Category Archives: Screen Watchers Guild

If it’s on a screen, and worth watching, we’re all about it.

You Win or You Die: Season 6, Episode 9 Scoring Update

While we didn’t get quite as many rostered character deaths as we were expecting to get out of “The Battle of the Bastards,” this might have been one of the most action-packed, stressful, and satisfyingly brilliant episodes in the show to date.

I have to tip my hat to director Miguel Sapochnik’s ability to put the absolute fear in me for my team captain. While Jon has had the safety cushion of being resurrected for a few episodes now, the incredible tracking shot of him going through dozens of near-death experiences on the battlefield had me losing my mind. I was almost 100% convinced he was actually going to die again while he was suffocating under the piles of bodies.

My mood quickly changed upon seeing Littlefinger arrive with the army of the Vale. Once Jon was able to get through the gate of Winterfell thanks to Wun Wun’s valiant last stand (we miss you Wun Wun!), he was able to carry out sweet vengeance on Ramsay’s face, ultimately stopping to allow Sansa to take matters in to her own hands.

There was some deliberation on how we should have awarded the kill on Ramsay, however, we decided to give Sansa and Masters of Cwnage the K point (along with Ramsay’s APP points per usual). While Sansa did not directly kill Ramsay, we felt that her having complete control over whether he lived or died (technically she could have spared his life by letting him free) while sitting in the kennel of hungry dogs made her responsible for his death.

With Sansa getting the kill awarded to her, she now brings Masters of Cwnage up to second place with 26 points, with Limb-itless staying flat at 18 points week-over-week after losing Ramsay.

photo_2016-06-22_11-34-30
LDG’s ode to Ramsay

It’s still very close, and with most characters having achieved upwards of 3-4 APP points, that’s a lot of points waiting to be stolen if some are killed by other teams. While we probably won’t see any more deaths in the Winterfell camp, the finale next weekend will be the longest in the  show’s history, so who knows what to expect.

The team currently in last place, the Many-Faced Team, just so happens to have a character privy to the location of massive caches of explosives planted throughout the largest city in Westeros. It’s anyone’s game.

Standings Week 9

Full scoring update is below. Continue reading You Win or You Die: Season 6, Episode 9 Scoring Update

You Win or You Die: Season 6, Episode 8 Scoring Update

If I had the opportunity to put money down on one of our rostered characters getting offed in “No One,” I would have done it. Luckily, I did not have said opportunity, and therefore am not quite as upset about the lack of action.

Still, show writers Weiss and Benioff are giving us all the signs that these last two episodes could go completely nuclear, especially with Dany finally returning to Meereen; I doubt that siege is going to last much longer with Drogon subbing in. He doesn’t look like he has any jokes.

I’d like to pour one out for our deceased members of the waiver wire: characters who had appearances in season 6 that would have been allowed to be picked up next season, but have now passed on to the great beyond. Here’s to the Waif, Blackfish, Lady Crane, Khal Moro, Osha, and Ian McShane. Oh, and how can I forget this kid?

photo_2016-06-14_15-38-06
#ollysdeadface

It’s safe to say there’s a select group of characters who are in real danger this coming weekend, and judging by the title of the episode, “The Battle of the Bastards,” I’m betting a majority of the full 60 minute episode will take place near Winterfell, with the Jon and Ramsay bout serving as the title card.

And the undercards we should be worried about? I’m going with Harold Karstark, Brienne, Sansa, Ser Davos, Podrick, and Tormund. There’s obviously plenty of people in King’s Landing who are in deep trouble, but I think this episode is going to focus too heavily on the north for me to make any educated guesses on people in the Red Keep, or Essos for that matter.

Standings Week 8

Full scoring update is below. Continue reading You Win or You Die: Season 6, Episode 8 Scoring Update

You Win or You Die: Season 6, Episode 7 Scoring Update

So after a relatively quiet Episode 6 we get….an even more quiet Episode 7. But not without intrigue!

Most importantly; CLEGANE BOWL IS ON, BABY!!! “The Broken Man” brings back everyone’s favorite anti-hero, Sandor Clegane, aka The Hound. Will he get a chance to reclaim his honor and defeat his Franken-brother, The Mountain?

I have to say I was pretty disappointed with Arya this week. She decides to tell the Faceless Men to go pound sand, and then just skips across Braavos looking for a ship to sail back to Westeros? Arya, you already know the Waif has it out for you and can mimic literally anyone’s appearance. A girl needs to keep her guard up! Because when you don’t keep your guard up, you get stabbed in the abdomen and thrown off a bridge.

