Several years ago, during a viewing of the Lord Of The Rings trilogy, a couple of friends told me that I really needed to read George RR Martin’s ‘A Song Of Ice And Fire’ novels which, at the time, consisted of four massive tomes of material.  Though I’m a fan of Martin’s work from the ‘Wild Cards’ shared universe novels, I balked at the sheer size of the material, instead choosing to watch ‘Heavy Metal’ for the 847th time.  It’s not that I don’t enjoy new things, but as I age, the impetus to join in and read/watch/listen to massive undertakings becomes less and less powerful.  Hell, it’s hard enough to keep straight the stories I already have in my head, what with four Legion of Super-Heroes timelines, three Star Trek series (I disavow ‘ST: Voyager’) plus an alternate timeline, two or three G.I. Joe continuities and nearly a dozen versions of ‘Transformers’ that I’m already aware of.  People whose opinions I value keep telling me that Martin’s stuff is must-read, and I do expect that I’ll get to it before he or I finally shuffle off the coil, but right now there just SO MUCH of it, which leads us to today’s Brobdingnagian query…

The MS-QOTD (pronounced, as always, “misquoted”) is also very much afraid of the continuity nightmares of keeping the ‘Game Of Thrones’ TV show and novels straight, which was a major factor in my abandoning both narratives of ‘The Walking Dead’, asking: What pop-culture series just seems too daunting to even start?


About Author

Once upon a time, there was a young nerd from the Midwest, who loved Matter-Eater Lad and the McKenzie Brothers... If pop culture were a maze, Matthew would be the Minotaur at its center. Were it a mall, he'd be the Food Court. Were it a parking lot, he’d be the distant Cart Corral where the weird kids gather to smoke, but that’s not important right now... Matthew enjoys body surfing (so long as the bodies are fresh), writing in the third person, and dark-eyed women. Amongst his weaponry are such diverse elements as: Fear! Surprise! Ruthless efficiency! An almost fanatical devotion to pop culture! And a nice red uniform.


  1. It’s right in the picture – everyone at work evangelizes for Game of Thrones, but even with the show available for viewing, it just seems like too much catch-up for something that will cost me extra (no HBO here). Also, I’d want to read the books, and those things are doorstoppers. I have no doubt it’s an excellent series in both media, but dang, it’s intimidating.

    • At this point, I’m personally just waiting either for the series to become syndicated or for the series to end before I start it. I haven’t had HBO since the early 90’s when it was part of the only cable package available in the small town I grew up in.

  2. Hannah Jones on

    Battlestar Galactica is a pretty daunting prospect, but honestly I think Comics as a whole, particularly more mainstream heroes like Batman and such win out. I hang out with a pretty comic-centric group on the whole, and I love them. That doesn’t make this any less the daunting prospect.

    You sometimes have literal decades of work to catch up on, and nobody tells you where to start or with what. Without knowing that there are resources like Major Spoilers out there it’s a pretty tough thing to get started on. And then there’s all these Comic-Fan stereotypes (of the “you’re-don’t-know-obscure-so you-don’t-actually-like vein) that make everything all the scarier.

    That came out a freaking wall of text… er.. sorry? Anyway, long story long, I love comics but I don’t begrudge people who are afraid to get into them, because well, I’ve been there.

  3. Two things standout

    (1) Pretty much any television series that goes on for more than a couple seasons. I’m just now starting Lost…. haven’t even thought about 24 or GoT or True Blood or etc etc… I just don’t get that into TV series, so anything that requires that much commitment AND is TV has two pretty big marks against it.

    (2) MMOs. I’m over dumping a zillion hours into a single game just to get to the top, and then requiring zillions more to stay there (Oh, how I miss thee). Give me a short, unique game experience that I don’t feel about dropping if I get tired of it.

