Game Of Thrones

2K15: What I’m Looking Forward To In The Pop Culture World

Films

The Force Awakens (December)
The hype for this film is massive. I don’t know if I’ve ever seen the amount of press and speculation about a film in my life time. The first thought I had when another trilogy was announced was, if this goes bad, it’s gonna be really bad. As in, Star Wars fans take things super seriously, and something tiny could ruin the film for them. But so far, everyone has been super positive about it, which is a good sign.

Age of Ultron (July)
The first Avengers film took me by surprise. At the time I hadn’t seen any of the five Marvel films that had proceeded it, but I absolutely loved it. And as most sequels go, this one will be bigger and better. On the flip side, some sequels are terrible, but that won’t be the case with this one. With the incredible Joss Whedon in charge we have nothing to worry about. Plus he has been taking inspiration from The Empire Strikes back, only the greatest sequel of all time.

Music

Songs of Experience (Probably not even 2015, more like 2018, because this is U2, right?)
The most hated album of the year was one of my favourites, and ever since Bono mentioned a follow up, I’ve been wanted more from U2.

untitled 7th Kanye album (some time soon)
All through out 2014, there was meant to be a new Kanye West album. We got to end of the year and we had nothing. Now in 2015, it’s looking like a full album will be coming sooner rather than latter, now that a new single “Only One” with Paul McCartney has been released.

TV

Game Of Thrones (April)
The worlds most downloaded show is back again. While I like shows with shorter seasons like Thrones (10 episodes a season), the ten month gap is painful. Luckily the wait is close to over.

Parks & Recreation (January)
NBC’s last decent comedy is nearly over, and they will be missed by many. Blink and you might miss the final season as it will be all over by the end of Febuary. Then all we will have is our memories Lil Sebastian (RIP Lil Sebastian).

Australian’s are the biggest downloaders in the world, and our media outlets are partially to blame

Pirate Bay was taken down during raids in Sweden this week, but the site has already resurfaced. If new laws are imposed in Australia, it may be taken away from us again, this time for good. Although today Communications Minster Malcolm Turnbull warned journalist’s to not report the reforms as an “internet filter”, that is exactly what it is. Turnbull’s plan is for internet providers to block any site that illegal downloads can be obtained, and that downloaders would be formally warned about any online copyright breaches.

Before I go any further, I want you to know that I understand why P2P (Peer-to-peer) is such a bad thing. In fact I used to be totally against it, for ethical reasons and what not. But over the years I will admit to having used websites like The Pirate Bay, as many other Australian’s have. Lately I have been wondering why so many of us do this, and I realised a major reason why. Australia is getting such a raw deal so often, that many are being driven to download due to no better options. There are many examples of this happening.

This year Australia played a major part in Game of Thrones becoming the most illegally-downloaded show in history. It’s no surprise, due to the fact that the popular drama is only available on a paid Foxtel subscription. After the shows penultimate episode of season three in 2013, all anyone was talking about was the “Red Wedding”, leading to a lot of people who hadn’t seen the show, want to be in on the conversations that were happening every week the day after the show had aired. At that time they were able to watch the first three seasons on dvd. Come to April this year, and the show had a massive increase in a fan base, but anyone who didn’t have Foxtel, had only one other way to see the show, and that was online. People couldn’t even pay to watch the show on iTunes, like they had done during the first three seasons, due to Foxtel wanting the show exclusively with them. The move to make more money, only pushed people, who were happy to pay for episodes on iTunes, to illegally download the show.

Foxtel isn’t the only place where viewers are being treated with contempt. Free to air stations love to tell you how many shows they are fast tracking this year. But only some shows isn’t enough. A major part of the problem is that America, where a lot of the television content that Australian’s consume, runs their TV shows from September/October to May of the year after. In Australia, the networks prefer to have a majority of their best content stacked when we start of our TV season, which is in February. Back in the 1990’s and early 2000’s, they could get away with keeping a show to play until Febuary, when it had been playing from September the year before, because nobody knew any better. In this social media age, things have changed, but the practices of TV stations haven’t.

Revenge is a prime example of this. This show is now in its fourth season, and has a decent fan base. But year after year Seven holds onto to it until “after the tennis”. And what do you think has happened. Slowly ratings for the show in Australia has dropped off. Not because people don’t like it anymore, but because they can’t wait five months without potentially seeing a spoiler posted on social media.

Not only do they take forever to show some of my favourite shows, but when they do get around to it, they put it on late at night and are forever changing the time slot, pulling shows whenever they feel like it for something else. Viewers are constantly trying to keep up with networks changing their minds at the last second on the nights line up of shows. Not even EPG’s know whats going on.

So we get it right, television in Australia is a mess, and there is no doubt that it’s a major factor in the large number of downloads. The movie industry is no better. First of all the cost of going to the movies is beyond crazy. Even if you wanted to wait to watch it at home and grab it in the stores, you won’t be doing it cheap. I like to experience movies the best way possible, at the moment that means on Blu-Ray. Even though it’s been reported it cost the same for manufactures to make DVD’s and Blu-Ray’s, every Blu-Ray is around $5 more expensive that DVD’s. If you’re looking to experience the film in 3D in your living room, you will be looking at $50 a film.

