The Game of Thrones returns: The dragons are back

‘The dragons are barely eating,” says Daenerys and we’re back in the world of Game of Thrones, the first episode of the eighth and last season that premiered on HOT, YES and Cellcom TV.

Hanna Ardehn and Felix Sandman (photo credit: NETFLIX)
Hanna Ardehn and Felix Sandman
(photo credit: NETFLIX)
‘The dragons are barely eating,” says Daenerys (Emilia Clarke) and we’re back in the world of Game of Thrones, the first episode of the eighth and last season that premiered on HOT, YES and Cellcom TV on Monday at 4 a.m. Israel time, and will be rebroadcast at more reasonable hours throughout the week.
“They don’t like the North,” she says, but it turns out that they also don’t like it that she is making out with Jon Snow (Kit Harington), who has given up his crown to let her rule. To calm the creatures, the two of them go for a romantic dragon ride – on separate dragons – that looks like a scene from any of the How to Train Your Dragon movies. The dragons have always been one of the most enjoyable elements in the series. They can make you forget that much of it is just like a Monty Python movie without any jokes but with a lot of R-rated sex, graphic violence (in this episode a child who has been impaled and surrounded by severed limbs arranged in a circle is transformed into a wight, a reanimated corpse, and is finished off by being burned to death), intrigues among each of the leading figures in the houses, and a Walking Dead redux as an army of zombie-like creatures threaten all the characters we hold dear as well as  the ones we revile.
HBO has built up these final six episodes, and it is true that this is one of the few shows that people still care enough about to watch in real time, rather than streaming the episodes at their convenience. They’re heading for a climactic final battle that will answer the primary question of the series: Who will finally sit on the throne? Maybe it will be one of the dragons.
If you’re not into GOT, there are plenty of other choices out there.
Netflix has been getting a lot of criticism lately for offering subpar new content. Some media reports say a very high percentage of what viewers watch on Netflix are reruns of their favorite old shows, which probably won’t come as a surprise to most people. A lot of my friends in the US who have recently discovered Shtisel are binge-watching it now, and the most recent issue of The New Yorker features a lengthy article about the show.
But in terms of new and original Netflix content, a fair amount of it has been hopelessly derivative. Only hardcore zombie-show lovers would want to watch Black Summer, another undead-men-walking show. And The Silence has the exact premise of the 2018 movie A Quiet Place: The world is attacked by creatures who hunt by sound, and the only way to stay alive is to keep quiet. Since no matter which way you slice it, 2018 was last year, I don’t think the world needs this flick, even with excellent actors such as Stanley Tucci and Kiernan Shipka (the star of Sabrina, who also played Sally on Mad Men). You really have to wonder at the decision-making process there.
Osmosis is a somber French series about a brother-sister duo who create the dating app to end all dating apps – a chip is implanted in your body that will match you with the exact right person out of everyone the world – unless it all goes horribly awry. And guess what?
A better choice is the new Nordic noir series Quicksand. The show features Maja, a nice Swedish girl from a middle-class family who gets involved with Sebastian, a rich, drug-abusing boy, and ends up being accused of carrying out a school shooting. It doesn’t rise to the level of Nordic noir classics such as The Bridge, and the actors are so good-looking and the settings so lush (yachts, incredible lake houses – even the prison cells look like pages from the IKEA catalog) that you may spend find yourself wondering, “Is everyone in Sweden that rich and good looking?” But it’s an interesting premise – we all known someone who got involved with an attractive sociopath – and there are a few twists.