This is part of the great connective tissue of televised sports.
It’s not fiction — but it is the one piece of Monoculture that seems poised to survive.
Yeah, I know people DVR games, or watch them on League Pass/Sunday Ticket/Etc. But, there’s a much bigger group that watches sports as a communal experience (whether by accident, or on purpose, as they live-tweet and trade snark and instant gifs in real time).
What’s craziest to me about the popularity of Game of Thrones is that it’s on one of the MOST premium networks in cable TV history.
It’s easy to have a few million people watching a nationally televised sporting event with you on Sunday afternoon. You might not even need cable to tune in to your favorite NFL team.
But, with GoT, you have to go and get HBO. And, yes, there are dozens of ways to do that now, and you don’t even have to have cable these days — which helps a lot. But, it’s still a bigger walk than just turning your TV on and seeing what’s broadcasting locally.
More than anything about the shared experience of Game of Thrones — that’s what makes it so impressive to me. I don’t know many people who aren’t gearing up for this season by rewatching older episodes.
We aren’t just going to watch this show together — half of us are in training camp, getting ready for this show.
I love it. I hate that we have to go to a fantasy space, where nearly everyone dies horribly, just to find some common ground — but I do love this shared experience.
I hope we find a replacement for this once it’s all over. Maybe some impeachment hearings?