Game Changer

by: Michael Shields

The television industry hastily responds to Game of Thrones SHOCKING “Red Wedding”……

In an urgent reaction to the Game of Thrones episode that fans are referring to as “The Red Wedding,” executives and showrunners at top networks are scrambling to adapt, and benefit from, the buzz and fanfare generated from the shocking, and bloody climactic scene. In the episode entitled “The Rains of Castamere,” three beloved family members were surprisingly murdered at a wedding in horrific fashion. This week’s gut-wrenching episode thrilled long-time fans of the franchise (and book-readers) who have been eagerly awaiting this moment for three seasons. For those who had yet to read the books, or understand the causal nature of life and death in the series, “The Rains of Castamere” left viewers stunned and appalled, sending shock-waves resonating throughout the internet for days. The episode corralled 5.2 million viewers, and just may have changed television forever.

Vince Gilligan, the creator, producer, and writer of Breaking Bad, which airs its final season this August, has re-assembled the cast for some “re-shoots” after the events of this past Sunday. In an interview, which took place as Vince was sprinting to the writers boardroom, Vince responded to questions about “The Red Wedding,” generously offering that he originally “planned to pick the lead characters off one by one” as the series came to its conclusion, “but now they’re all going out in one giant blaze of glory. We’re even gonna try to hire that Walder Frey guy, what a sick-o!”

Surprisingly, David Chase, the stubborn creator of Sopranos, was inclined to release a statement following “The Red Wedding,” one that could only be described as bitter:

“I don’t get what all the hoopla is all about. My show ended pretty much the same way. OF COURSE all the Sopranos got whacked in the diner. Sorry if you didn’t get that. What do I need to spell it all out for you? I guess if I stabbed Meadow in the stomach and riddled Tony with arrows you would have loved it.”

Matt Weiner, who worked with Chase on Sopranos, and is now the creator and head writer for Mad Men said he’d happily jump on the bandwagon. “Oh yeah, I’m all for it. Don, Roger, Peter, Joan, Peggy, the whole gang – killed all at once – hell, this makes my job a lot easier. I might even get some sleep next season.”

Since the dawn of television, producers have yearned to figure out exactly what the audience desires, and it turns out that the answer was simple: death in droves, preferably with the characters all from the same family, and at a wedding. Television Producers are at this very moment seeing ‘The Red Wedding” for what it truly is, a pivotal and game changing piece of television history. An executive from Showtime, who insisted upon remaining anonymous, told us that scripts will forever be written differently from this point forward, with an emphasis on the inclusion of as many lovable characters as possible, and then building the story up to a point where you can kill them all at once.

It is hard to tell at this point what the trend truly means for television moving forward, but we can all be sure of one thing – emotional investment in characters by viewers will be a “swim at your own risk” situation. Following one of the most unsettling, horrific, and terrifying moments in television history….no one is safe.

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