Plot of Thrones: Stumbling At The Finish

I didn’t watch Game of Thrones until the eighth season. I’m watching this final season because my girlfriend is semi-invested in the finale and wanted a companion to watch with. “But why would you spoil yourself?” C’mon son. The internet has spoiled me on every major event and most characters, so I know all the big plot points and characters already.

I know about all the weddings. Red Wedding, Purple Wedding, White Wedding (hey little sister). I know what happens when Oberyn and The Mountain face off. I know Tyrion drinks and knows things. I know Jon Snow doesn’t know anything.

So I’m not coming into this final season completely blind. And after watching the penultimate episode and witnessing the fan aftermath on the internet, I have some thought about this season both from a writing perspective and from a perspective of observing fans of the show for seven seasons without watching the show.

(Spoilers for everything Game of Thrones up until the episode that aired yesterday will follow, along with minor spoilers for some other shows.)

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TV Theory: Person of Interest

A friend of mine, after reading some of my articles where I mentioned being burnt out, recommended that I dive into the well of things I already have an opinion on instead of trying to constantly chase “new” content and keeping up-to-date with recent news. And he’s right: the fast-paced internet world really does get into my head sometimes because you really need to be on top of things. For example, everyone and their mother is currently writing articles on Apex Legends because that’s the current new hotness.

And sure, I could cobble together something about Apex Legends as a free-to-play battle royale shooter and how it’s affecting the industry. But I don’t really care that much about it. It’d be a lot of me staring at my computer, trying to come up with ways to make an interesting point that someone has made already somewhere on the internet.

So instead of being trendy, I’m going to take this time and talk about one of my favorite TV shows of all-time: Person of Interest.

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Bandersnatch: Expanding The Gaming Medium

This past weekend my friends and I got together and watched Bandersnatch – the standalone Black Mirror episode/movie on Netflix. It was highly talked about when it released at the end of December last year, but I had put off watching it in favor of making it a group activity. My friends and I had fun playing both Until Dawn and Hidden Agenda (although we all agreed the former was way better than the latter) and this was likely going to be a similar experience.

Bandersnatch was touted as a kind of Choose-Your-Own-Adventure movie where you get to make choices for the protagonist and affect the ending of the episode. It ended up being very similar to a Telltale game or Until Dawn – where two choices were presented to you and you had a time limit as to decide which way to direct the character. The group seemed to have a lot of fun with it and the episode itself was pretty entertaining – over the course of about three hours we managed to see most of what the episode had to offer.

The idea of an interactive story has been around for a while – after all Choose Your Own Adventure as books for kids have been around since the 1980s. However Bandersnatch was definitely targeted towards adults and adds an interesting data point towards the future of interactive media (especially with virtual reality possibly just around the corner). But Bandersnatch’s viewer engagement also intersects with the world of gaming and how they give you choices, and I’d like to take a moment and talk for a little bit about Bandersnatch, games like Until Dawn and Telltale choice-based games, and games like Mass Effect which also offer the illusion of choice.

Since it came out several weeks ago, I’m going to be talking very openly about Bandersnatch, so just as a warning spoilers will follow for the Black Mirror episode as well as some of the games I just previously listed. You’ve been warned.

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TV Theory: Top 150 Episodes Discussion

Alright, so this is the follow-up to Wednesday’s list of my favorite 150 episodes. What follows is going to be me just discussing some of the episodes on the list. There will be minor and major spoilers of some episodes, although I tried to stay away from anything particularly important that might ruin the impact of the episode if you haven’t seen it – but on the other hand the fact that I’m highlighting these particular episodes may be a spoiler that important twists happen in them anyway. I’ve bolded the names of the episodes that I discuss as they come up in hopes to alleviate as much risk as possible. I tried my best but if I wanted to really discuss these episodes I had to include some spoilery information!

So without further ado, here’s part two of my top 150 episodes – the discussion!

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TV Theory: My Favorite 150 Episodes

In early 2012 I started an ambitious undertaking – I wanted to rank my favorite 100 episodes of television, much like how earlier this year I set out to list my 100 favorite video games (which I swear I’m going to finish by the end of the year…maybe). It was going to be very ambitious because I was originally going to go over each episode individually and talk about each one specifically.

I got through the listing 100 episodes part – except the list ballooned to 120 and I couldn’t bear to cut it down to just 100. And that’s about as far as I got. I never wrote up anything and the list just sat in a text file on my computer for the next six years.

Which brings me to this post: I recently unearthed the list and went over it, adding in some episodes of television I’ve seen in the six years since and reordering them since over time my opinions on certain episodes have changed (as opinions often do). I ended up with a list of 150 total episodes that I’m actually pretty happy with. Instead of trying to do a major write-up of each and every episode, instead what I’m going to do is just throw all 150 into this post, and then tomorrow I’m going to have a follow-up post where I discuss the list in general and talk about some specific episodes/shows.

So here’s a ranked order of my 150 favorite episodes of television – the name of the episode followed by the show. I might eventually edit in the season and episode number as well, but for now it’s just the show. And I’m just absolutely sure everyone will agree with me on every choice I made!

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