Another major problem, just like with TV shows, is movies are still coming to Australian screens months latter. I would really love to know why? When a film in released in the states, it should be shown the next possible Thursday here. Birdman staring Michael Keaton, which already has been getting a lot of Oscar buzz, was released in America mid-October. Australian viewers can pay for an overpriced ticket to see the film on the 15th of January next year. That’s one long wait, if you’re interested in seeing the film. In the mean time you can bet your bottom dollar that there will be a torrent online long before January 15th rolls around. That’s not the only film on delay. Disney’s musical-fantasy with an ensemble cast featuring Meryl Streep and Anna Kendrick will be shown in cinemas Christmas Day in America, which made me think it would be a perfect film to see on Boxing Day, but nope, we don’t get to see it until Jan 8th. Yes, that is a shorter break that Birdman, but why not just release it on Boxing Day, a day where many families are going to the movies.

So while downloading instead of paying for things is bad for the industry, the industry needs to take a look at its self first, before they start pointing the finger.

My 2014 Emmy nomination reactions

10:38 (AEST) – I’ve seen a million entertainment sites tweeting about how we’re about to start. when is it really happening y’all.

10:42 – Okay seams legit now. Crosses fingers for Peter Dinklage, Tatiana Maslany, and Melissa McBride.

10:43 – Outstanding Actor in a Drama. Tough category, but you would think Cranston to take it home for the final time for his portrayal of Walter White.

10:44 – Outstanding Actress in a Drama. Maslany snubbed. Dalton Ross is just as unhappy.

10:45 – Outstanding Actor in a Comedy. Just remember that we can do better than Jim Parsons, as much as I love him though.

10:46 – Outstanding Actress in a Comedy. Dunham, Falco, Dreyfus, McCarthey, Poehler, Schling. All deserving, but if Parsons can get a nomination, why can’t Kat Dennings.

10:47 – TV Miniseries. Coven yeah?
(more…)

Days Gone By

“Probably won’t make no money off this, oh well”

It’s currently 1.23 A.M, and although I’ve had a productive night, it feels as though my year so far has not been. I spent the last few hours of New Year’s Eve 2013, thinking of how I could further my life in 2014. And instead of actually doing those things, it feels like I’ve spent more time thinking about them. It has all come down to time. With a terrible sleeping pattern, and some odd working hours, some days disappear into thin air without me even realizing. The sleeping pattern is fixable but the annoying working hours are not. This has me thinking more about how I can change this problem of mine, to dream just as big, but to accomplish more. And I’ve came to the conclusion that I need more focus on me, from now on. That sounds terribly self centered doesn’t it? But it’s true. I don’t want to look back on this year as a waste of time. I guess I can class the first odd 120 days of the year as my “Gap Year”, and from the month of May onwards I can call this “my year”. I guess I’m putting this here as a public reminder for myself, to grow a bigger profile, and spend my time doing things I want to be doing, not things I should be doing. Now I’m off to bed to watch some 30 Rock (Season 2 Episode 5 – “Greenzo”, such a classic featuring David Schwimmer), and if I feel inspired afterwards I might read some of George R R Martin’s A Game Of Thrones (I’m finally more than half way through, and just like Season One, it’s now starting to get interesting. Side note: I always enjoy debating with myself where Varys true allegiance is with).

Game of Thrones: Where does the series go from here?

It’s sad that it will come to this, but with George R.R. Martin’s slow writing pace, HBO’s Game of Thrones will most likely over take the book series! The Winds of Winter, the sixth book in the long running series A Song of Ice and Fire, is predicted to be in the book stores in 2015, with book seven to be seen who knows when. Even Martin has agreed that this is a problem, saying that “it’s alarming”.

Since the second season, they have started moving plot points either forward or backwards. Take for example Jamie Lannister’s plot from A Storm of Swords being moved into the second season, or Bran’s plot from the latter part of A Clash of Kings, being pushed to season three. So the show has never planned on every season to equal one book. But things are soon going to get complicated soon. With co-creators, David Benioff and D.B. Weiss, announcing this week that they see the show finishing after season seven or eight, the show has a whole lot of content to fit into forty more hours of footage.

It’s good new for us that Benioff and Weiss have been thinking ahead and took a trip down to Santa Fe to map out the end of the series. “Last year we went out to Santa Fe for a week to sit down with him [Martin] and just talk through where things are going, because we don’t know if we are going to catch up and where exactly that would be,” said Benioff. “If you know the ending, then you can lay the groundwork for it. And so we want to know how everything ends. We want to be able to set things up. So we just sat down with him and literally went through every character.”

So it looks as though Benioff and Weiss have their work cut out for them, but as they guys at have been at the helm of the popular fantasy drama for three years, I think the show, and in a way, the whole franchise, are safe in their hands.

Natalie Dormer turns heads at S(W)AG Awards

Is Margaery Tyrell moving into a new hipster phase, during her stay at King’s Landing? Not Likely. The disappearance of Natalie Dormer’s beautiful hair is due to her part in The Hunger Game: Mockingjay where she will appear in both parts of the adaption.

While stepping out for the SAG Awards last Saturday night, she captured everyone’s attention with a new half shaved hairstyle.

Dormer told Entertainment Weekly, “It’s been hidden for 3 months. It happened back in October. I was, you know, waiting for the right moment.” She will play the role of Cressida, when Mockingjay Part 1 hits cinemas November 21, 2014.

In the mean time, you can see Dormer on screen before hand when Game of Thrones returns for its fourth season April 6, 2014.

Image

Image Credit: Gregg DeGuire/WireImage