Perhaps the most infuriating phrase hurled at me every time I am passionately discussing a tv show is “it’s just a tv show”. This is usually word vomited by someone that would sever your head if you so much as suggested that “it’s just a book”, “it’s just a game”, or “it’s just a *insert inanimate object that means something to the person*”. The idea that something I like or feel passionately about is “just a” anything is a belittling statement. You may not realize it, but what you’re saying is, “this thing you like is dumb, therefore you are dumb and I don’t want to hear about your feelings”. Ok. Gee. Thanks.
It’s not so much about me being a special snowflake that can’t take criticism, it’s the way you phrase it that’s demeaning. “It’s just a tv show” is usually precluded by an exasperated sigh, sometimes an eye roll or side eye, in a condescending manner. It’s not like you said, “I don’t really watch that show so I don’t know what you’re talking about” or “I’m not really that much into tv”. That is at least a more polite way to acknowledge that you don’t care about what I’m talking about. Furthermore, you don’t know how that tv show affected someone’s life. Maybe it saved their life? I know there are large fan communities that would tell you this very thing. That loving something and being a part of it brought them happiness and joy. When my father passed away, I clung to my New York Rangers. They’ve always been my favorite hockey team, but focusing on them and rooting for them was one of the few things that brought me joy during one of my darkest times. Do not invalidate someone’s love of something just because you don’t think it’s important.
Not that I should ever have to explain myself, but let’s try. My favorite thing is television. I love a good story. I used to be an avid reader and I have found that I don’t have as much time or energy to read as I used to and so I watch tv. I like to watch intricate stories develop over seasons, culminating in a series finale. It’s like reading a good book series. Coincidentally, some of my favorites are book or comic adaptations. For me, the nuance of dialogue and storytelling is really important. Now, there are some things I watch simply for enjoyment, and those shows I would never deem to analyze or pick apart so intently because that’s not their purpose. There are others, however, that have meticulously crafted storytelling and those are the ones I like to theorize and dissect and even sometimes, criticize. I even host a podcast dedicated to television so that I can carve out a specific time during my week to talk about one of the things in my life that brings me joy. So do me a favor, try not to belittle it.
Maybe we should try an exercise.
And then when you flip your shit on me, I’m going to implore you to remember that it’s rude to belittle someone. Then, maybe the next time you feel the words, “it’s just a tv show” creeping into your throat, you’ll think twice about spitting them out. I would also like to take this opportunity to apologize to Fifty Shades of Grey and La La Land fans, yes I think your thing is awful, but you go on and love it all you want. I am in no position to tell you what is or is not enjoyable to you.
I have spent an exorbitant amount of time listening to my friends and family talk about their wedding plans (I am not married), their children (I have none), buying a home (I inherited mine), complaining about their job (I like mine), or any number of things that I may not be able to contribute to the conversation, but I listen and try to respond accordingly because that’s what you do. Because I care about you and your family and your child and your house and you job. It’s “just a tv show” to you, but to me it’s something I have invested my time and maybe even money into and I don’t appreciate it when you disregard me the same way you wouldn’t like it if I told you to shut up about your kid. Did it ever occur to you that because I have no family, no children, that this is my “thing” that I look forward to every day? No, I’m sure it didn’t.
As we get closer to the end of Game of Thrones‘ seventh season, it becomes increasingly difficult to focus on a particular moment because every moment is A MOMENT! Between Drogon letting Jon touch him, Gendry finally returning, Jaime and Tyrion coming face to face, and Jon creating the ultimate #SquadGoals to head beyond the wall, let’s focus on the not so obvious moments…
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These first 4 episodes of Season 7 have fed us Stark fans well! Bran and Arya both have made their way back to Winterfell and reunited with their sister, Sansa. While Jon is away, Lady Stark has been in charge and she’s doing a damn good job so far. She and Jon had some disagreements in the beginning, but let’s be honest, if Jon just had the good sense to discuss things with Sansa before announcing them to everyone, he would save himself (and us) a lot of headaches. Sansa is a character who went from “kill this bitch” to “protect her at all costs” over 7 seasons and she’s proven herself worthy of our devotion. This is a young woman who has gone through hell and back and is desperate for a real and true connection to someone. Even though she’s been with Jon a while, their disagreements and her not being so kind to him in the past, leaves her feeling lonely, until she sees Bran at the gates… click here to continue reading.
HBO’s Game of Thrones delivered quite the satisfying episode on July 30, 2017. The Queen’s Justice (S7, Ep4) brought us the long awaited meeting of Jon Snow and Daenerys Targaryen, but for me the night was made by none other than the Original Gangster of Westeros, Lady Olenna Tyrell. Lady Olenna has long been a fan favorite, what with her witty comebacks and overall disdain for Cersei. Her classy and quiet manipulations are the opposite of Cersei’s brash behavior…. click here to continue reading
*Published July 31, 2017 TV Source Magazine
Sunday nights episode of Game of Thrones saw Arya reunited with Hot Pie while on her way to King’s Landing. Arya is a woman (yes I think we can stop referring to her as a girl now, she murdered an entire extended family) on a mission. Hell bent on revenge, Arya is trading baking tips with Hot Pie when he innocently questions why she isn’t headed north to Winterfell. Arya can’t imagine why he would ask such a thing, until he reveals that her brother Jon is now King in the North. Arya can’t drop her goblet fast enough and she’s out the door towards home.
Arya is headed for the Stark reunion we’ve all been waiting for, but not before a more unexpected reunion that comes in the form of her former Direwolf, Nymeria. Alone in the woods with her horse, Arya is surrounded by a pack of wolves being lead by a gigantic Direwolf. It doesn’t take Arya long to recognize this furry beauty as her own sweet pet, Nymeria. Hoping for a warm reunion, Arya pleads with Nymeria to come home with her. Nymeria stops snarling and gazes at her former family member before turning and leaving as if to say, I remember you, but this is my life now. Arya, hurt at first, steps back and wistfully watches Nymeria walk away, “no that isn’t you” she says, almost proudly.
This moment harkens back to season 1 when a much younger, unaffected Arya told her father that frilly dresses and castles with young Lords just wasn’t her. She recognizes in this moment that while all of this has been going on, Nymeria has made her own life. She has found her own pack. Perhaps, being someone’s pet was never for her.
In the books, the wolves play a much larger role than they do on the show. The showrunners have explained that apparently they’re too expensive to conjure up on tv? Butttt dragons… yeah, anyway, in the books, Arya and Jon have warg powers like Bran and often see through their wolves in their dreams. There are tales of a large pack of wolves killing off Stark enemies, like the Frey’s, led by Nymeria. A wolf killing Frey’s? Sound familiar? There is a reason each Stark child had a Direwolf and each wolf reflected their child. Nymeria, like Arya was thrust into a life of loneliness and fear. And like Arya, she found a way to make herself the strongest, the bravest, and the fiercest of the wolves.
Nymeria cannot go home with Arya, because a pet in Winterfell is a home that no longer fits her. One has to wonder if this is a reflection of Arya herself. After all she has been through alone, after everything she’s done, can she just go home? What will be there for her when she does? Arya has grown up so much, no longer the little girl she once was, now a Faceless Man and skilled assassin. Jon is having a tough time dealing with Sansa being grown, however will he manage Arya? Sansa, scarred by her experiences is no longer trusting, will she be able to connect with her sister? Perhaps, this journey home won’t bring Arya the warmth and happiness she’s wishing for. Perhaps, it no longer fits. Maybe, it’s not her.