House of Dragging On?
Are you going to watch House of the Dragon, which is the “prequel” to Game of Thrones on HBO Max?
I thought the last several seasons of Game of Thrones were dreadful (they were no longer on R.R. Martin’s books). The writing was poor, situations ridiculous even for fantasy, and the acting, with rare exception, was never outstanding.
The prequel has drawn highly mixed reactions, mostly luke-warm, in previews. My observation is that this isn’t being launched as some noble successor (not in chronology, but in popularity) so much as a “must see” so that you can engage in conversations around you in the office, on social media, in remote meetings. In other words, you’re an “outcast” socially if you can engage after each episode. (HBO is about 36 kajillion dollars in debt.)
It’s not about quality work, it’s about normative pressure. (And at the high risk of losing readers, I’ll confess that I felt the same way about Star Wars and Jurassic Park, two wonderful beginnings ruined in sequels by a mindless grab for money.)
So entertainment is not simply about, well, entertaining, but rather about drinking the Kool Aid. And this reflects the dearth of innovation and creativity that was endemic to broadcast TV, with spin-offs and revivals (which we also see on Broadway far too often) and is now infecting cable and streaming. There are exceptions, viz.: Better Call Saul, just ending its run, was a terrific prequel to Breaking Bad.
I’ve never cared about being unable to enter a conversation about a subject that’s of no interest to me. I simply go somewhere else and begin a new conversation.