HBO’s Sunday night life after ‘Game of Thrones’

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Karen Kunawicz

Karen Kunawicz

Game of Thrones is truly a global phenomenon. It is undoubtedly HBO’s flagship series now. According to Nielsen, the season five finale had a record of 8.1 million viewers for the cable network. Of course, this does not include the global pirates who had a fiesta meeting the demand for the latest season ender.

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When that last episode aired, many of those who could not wait to post spoilers were either argued with or unfriended. Last week, my former creative director (now filmmaker, designer, all around brilliant human) Marlon Rivera posted, “Today more friendships died than characters in Game of Thrones.” Which is true—we all know people who will no longer talk to those who posted spoilers. There was a summary unfriending of spoiler posters on Facebook because there really was one big event at the very end that shook up the fans! I myself am still truly in disbelief.

So what does HBO have now for the next 10 months without Game of Thrones? Taking over the time slot left by GoT is the second season of True Detective with a new cast: Vince Vaughn, Colin Farrell and moustache, Taylor Kitsch and Rachel McAdams and a new directors like Justin Lin (he did four of The Fast and The Furious films and is set to direct the Star Trek 3 film). Cary Fukunaga directed all 10 episodes for the Matthew McConaughey and Woody Harrelson first season.

As expected, this has morally ambiguous characters, a grim mood and a crime of course, much in the vein of the first one, though still looking for even the slightest hint of humor.

Next up is Ballers with Dwayne “The Rock” Johnson—about the behind the scenes lives football players, from the personal to the business side of it. Reminds me of Necessary Roughness and Jerry Maguire. Maybe I’m not the right market for this show though.

Finally, there’s The Brink, which reminds me of Kubrick’s Doctor Strangelove (or How I Learned to Stop Worrying and Love the Bomb). The US is on the brink of World War 3, brought on by several incidents in Pakistan. A great cast with Jack Black as a Foreign Service officer in Islamabad and Tim Robbins as the Secretary of State. Reviews are a bit mixed for this—but I found it the most entertaining of the three. It made me laugh a few times. It also made me worry—the fate of the world could be in the hands of these types.

Speaking of Game of Thrones, Jon Snow a.k.a. Kit Harington will do a 180 and get out of his thick, black perpetual winter clothing and get into white tennis shorts in the upcoming HBO TV movie called 7 Days in Hell, which iMdb describes as: “A fictional documentary-style expose on the rivalry between two tennis stars who battled it out in a 2004 match that lasted seven days.” It also stars Andy Samberg (Saturday Night Live, The Lonely Island, Brooklyn Nine-nine). The trailer is quite funny, hopefully it delivers—it screens on July 10 in the US.

Now begins the agonizing 10-month wait until season six.

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