  4. Robert Hulshof-Schmidt on

    In an admission that saddens and slightly embarasses me, Doctor Who since the relaunch with the ninth Doctor. I was a huge fan of the series (and saw all of the fourth and fifth multiple times thanks to Oregon Public Broadcasting) but never got started when things came back in 2005. So much has happened since then that jumping back on board just seems too daunting. I must admit that my fondness for Peter Capaldi may just tip things, however…

    • I avoided Doctor Who for the longest time as well! The longevity of the show, and changing doctors? But I started go to comic book conventions, and there were so many nice girls dressed up in a bowtie and a fez. It was just in the last year or so that I started watching the new series, and it was definitely worth the investment of time. By far my favorite thing to watch, and both my daughters are hooked.

    • On the plus side, Doctor Who seasons are relatively short compared to many other series at only 13 episodes and a Christmas Special, and the schedule hasn’t quite been steady (such as one whole season was replaced with just a few specials instead of a full season and they don’t seem to start at the same time each year, sometimes with a year or so passing between the end of one season and the start of another). After all, it has been almost 10 years but we are only just about to start Season 8 of the revived series.

      As a fan it is a bit frustrating, but as someone trying to get others to watch it it has been a bit of a blessing.

  5. I’ve been dipping in and out of x-men most of my life and I still have look stuff up on the wiki, I can only imagine what it’s like for people trying to break in for the first time.

  6. Being disabled, I have a LOT of free time, so things aren’t as overwhelming for me as they are with people who only have X amount of free time a week. Even when you factor in the time I spend with others, my frequent doctor visits, babysitting and other activities, I still have a lot of time to fill up when I’m awake but unable to really do anything active. My biggest hurdles are basically cost (I’m on a very, very slim budget due to medical bills and such) and availability.

    That being said, I find some tabletop RPGs in general to be a bit daunting to get into. I’ve played D&D on and off since before I was a teenager, and I’ve lost count how many other tabletop RPGs I’ve played and enjoyed, but many of them have used either the exact same or very similar mechanics to others. Learning new mechanics can be a bit overwhelming to me, particularly when they are number based (I have Dyscalculia, which is kinda like numbers dyslexia). Even with the help of character sheets, a handbook and a calculator, it sometimes makes understanding certain mechanics feel less like a game and more like I’m trying to decipher an ancient alien language that nobody has ever seen before.

    It may not be the type of series you meant exactly, buy when you factor in that a lot of them have expansions that add new mechanics, classes, races, etc., it is kinda like a series.

  7. Doctor Dinosaur on

    Still haven’t gotten around to Sandman. I tend to read those kinds of series from start to end without reading any other books or comics in between. That series gives me commitment issues.

    However I have to be ANOTHER one of THOSE people; You guys even if you don’t read the books should totally watch the show. Game Of Thrones is not that daunting when you get into it. The seasons are short and while there are a lot of characters there are even more deaths, meaning you don’t really have to keep track of much. And who needs an HBO subscription. DVD boxset!

    • That is part of why I’m waiting. Being on a very limited budget, I’m waiting for the eventual price drops on the DVDs since buying a fairly recent DVD set costs quite a bit for something I’m not sure I’ll enjoy yet compared to spending the same on things I’m at least more certain I’ll enjoy.

  8. I had the same issues with Game of Thrones, having watched random episodes throughout the last few years and having no idea what the ballz was going on. It fails the same test i have for a comic book. If i pick up a random issue of a comic I want to be able to enjoy it as a single work of art. Admittedly, most comics today fail at this, but sometimes the trade is just better. Such is the case with GoT. I finally broke down and watched it from episode 1 to the present season finale, and i gotta say, it is worth the investment. That said, I have little desire to fill in the gaps with bible length books, which kills the competionist in me a little bit each time I watch.

    That said, all my friends publicly shame me for not watching Breaking Bad. But I don’t know if I can commit right now to 7 or 8 seasons of a cable program that has the premise of Weeds on steroids. So Breaking Bad is my white whale. I know its good (everyone tells me ad naseum), but I just don’t want to wade into those waters.

Leave A Reply

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.