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Winter is coming – drowning in new media

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I can’t tell if we’re being spoiled or drowned with new content.  Every week, a new trailer for a beloved franchise drops.  “Game of Thrones,” after months of press, aired its first episode of Season 8.  “Avengers: End Game” is soon to hit theaters. The newest “Star Wars” film just released its first teaser trailer. It’s a good time to be a new-age nerd.  Everyone can get on board for these features.  Nobody gets pushed into lockers for liking comic book movies anymore; the only fear being whiplash, watching the hype train tear by at record speeds. Every DC and Marvel fan runs the risk of losing control of their legs, browsing YouTube advertisements as all the blood in their bodies runs directly to their nostalgic cortex. 

But in our ecstasy, I fear we may be gearing up for an unforeseen side-effect to overindulgence.  Previously mentioned are, arguably, the three largest cinematic players of the 2000’s, save “Harry Potter.” What “The Avengers,” “Star Wars” and “Game of Thrones ” all have in common is that they’re currently crafting the last installments in their immediate series. The high will be magnificent, no doubt, watching Thanos, Cersei and Emperor Palpatine(?) get what they deserve but at such heights, we near the sun. Who will be there to catch us when we fall? We’ve forgone measures of safety. In our haste, we’ve neglected to give full appreciation to releases such as “Shazam” and “Captain Marvel.” They came and went without a sound.  Not long ago, a masterful trailer released, “Joker,” reintroducing Joaquin Pheonix as the beloved Clown Prince of Crime, but will it be enough to cushion the blow our favorite franchises deal us as they come to a close? I am doubtful. We can hardly depend on James Cameron to release the next “Avatar “– it would seem that, in this era of excess, the bubble our cinematic stock market has built may soon burst, plunging us all into a consumerist depression.  A commercial winter, if you will, is coming.

My advice is this: when your favorite works of film wrap up, don’t look for solace in the days gone by, rewatching “Thor: Ragnarok” for the seventh time.  Rather, seek new passions. Rebound with an off-brand Netflix Anime.  Finally commit to watching “Breaking Bad.” Or better yet, find something new to look forward to. There are countless smaller startup companies releasing quality material and they need your support as well.  It’s difficult not to place all your eggs in the glorious baskets of big-budget production centers, but the hype train we know and love is running out of track.  It’s time to plan for the future – where will you be when the fates of Westeros, the World and the Greater Galaxy, far far away, are decided?

horst1@stolaf.edu