Wednesday, April 4, 2012

Thrones and Slayers

This past weekend was arguably worthy of casting as a mold to serve as the template for household pop culture consumption (at least if the household in question is mine). Friday night, my wife and I watched an episode of Game of Thrones; Saturday night, we resumed our Buffy the Vampire Slayer re-watching; Sunday, yet another ep of Game of Thrones. We’re trying to pace ourselves on GoT, since there are only ten episodes total in the first season, so restraining ourselves to episodes four and five alone felt just about right, as did giving a little more attention to dear Buffy. We can’t really do massive marathons of anything these days, between our work schedules and child rearing and whatnot, so a single hour-long episode from an excellent series is a good entertainment centerpiece for the window of opportunity between getting the kids to bed and drifting off ourselves, especially when said episode is on a disc that we can start and stop at will. And yet employing that strategy three nights in a row almost never happens! Sometimes even following a superlatively sensible and schedule-tailored plan of action requires something of a minor miracle. Or, I suppose, a really compelling series that totally has its hooks in us, like Game of Thrones.

To be fair, Ghost is pretty much one of my favorite characters in the whole series
One of the best things about watching the show with my wife is that she’s taken with it enough to frequently quote choice selections of the dialogue at me over whatever span passes between our viewing opportunities. Not only that, but she does unerring versions of the accents as well; the story takes place in a medieval fantasy world which is pretty clearly modeled on Great Britain, and the actors on the show all utilize specific regional accents, with the old noble aristocratic families sounding very posh and the characters who hail from “the North” sounding more like members of Echo & the Bunnymen. My wife of course lived in and around London for a while, is only a couple generations removed from being one of the Queen’s subjects herself, really, and she just has a gift for vocal mimicry. I’ve mentioned before that I first read A Game of Thrones almost four years ago, and ever since then I’ve had several of the book’s repeated motifs running through my head to some degree or another almost constantly. It’s quite nice, then, to not only have my wife completely understand what “Winter is coming” means, but to have her say it when it pops into her head, and say it exactly like Sean Bean by way of Yorkshire (which is probably not exactly right but, if not, no doubt my wife can supply the correct county).

At any rate, we’re literally only hours away from the half of the year where the answer to “What shall we watch tonight?” becomes increasingly likely to be “Well there must be at least one baseball game on …” so it’s probably just as well that we had a good genre serial gorging this past weekend, and that we’re already halfway done with GoT. In fact that midpoint is probably the perfect place to be: enough of the story behind us that we have momentum to carry us forward, and an acceptably short distance to the finish line to motivate us as well. (Of course, once we get to the end of the tenth episode, between what I’m given to understand about the cliffhangers the season ends on and how long we’ll probably have to wait for season 2 to come out on Blu-ray, my wife may have motivation to murder me for dragging her into Westeros. But we shall see!)

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