Game of Thrones? Don’t get me started. Disney’s Aladdin is in theatres Thursday. Get your tickets now. Now, I tell you.
It’s hard to gauge just how much of the disappointment with the ending of GoT is real. I mean, there are people setting up a petition to have the final season remade by “competent writers.” That’s mad. But take away the idiocy of raging and frothing at the mouth over the the ending – especially the penultimate episode – and there’s still some serious sulking going on by people who should know better. That’s why Disney’s Aladdin is recommended. It won’t upset you at all. No surprises, so you’ll be delighted with it.
Ingrates. That’s what many Game of Thrones followers are. Don’t get me started. They wanted an ending that satisfied them, something that would wrap up and confirm their beliefs and expectations, and everybody would agree about everything. Listen, if you want stories that cement your prejudices and give you comfort, stick to Disney. It is the height of ingratitude to lay blame at the feet of creative writers for not making you cozy.
All endings are hard for popular TV series. Hard, that is, because there are too many viewers who, essentially, want their imagination stifled. Remember the final episode of The Sopranos? I do. Happened to see it while attending what was then called the Banff World Television Festival. Surrounded by TV types and media types, the final scene unfolded and there was a gasp as Journey’s Don’t Stop Believin’ came from the jukebox and the screen went black. It stayed black for several seconds before the credits rolled and everybody realized it was, actually, over. Immediately, those around me were wondering how such an ending would be received by the viewers. Everybody would hate it, was the consensus. Because the show’s creator David Chase ended by literally going to a black screen. The end, that’s it. There was no morality play ending.
What did people expect? Don’t get me started. Like a lot of critics I got an earful from readers who’d watched it. What they wanted was a conclusion in which Tony the mob boss was shot dead or ended up in jail. Mob boss shot or jailed. They way it always is. But The Sopranos was a story, a fiction, not a documentary.
Just before GoT concluded, another stalwart HBO series, Veep, ended forever. What Veep did for an ending was outrageous. It went beyond cynicism and darkness to outright condemn its central character Selina Meyers and to condemn the viewers in the United States for indulging a new political circumstance that is so crazy it beggars being satirized by Veep. It was bracing, that ending.
Now, there are said to be at least three Game of Thrones spinoff shows in the works. HBO has been cautious about what exactly will happen but those who are still seething at the lack of an ending that satisfied should keep the future in mind. Your terrible feelings of emptiness, boredom, isolation and depression or anger will be cured by the return of the show’s core attribute – a muddled pastiche of modern fantasy and medieval war lore.
Please don’t write to me complaining about holes in the plot as Game of Thrones ended or what you perceive as implausible shifts in tone. Some of you, I worry about. I mean, seriously, there are house cats watching squirrels through the window that have more grasp of the nuance of true drama.
Besides, if you’re actually tempted to see the ending of Game of Thrones as an act of arrogance and inconsideration by its writers and creative team, I urge you to consider the most dramatic events you have seen unfold, live on TV. Often, what you know you will savour and relive is the surprise turn of events in sports. That comeback victory. The win that forever erased some long-standing statistic. There are countless recent examples – the Toronto Raptors winning in the final second against Philadelphia and, in soccer, Liverpool’s stunning 4-0 victory over Barcelona.
It’s the surprise that awes us. It’s the unexpected that is memorable. No predictable, reassuring ending to a fictional TV show is ever truly memorable. We live to be surprised don’t we? And if you don’t want surprise, Disney’s Aladdin is in theatres Thursday. Get your tickets now. Don’t get me started.