I mentioned last week that my copy of Game of Thrones on Blu-ray had arrived on its release date, and I was fully stoked to finally catch up on what word on the street held was some fantastic serialized television. My wife had also expressed a more-than-fleeting interest in checking out the series herself, which I of course heartily encouraged. I warned her that the source material has a certain grimness to it and, from what I understood, the cable series was a faithful adaptation, so I offered her a guilt-free out in the form of unquestioned permission to bail at any point if she was so inclined. But, at the outset at least, we would watch Game of Thrones together.
Of course that meant we weren’t going to start it Wednesday night, since that’s generally my wife’s latest work evening of the week and she frequently gets home with mere minutes to spare before bedtime. Nor were we going to start it Thursday, since we already have some well-documented appointment television to watch then. Friday night, again, my wife worked late, and Saturday just kind of ended up getting consumed with this and that, mainly my wife bringing home some unavoidable paperwork from her shift that morning and afternoon, but also the anticipated loss of an hour’s sleep which did not predispose us to stay up any later getting to know the Starks and the Lannisters.
But finally Sunday came along and we came up with what seemed like a pretty good plan for the back half of the day: out for an early dinner, grocery shopping, head home and get the kids to bed, and watch Episode 1. Three-fourths of the plan went off accordingly, not entirely without a hitch (the kids fell asleep on the way home and we had to do a highly truncated version of their bedtime-prep routine to avoid waking them up so fully they’d never go back to sleep) but close enough. We made our way to the den, fired up the Blu-ray player, loaded Disc 1 of the Game of Thrones box set, and …
… some kind of read error? I honestly don’t know. For a while it seemed like the player had frozen up, and wouldn’t even turn off, so I used the tried and true method of unplugging the device and then plugging it back in. The player then said an update was available, and I downloaded that, but it still wouldn’t play the disc. I tried a totally different Blu-ray disc, and that worked fine. I tried Disc 2 of Game of Thrones, and that worked fine. Then I tried Disc 1 again and … nothing. So, despite much anticipation and every effort, we still haven’t watched a minute of the series.
(The thought briefly crossed my mind to just go ahead and watch Episode 3, which is the first episode on Disc 2, since I already know the story and figured I could bring my wife up to speed reasonably well, but ultimately I decided against it. So we watched some Buffy the Vampire Slayer instead. Remember how we’re supposed to be working our way through a second end-to-end viewing of that series? That’s still a thing, in a very low-key way.)
Yesterday I stole a little time at work to go to Amazon and find out how I could go about getting a replacement for what seems to be a damaged disc. But I noticed there was a dedicated FAQ section specifically about Blu-rays, and I will confess to not being very big on owner’s manuals and never having read the documentation for my player. One of the pointers in that FAQ stated that sometimes it can take a Blu-ray player up to five minutes to load and read a disc for the first time, depending. Five minutes feels like an eternity when you are standing in front of the blank-screened tv, waiting for a sign of electronic life before retreating to the couch, and I’m pretty sure I didn’t give it a full five minutes to unfreeze. So I need to carve out some time for that (probably tonight or tomorrow) and either it will work (yippee) or it won’t and I’ll initiate the return process for real (grr argh). At least if I have to send the box set back for replacement, it will no longer be sitting on the credenza in the den silently mocking me for being so close and yet so far away.