Briennes over Bronn only scored one point, but it was a big point. Finally scoring for his namesake, we got the first appearance of Bronn. The Big Three (Jon, Sansa, and Davos) weren’t able to do much in the way of bolstering their forces, leaving Sansa to call upon Littlefinger(?) and get the Knights of the Vale on her side.

Meanwhile, Theon and Yara are posted up in Volantis with their fleet, happy to be away from the gloomy Iron Islands and their huge-lunged uncle Euron. Well, at least Yara is.

Margaery makes it clear she is still on Team Tyrell after passing her secret note to Olenna. After seeing the post-show teaser for the next episode, it looks like whatever Margaery has planned might finally come to fruition next week.

Only three episodes left. We’re now on the home stretch. We’ve still had no Sand Snake sightings, or heard literally anything from Dorne for that matter. However, I wouldn’t count them out. I’m expecting the Martells to make a surprise appearance in the series’ historically insane penultimate episode. You heard it here first!

Standings Week 7

 

Full scoring update is below. Continue reading You Win or You Die: Season 6, Episode 7 Scoring Update

You Win or You Die: Season 6, Episode 6 Scoring Update

I had to spend two days, TWO WHOLE DAYS, trying to avoid spoilers for Episode 6 during my return home from the Sasquatch Festival this weekend. Luckily, not much happened while I was out.

I was very pleased to finally get an APP point from Lancel, but more curiously, did you see that absurd weapon he was brandishing? Come on, that thing’s gotta do something interesting!

Lancel-Lannister-in-Game-of-Thrones-Season-6-Episode-6-Blood-of-My-Blood-1

While my team still holds a commanding lead, “Blood of My Blood” has me thinking that a few teams are ready to make serious moves. With Jaime demoted from the Kingsguard and instead put in charge of leading the Lannister army, he is now primed to do some serious damage for LDG. However, no one should have more hope after this episode than MeanOldPig. Arya’s betrayal of the Faceless Men means the Waif and Jaqen have officially been added to her ever-expanding hit list.

I’m sure Masters of Cwnage is pleased to have a Valyrian blade now in his possession after Sam steals Heartsbane from Randyll Tarly, who has now taken the Throne of Total Dick Dads since it was vacated by Stannis.

Oh yeah, and rengstorff has a dragon again. Greaaaattt.

Standings Week 6

Full scoring update is below. Continue reading You Win or You Die: Season 6, Episode 6 Scoring Update

You Win or You Die: Season 6, Episode 5 Scoring Update

Last week I rather overzealously predicted five killings in this week’s episode. While my prediction was certainly way off, the emotional weight of losing the two characters that we did certainly felt like five.

While the death of Hodor was soul-crushing to say the least, it didn’t have much of an impact on the overall scoring. It was Hodor’s first appearance since we began so MMDG only lost out on one point. The real shakeup came courtesy of the Night’s King himself. Tyranofloresrex’s team got right back in the action with that huge kill of the Three-Eyed Raven. With the Night’s King getting the Kill Point and stealing all of the Raven’s Appearance Points, we are now starting to feel the brutal weight of important characters being killed off by other important characters.

It’s also likely we could have seen the last of a few characters for a while. Dany’s touching demand of Jorah to find a cure for himself could mean he might be out for the season, while Dolorous Edd holds down the Night’s Watch so the rest of the Wall party can go build themselves an army.

Standings Week 5

It’s MeanOldPig’s second death in three weeks, and while his gallows artwork was a fitting tribute to Ser Alliser, his Three-Eyed Raven has now officially set the bar for what we should be expecting after these deaths. MMDG’s “Hold the Door” tat just pours salt in the Hodor-sized wound in our collective heart.

Full scoring update is below. Continue reading You Win or You Die: Season 6, Episode 5 Scoring Update

You Win or You Die: Season 6, Episode 4 Scoring Update

Last Sunday was Bay to Breakers in SF, the only Sunday of the year you’ll likely see more rampant nudity than on Game of Thrones. After stumbling and bumbling our way home from the drunken masses, we were able to settle in and view episode 4.

While there were no important killings this week, we did get to see some new faces this season that helped bolster a few teams’ scores. The first appearances of Littlefinger and Sansa brought the Masters of Cwnage up to 9 points, tying for second place with Limb-itless. Jorah’s scaly secret is out of the bag now, at least for Daario, so that adds some additional intrigue to LDG’s team. However, it’s LDG’s last draft pick, Ramsay, who makes one of the biggest power plays in the episode that could bring this series to a boil. His letter to Jon Snow was ruthless, and having Sansa read the final bit aloud makes the battle for Winterfell seem all that much closer.

