A few weeks ago, I changed from cable to satellite. Long story short, it was time for a change. But another change I made was canceling all my pay channels, including HBO. It had seemed, for at least the past few months, that my love for HBO had grown stale. Big Love? Didn’t even care that I wasn’t catching the series finale. Real Time with Bill Maher? Brilliant TV, but it never seemed like it was on for long stretches of time. Hung? Please. Add to all this my ability to stream Netflix movies and HBO offering as much movie variety as an airport vending machine, and the choice wasn’t that tough to make.
Last Sunday, my wife and I made the choice to reactivate HBO. Why? We’d just seen the first six episodes of Game of Thrones, HBO’s long-awaited sword-and-sorcery epic. As a member of the media, I often get the chance to see preview screeners of movies and, sometimes, TV shows. Sometimes you get one episode; this time I was offered the first six.
By the time the wife and I got to episode three, we were utterly and completely hooked. Lots of money was poured into this show, so yeah, it looks great, but what will keep us coming back is the completely absorbing storyline. This is a show all about social strata—the fates that await both a king’s son and a king’s bastard, the lengths a man will go to reclaim his crown, a dwarf who is less of a son in his father’s eyes … all within an otherworldly realm, one where people raise wolves as pets and where enormous walls of ice keep out mystical creatures.
I’ll have plenty more to say on this show when I’m Josh Bell’s guest on this week’s Josh Bell Hates Everything podcast, which will be available on this website on Friday. But take my word for it, folks—this is a show everyone will be talking about this year, and for good reason.
Game of Thrones airs on HBO Sundays at 9 p.m. Read our review here.