streamming photoAt this point you probably know that we are all movie buffs here at the office. A large part of our shared lunch on Tuesday is about sharing our hobbies and TV shows we’ve been watching lately. We often give each other recommendations, share our thoughts and whatnot.

With streaming becoming the norm for enjoying our favorite movies and shows, a few of us at Pink Hat Headquarters have been adapting with the times. Out with the cable and in with smart TV’s and apps that keep us coming back for more, and at a fraction of the cost! Most Smart TV’s have a “Media Hub” with apps like Netflix, Hulu, HBO Go/Now, and Amazon Video, just to name a few. And for those of you without Smart TV’s, don’t forget about Apple TV, with over 1600 video apps to choose from, you’ll never say there is nothing to watch on TV ever again.

So we thought it was cool to do a quick poll around the office, asking “what was the best film/TV show you watched in 2016?”

It was interesting to find out that everyone in the office streams their favorite shows on these apps as opposed to watching them live when they premiere on cable. Sometimes, binge watching is just better. I know you know what I mean. Why wait through painful commercials about a gecko with an Australian accent for 15 minutes out of your hour-long show when you don’t have to. Exactly. Streaming apps are changing the way we view media for the better. After all, what’s not to like about saving money while watching your favorite movies and shows all at your fingertips.

Now back to the poll, here’s what we’ve got:

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So then after this, I’m like: “What’s with Game of Thrones and why is everyone so hooked?” It was only fair that I do some research on it. Here are my findings (according to Forbes.com):

  1. It’s the best “world-building” there is

Barna Donvovan, PhD, professor of film and media studies at Saint Peter’s University, says that “Game of Thrones is aimed squarely at adults, and it is not campy, self-referential, or comical. It basically does what serious science fiction and fantasy have always done, functioning as a symbolic commentary on the main social and political issues of the day.”

  1. It’s ridiculously smart: Your brain has no choice but to stay engaged

Some critics have pointed out that shows like Game of Thrones cater to the rising “mass intelligent” and have spawned a whole new genre of TV. With its wry humor, lyrical dialogues, and complicated moral questions, the show makes its audience do some serious intellectual work – a welcome activity these days.

  1. You can’t bank on what’s to come

The alluring, if somewhat frustrating, element of Game of Thrones is that just when you think you see a thread, the show proves you wrong. The twists and turns of the plot lock us in, and the developments that are impossible to anticipate give us a dopamine rush that keeps us coming back for more.

  1. The storytelling is politically correct, even if the setting is not

“The story is not politically correct but the storytelling certainly is,” says Phillip Freeman, MD, a psychoanalyst, psychiatrist, and film consultant.

“Issues of gender, race, the differently-abled, and multiculturalism are all handled with a sensitivity that would make the series welcome in any university survey course on fantasy fiction.” It’s obviously an ugly world that we’re peering into, but there’s something deeply compassionate about the way it’s revealed.

This is a broad look at some of the reasons Game of Thrones has drawn such a wide fan base. Want to add anything? Please comment below.