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August 27, 2017
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Missing Game of Thrones already? Maybe try watching the news. It's not a perfect substitute, but it has its drama.

Now that our watch is ended, (at least until Spring of 2019 when GoT returns,) what should we be watching to fill the void? Honestly, there’s not much! I poked around the other premium channels as well as Amazon, Netflix and Hulu looking for my prestige-epic-fantasy-drama-fix. No luck. But I did find one show that might help scratch the itch. It’s not as good as GoT, but it’s what people will surely turn to in its absence.

Surprisingly, it’s the 24-hr News Cycle. Have you seen it? It’s a lot. And it takes a few eps to get into it. But the 24-hr News Cycle, (and its cast of characters within the Trump administration,) might just fill the long winter between seasons of GoT. There are some striking similarities between the two!

You’ll be delighted to discover that in the 24-hr News Cycle, they axe a star player with astonishing regularity. Honestly, more people have been cut from this season of the Trump administration than on GoT. (John Kelly is making David Benioff and D.B. Weiss look soft.)

And as in GoT, this season of News Cycle has been chock full of scandal and intrigue. Who can deny the obvious parallels between a leaky administration and the whispers of Varys’ little birds? Both offer stunning revelations that otherwise would remain hidden. And the series is packed with plot twists and battles all happening at the speed of a Westerosi raven- which it turns out is really fucking fast.

Sadly, News isn’t perfect. And GoT leaves a Clegane-sized hole that can’t be filled easily. For one thing, one of my favorite parts of GoT is that I get to ship the characters. I love watching shows where I can imagine the main characters fucking in a cave! But every time I try to picture members of the Trump administration having sex, I just vomit in the back of my throat a little bit. (And that’s when I’m picturing them with their spouses! It’s almost impossible to imagine that having sex with each other. It gets all, “post-long farewell kiss” and I cry tears of blood.) Makes me miss the incest!

The most valid complaint has certainly been that the villains of the News Cycle are painted in such broad strokes. In GoT the villains arecomplicated. Despite her many monstrous actions, you can still understand what makes Cersei tick. And the portrayal, (by Lena Headey,) continuously pulls the viewer in. When’s the last time you found yourself caring about Stephen Miller? (Though I will say he is portrayed with a chilling lack of humanity by Stephen Miller.) In the Trump admin, everyone’s a Night King.

And so far on the Trump show, characters haven’t really faced consequences for their actions. At least GoT is a world ruled by fate where characters ultimately answer for their deeds. Even Ramsay was ultimately eaten by his own bloodthirsty dogs. Would love to see that happen for Arpaio.

Another complaint I’ve heard is that the storylines can be a little repetitive. The 24-hr News Cycle ultimately revolves around the President’s incapacity to do his job. But it’s like, okay, we get it. Why are we spending so much time on this thinly drawn character? Plus they’ve dredged up storylines from way earlier seasons- white supremacists marching in the streets? I thought we were past that. (I guess I should’ve known that we were not past it. Ask any person of color and they can probably tell you there have been Easter eggs throughout the 20th century suggesting we might bring that storyline back. I just really didn’t want to see it.)

Okay. So it’s not perfect. But it will have to tide us over!

Is the24-hr News Cycle a watercooler show? Kind of! (I have for years used GoT theories as a way to connect with my mildly awkward coworkers. GoT is something that everyone loves. Even Trish, the Red Woman who works in accounts receivable.) The 24-hr News Cycle tends to be more polarizing. Some people love it. Others find it fake. Some people’s eyes just warg into the back of their heads when you bring it up.

Now I know what you’re thinking. Will the24-hr News Cycle last until GoT returns? Probably not. It’s jumped the shark. By 2019, most predict that America, or quite possibly the world at large, may not be around. But even if our country is still standing, certainly TV journalism will be a distant memory. It will all be InfoWars and internet listicles. Which are obviously great, but lack the patient storytelling of a full-length HBO drama. But that’s no reason we can’t enjoy the 24-hr News Cycle while it lasts for all it’s heart-pounding, anxiety-producing fervor.

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