Standings Week 4

While the Mountain failed to show up to do any skull bashing, picking up an entire Dothraki army, I feel, was a fair compromise for rengstorff’s team.

It was a fairly calm episode overall so I’m assuming at least five people will die next Sunday.

Full scoring update is below. Continue reading You Win or You Die: Season 6, Episode 4 Scoring Update

You Win or You Die: Season 6, Episode 3 Scoring Update

While some of us got back in to town late Sunday after spending time with our lovely mothers, we were still all able to sit down and enjoy our first episode since the start of the fantasy season.

Our Game of Thrones Fantasy League got off to a rip-roaring start last night with lots of  appearances from most of the initially drafted character pools. Only “The Rebels,” consisting of a few of the Greyjoys and Sand Snakes, did not make any appearances.

Scoring in the first episode saw four of the teams draw level at four points each. Even though Many Faced Team had the expected setback of losing Alliser Thorne this episode, they are still one of the four teams with four points. The lone kill point in this episode goes to Abominable Snow-Bran after Jon Snow, now free of his Night Watch duties, executes the traitors by hanging. That leaves Abominable Snow-Bran with a commanding lead of 7 points after taking away Thorne’s lone APP point.

Full scoring update is below.

The Teams:

Abominable Snow-Bran – hltchk (7 Points; 6 APP, 1 K)

GoT Ftsy Team MH
House Stark: Bran (1)
Team Targaryen: Missandei (1)
House Lannister: Tommen (1)
The Wall: Jon Snow (3)
The Old Gods and the New: Lancel Lannister (0)
Friends Like These: Olenna Tyrell (1)
Rebels: Yara (0)
Continue reading You Win or You Die: Season 6, Episode 3 Scoring Update

You Win or You Die: Game of Thrones Fantasy League

If you’re like me, you’re sick and tired of watching HBO’s Game of Thrones with all these “book readers,” smirking and nodding every time another character gets knocked off. Well, now that ol’ Balon Greyjoy has been tossed to his death, and the series has entered mostly uncharted territory, I think we’re all on even ground here. So it’s high time we kicked off a Game of Thrones survival-style fantasy league.

Our concept is simple, but feel free to expand and modify for your own GoT fantasy leagues. In this case, we’re banking on more characters getting killed off over the balance of season six (otherwise this won’t be too much fun). If history is any indication, however, that shouldn’t be a problem.

Nobody wants to draft me? Fine.
Nobody wants to draft me? Fine.

To honor The Seven, seven Idlers comprise the league, drawing from a player pool divided into seven groups. We started with a strictly defined number of available characters — 49 divided equally among House Stark, Team Targaryen, House Lannister, Old Gods and the New, The Wall, Friends Like These, and The Rebels. Draft strategy was going to be important. Since each team has to roster one character from each group, avoiding a guy like Ser Alliser meant you had to draft a different character from The Wall before you ran out of options.

We used draftlotto.com to randomly generate our draft order, but there are lots of ways to determine this, including some fun in-person draws that you can use to kick off your episode three viewing party on Sunday.

Scoring works thusly: starting with episode three of season six, each character earns one point per episode in which he or she appears. If a character dies at any point this season, all of those Appearance Points are voided. If the character was directly killed by another rostered character, then the killer assumes all of the Appearance Points that had been accrued by the victim up to that point and adds them to his or her Appearance Point total. Additionally, each time a character kills another rostered character, he or she earns an additional Kill Point. Kill Points stay with a character even if he or she dies over the course of the season, and cannot be stolen by another character.

The stakes: Each time a character on your team dies, you must immortalize his or her passing with body art. A quote, or artwork if you’re feeling ambitious. Level of permanence: Sharpie or better. Then, of course, share a pic with the world. Additionally, at the end of the season, the team with the highest point total takes home The Trophy. [We don’t know what that is yet, but rest assured we’ll argue about it over the next few months.]

