March 26th, 2014
Very few TV shows make it to a point to where they become their own cultural movement. HBO’s Game of Thrones has accomplished just that. Pulling in an already quite high three million viewers on its debut in 2011, the show has grown to the most downloaded (over six million people downloaded the Season 3 Finale) and one of the most watched on the planet. Even the POTUS, Barack Obama, has been noted as one of the shows followers, and according to the directors, he even gets sneak peek. Yes, the show could be called possibly the biggest franchise on TV right now.
The show has become such a cultural touchstone and water cooler event that a teacher has even infamously used “spoiler alerts” to control her class. The instructor threatens students with tidbits from the show (ruining plot points) if the children don’t behave.
That isn’t so surprising when you see what’s been invested and poured into the series. HBO’s budgets are essentially the same as studio blockbuster’s, and it’s getting more and more difficult to differentiate between the two systems anyway — and that’s been part of HBO’s success in the market as a whole: blurring the line between TV and fantastic movie-esque drama that doesn’t have to follow normal TV regulations on account of the premium subscription nature of the channel.
But even with all the success, don’t expect DB Weiss and company to go “mainstream” or lighten things up to bring in more viewers. The rumors for the upcoming Season 4 (premiering this week on HBO, Sunday) are that the show is taking an even darker turn — hard to believe when you consider the “Red Wedding” and other infamously bloody and gloomy outcomes in the plot that we’ve seen from the writers in recent years.
Where the show is headed will remain a strong topic of discussion for smart-TV writing outlets like NYMag and Grantland, and with the looks of the vibe surrounding the show right now, it isn’t going away anytime soon.
Emily Torres is an Entertainment and News Blogger for TV and Dish Network.