Sunday, August 18, 2013

I Wonder What We Will Do When All the Starks Are Dead?

NO-SPOILER ALERT - I don't know that all the Starks on *that show* will die. I don't know who will live or die on Game of Thrones. (Whoops, I said the name. Ah, well.) But let's face it - the Starks do kind of seem to be an entire Woobie family.

But my real question is what will happen when the series ends. So far, TV has given us two truly, radically successful F/SF series: Battlestar Galactica and Game of Thrones. Obviously, there are dozens of other F/SF series that I've liked, from Firefly to DS9 to- yes, even Farscape.

But here's the thing: All of those other series were genre series - "Genre" in the sense that the creators relied to some extent on the viewers having an affection for the genre, a tolerance for its conventions and tropes, and an enhanced willingness to suspend disbelief. These shows were, in some sense, comfort food. Outcomes were, to some extent, predictable.

That was never true of Battlestar and Game of Thrones. No one was/is safe. Anything can happen. (Granted, Battlestar lost that edge as the series continued - but in that first season, anyone could die. Anyone could be a Cylon.) And that feeling of uncertainty, that anything can happen, is what separates radical F/SF from the comfort-food, Doctor Who variety.

So far we've had a hard-core, military space opera and a traditional alternate-world fantasy. There will be more radical series (I hope). I just wonder what they will be.

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