The Teams:

Abominable Snow-Bran – hltchk

GoT Ftsy Team MH
House Stark: Bran
Team Targaryen: Missandei
House Lannister: Tommen
The Wall: Jon Snow
The Old Gods and the New: Lancel Lannister
Friends Like These: Olenna Tyrell
Rebels: Yara

Analyzing these groups was one of the most fun aspects of the draft. With the first pick, Jon Snow was the obvious choice (he can’t die AGAIN can he?), but also obvious for his group, as The Wall is a tough place to stick it out and I don’t imagine any of those characters lasting too long. And you know Mr. Snow is going to have a big kill or two. I was really surprised Bran and Yara dropped to me in the second round, so I quickly snatched both of them up with my back-to-back picks. I have no idea what to expect from Bran, but since he missed out on all of last season, I’m betting he appears in every episode this time around, with sweet new powers to boot. Yara, with her father killed by her uncle, is out for blood; hoping she racks up the kills soon. I felt like Tommen is a pretty safe pick. While being King doesn’t guarantee you safety as we’ve all learned, he is now surrounded by Jaime and Cersei, the latter of which has the Mountain at her beck and call. Tommen is Cersei’s last child left; she’s gonna give it all she’s got to keep him alive. He’s also excused from the whole mess the High Sparrows are investigating regarding Margaery and Loras. Olenna is probably not going to do much I imagine, and neither will Lancel. Missandei I’m a little worried about. While she does have the protection of Grey Worm, with Dany and Daario no longer around, I’m not sure how much longer she can last. I suppose it all depends on how quickly Tyrion and Varys can turn Meereen around.
Continue reading You Win or You Die: Game of Thrones Fantasy League

Game of Thrones Top 5: Back from the Dead

Season Six of Game of Thrones kicks off this weekend, which means, of course, it’ll be time to say farewell to a few more characters. And since some of the plotlines have either moved beyond or veered away from the source material, most of us have no idea who’s getting gutted, poisoned, or beheaded in the new episodes.

But regardless of which characters get killed off this season, it’s nice to know that the actors portraying said characters rarely have trouble finding new gigs and new ways to entertain us on television and the big screen. Here are five of my favorite GoT “rebirths,” so to speak – some from series and movies that I’ve thoroughly enjoyed, and a couple from roles that I’m looking forward to.

pyp-10245. Pypar (Josef Altin)
Dies in Season Four, Episode Nine

Poor Pyp. Just when he thought he had a handle on the Night’s Watch job, he takes an arrow through the throat from that damn Wildling woman. This is a case of a character dying in the show before his time comes up in the books, which, unfortunately, means the character couldn’t have been that important to begin with. Hang in there, Sam.

The actor, Josef Altin, has made numerous television appearances both before and after Game of Thrones, but the best among those shows, by far, is BBC’s six-part crime drama River, starring Stellan Skarsgård. It’s a tightly woven detective mystery, but River also brilliantly explores loss, loneliness, and the conceit of our own memory. Altin plays a murder suspect who dies in the very first episode. He does however, make another appearance in the series (it’s been called “Wallander meets The Sixth Sense“). The show also features Owen Teale, best known as the not-dead-yet Ser Alliser Thorne, in a much more prominent role, and it’s available for streaming in the U.S. on Netflix.


Continue reading Game of Thrones Top 5: Back from the Dead

Venture Bros. Is Back!

With season six premiering tonight, get up-to-speed with Idle Time’s two biggest Venture Bros. aficionados.

BC: The Venture Bros. to me has always been a crown jewel of serialized storytelling and detailed character development. When creators Jackson Publick and Doc Hammer premiered the show in 2004, it already felt like something special but I had no idea of the creative depths the show would reach. Within the past 12 years (holy shit), a show that caught my attention due to being a parody of Jonny Quest has grown into the universe I am the most emotionally involved in and feel the most compelled to watch as these characters grow.

Venture mural.jpg

As it began, the show was simply about Doctor Thaddeus “Rusty” Venture whose childhood as a boy adventurer alongside his world famous father Jonas Venture, a Doc Savage/Benton Quest mashup, left Rusty a pill-popping, PTSD-filled sack of sad. Left in the shadow of his legendary father, Rusty tries to rise from failure with his killing machine bodyguard Brock Samson and his constantly killed/cloned twin sons, Hank and Dean. Doc Venture is tormented by his archenemy The Monarch and his soulmate Dr. Girlfriend (now Dr. Mrs. The Monarch) but ultimately Rusty causes his own failures.

Most characters on this show are held back by these invisible ties to the past as well. The amount of story that goes in between now and then would take a series of articles to explain so I will leave with where the show left off. By the time of the 6th season, Doc Venture has inherited a billion dollar corporation from the death of his twin brother, and with it, the opportunity to finally let himself and his family succeed. The Monarch and Dr. Mrs. The Monarch are poised to take huge new positions in the super villain organization, The Guild of Calamitous Intent. The real question is will these new chances to improve be squandered by characters’ own inability to move on? Are these characters truly ready to be successful? Continue reading Venture Bros. Is Back!