day time soap that’s been on for the last 60 years. Adding gore, overt sex and nudity, and basing it in a Conan the barbarian style world, doesn’t change what it inherently is.
Claiming it’s actually trying to make any statements about war is asinine. Especially when the war elements take up practically zero time in either the books or the show. It’s ludicrous to claim it’s about war, when the vast majority of what happens has nothing to do with war. Also, there is nothing ambiguous about the characters. Nearly all of them are just straight up black hat. It isn’t grey, it’s shitty mud. Besides, you can’t get grey without black and white, and that means knowing what right and wrong are. Which no one in that series seems to have an concept of. As for the so called fantasy elements, they don’t do anything. The dragons are just a convenient way to propel the dragon bitch from one plot to the next, and the ice zombies have had no real impact on anything. The fact that Martin stole everything from history, or other authors, doesn’t endear him to me either. Nor the fact he’s a sheltered, middle class, pacifist writing about shit he’s never even come close to experiencing first hand. He gets it all from other people’s books, then regurgitates it. Making him a fanfic writer.
Farscape did it all better, was far more entertaining, was actually creative, and thankfully had a sense of humor.
Breaking Bad is Scarface with an idiotically contrived set up premise. Dragging it out for several years doesn’t change what it inherently is either. Nor is it a concept that anyone with a working brain doesn’t already understand. Power corrupts, it’s only one of the oldest plots that exists. Big fucking whoop. The question then becomes, why did you feel a need to watch a series that contrives to do that story at a snails pace?
Anything you might think they are about, has been done better, and far more succinctly. Which just leaves the real reason you watch. Once all the pretentious BS and ego stroking is gone. You’re addicted to misery and melodrama. You’re a girl watching her soaps. Deal with it.
As for how well it’s done, that’s subjective. The ren faire shite dialog of game of thrones is laughable, and Cranston makes Shatner look subdued. He’s one of the worst over actors I’ve ever seen.”