That, up there, is a lofty question. Game of Thrones is officially HBO’s largest, most popular, and highest earning production to date. With all that out of the way, it was once commonly thought that serious fantasy could never gain a large audience in television. Science fiction was popular, but only with a pretty select and passionate niche. Fantasy? Not so much. Game of Thrones stormed onto the scene and changed all that, and now the rules as to what can be achieved on television are in flux. It’s anyone’s game now.
The real question, then, is if the writing on True Detective continues to increase in quality could it ever be as popular as Game of Thrones? It’s an interesting question, because there’s no real reason why not. When comparing the shows they both have their fair share of violence and nudity, not to mention that neither are exactly happy affairs. There was a time not so long about when Game of Thrones would have faltered and True Detective could have reigned.
It’s no question that Game of Thrones struck gold. Does that mean that it has some quality that True Detective doesn’t, and could possibly never obtain? True Detective’s nature as an anthology makes it impossible to get too attached to characters, but the loyal fan-base has already proven that that’s not such a problem as they devour every bit of casting news. As dark as Game of Thrones is, when it comes to oppressive atmosphere, True Detective simply has it beat in that department. Perhaps that will prove too much for the majority of people to be able to handle.
Nic Pizzolatto and company are only really getting started, so there’s no telling where this ride will take us. Could you possibly see a future in which True Detective becomes as much of a cultural phenomenon as Game of Thrones? Do you feel it’s already on its way there? Sound off below.