The Winds of Winter was inarguably the best episode of Game of Thrones to date. Don’t feed me that bullshit about The Red Wedding, because while that was epic, it doesn’t hold a fucking candle to the madness that aired last Sunday.
I figured I’d get that out of the way before continuing.
Anyway, sure, the finale of Season 6 was incredible…. But that’s only because it was THE- SEASON-FINALE. That’s what these showrunners get off on doing. They feed us 70 minutes of glorious, blazing, dragon-y perfection and then they make us wait a year to see more. It’s sort of cruel when you think about it, but building suspense is super-effective with viewers, so ya can’t really blame them.
Obviously, Game of Thrones is a unique entity. The series isn’t placed in any known reality, historical time period, or geographical location. People fail to realize how rare that is — even Harry Potter partially took place in England. However, many of the thematic elements in the series can be found in other television shows.
In case you were wondering, this is where the title of the article is going to come into play.
You’ve got a year to occupy yourself and while I’m sure you think you’re going to hit the gym or start taking up more literary pursuits, let’s be honest…what’s better than indulging in some kick-ass television (don’t forget the beer and snacks)? The answer is: nothing, that’s what.
I have personally watched all of the shows below and while I’m obviously not a Bro by genital standards, I have done my due diligence in ensuring that each of these programs includes Bro-motifs (i.e. sex, drugs, war, crime, sports, death, and well-executed humor). Some of these are no longer on the air or in season, but can be found on Netflix/HBO GO/Showtime Anytime.
Ballers (1 Season, Season 2 premieres July 17, 2016)
This is a football oriented (more specifically The NFL) HBO series that includes hot chicks and Dwayne “The Rock” Johnson. I shouldn’t even have to convince you to give it a try. In all seriousness though, this show is equal parts humorous as it is insightful into the world of professional athletes and those who both represent and handle their fortunes. Obviously this a world most people don’t actually get to see, let alone experience, so I’m not sure how much of it is exaggerated — but the feel is overall on par with what I imagine that particular lifestyle to look like.
Breaking Bad (5 Seasons)
Unless you live under a rock it’s safe to say you’ve already seen this AMC series, but in the event you haven’t…. hop the fuck to it. Ultimately the plotline surrounds main protagonist, Walter White, a chemistry teacher suffering from lung cancer trying to better his circumstance by cooking crystal meth. Given that description I’m sure you can put together that things don’t go particularly as planned for him and with that, one of the most riveting, intense, and intelligent plots of all time is born.
Californication (7 Seasons)
I still mourn over this show no longer being on the air. I could have easily watched it for another 50 seasons with no complaints. Each episode is only 30 minutes long so you can bang them out back to back with no problem. This Showtime series is sex, drugs, and rock & roll infused with some twisted, (but heartwarming) family values.
It’s Always Sunny in Philadelphia (11 Seasons, Season 12 to premiere in winter of 2017)
Danny DeVito is a national fucking treasure and should be recognized as such. I have never laughed harder or been made more uncomfortable by any single television series in my life. Even if you don’t feel like indulging in all 11 seasons that FX has to offer, I highly advise watching episode 13, season 4, “The Nightman Cometh.”
Mad Men (7 Seasons)
When it comes to this AMC series, you’re either going to love it or hate it. It’s a period piece that ranges from the mid 50’s to the late 70’s, showcasing some of the most interesting eras in American culture. The story is centralized on the world of advertising and the men who run it. Ironically enough, I think you’ll find that in the end the show is really about the women (all of whom are played by stunningly-beautiful actresses, *cough* Christina Hendricks, *cough* January Jones)
Shameless (6 Seasons, Season 7 premieres October 2, 2016)
This Showtime series is a bit more serious than the others on the list, but that’s not to say it doesn’t have its fair share of humor either. It gravitates between hilarious and heart-wrenching pretty frequently. It’s about a family living in The South Side of Chicago trying to make it work as best they can with the shitty cards life has dealt them (including, but not limited to: a bipolar drug addict mother and an alcoholic sociopathic father).
Sons of Anarchy (7 Seasons)
This FX series definitely isn’t recommended for any Momma’s boys out there, but other than that it’s a fucking awesome series. It’s violent, but not gruesome, funny but not stupid, and highlights the importance of loyalty, brotherhood, and really nice motorcycles.
True Detective (Only 1 Season worth mentioning)
Don’t bother with the second season of this show. It sucked. The first season, however, is definitely worth watching. Woody Harrelson and Matthew McConaughey star in this HBO series as two detectives in the deep (and very creepy) swamps of New Orleans investigating deviant cult behavior pre/post Hurricane Katrina, what else do you need?
Vikings (4 Seasons, Season 4 to continue on July 7, 2017)
This is the most similar to Game of Thrones if only because of the costuming, senseless bloodshed, and big burly men. It has some mythical elements but for the most part is meant to reflect the actual historical plight of the Vikings (which is most likely why it’s a show on The History Channel).
Weeds (8 Seasons)
This Showtime series is the perfect hybrid of many of the shows listed above. It has the light-hearted and humorous nature of Californication coupled with the darker, more crime oriented elements of Breaking Bad. It’s about a widowed mother with 2 sons who tries to break into the market of selling Marijuana and all the chaos that goes along with that.
If none of these descriptions appealed to you, just go ahead and watch porn.