I had to go into a meditative state following last Sunday's Game of Thrones episode. I needed a come-down after what can best described as a heck-gasm. That's a pretty rough way to end the weekend.
I guess it's just how we roll now. Tragic, greusome, cynical, delusional, and dare I summon a made-up term, "Snyderian?" Everything is horrible. All of it is true. The pendulum swing between the smile-pop curated playlists on Spotify generates upwards of 13 g's as it hurls over to a common Facebook feed, before its return journey to the navel gazing and vacation-envy on Instagram.
Then it's back to HBO Go and Amazon Prime for Game of Thrones and Mr. Robot to tell us we are a hopeless people.
Watching Intense TV Makes Us Feel Like We've DONE SOMETHING
It's remarkable how positive Game of Thrones has been this season, at least compared to last. I've joked that it's been The Season of Good Decisions. And it's still some of the most intense television ever put to digital celluloid.
We, collectively, as a planet, love it. It's the adage my grandpa used to say of, "well, at least in reality, we don't have to deal with snow zombies." It's odd though, because it makes us believe that no matter how bad things get in the real world, the agreed-upon escapist fantasies have been taken care of. And here they are!
Nearer to modernity is Mr. Robot, a show about a hacker. The main character is a tremendous social-anxiety riddled weirdo who hates civilization. It's like Fight Club, but the character is crazy and talented, instead of being crazy and Edward Norton. All the way through, it's as intense as Game of Thrones, reminding the audience of our active struggle to slide down into complacency. Mr. Robot has heavy hands. Most modern storytelling does.
And between all this intense television, the audience leans back on sofas and mutter, "Yeah, they make a good point." And the job seems done. We don't need to change anything, the job is done, okay? We've done our part. We could spot a villain if we had to in real life. Or not? Because nobody as evil as Ramsay Bolton could exist in real life.
We surround ourselves with intense storytelling to satisfy a need to feel like we've DONE SOMETHING. We've participated in the maximum catharsis that our sharpest creative minds can deliver. After that, hey, the rest is up to the world to straighten itself out.
But if this is the state of the world, we're going to need a lot stronger prescription than Game of Thrones.