After weeks of watching, re-watching, live-tweeting, recapping, analyzing, and debating, the fourth season of Game of Thrones has finally come to an end, leaving a void in both our hearts and our Twitter feeds. Once the fanfare and discussions about the shocking deaths and the major changes from the books finally die down, we will be faced with an unbearable winter without Westeros. How will we carry on without Dany and her dragons? How can we stay calm when we don’t know what’s happening with Tyrion? How will we survive the long months before we get new episodes?
Well, by watching TV of course. Game of Thrones may have ended, but there are plenty more shows with all of the fantasy, politics, blood and nudity that we have come to rely on David Benioff and D.B. Weiss for, and we don’t even have to wait until next year to enjoy them. We've run down all of the shows airing in 2014 that will help fill the Westeros-sized hole in your heart, and how long you have to wait to get your fix. And if that doesn't work, there's still several thousand pages of George R.R. Martin's writing available for you to read. That should help pass the time.
True Blood How Long We Have To Wait: One week until June 22. What It’s About: The seventh and final season of the Southern vampire drama picks up with most of the characters dead or seemingly dead, an outbreak of Hep-V terrorizing the vampire population and everyone gaining and losing characters quicker than alliances shift on Game of Thrones. How It Will Fill the Void: True Blood and Game of Thrones have two key elements in common: blood and nudity. Expect plenty of both in the upcoming season.Airs: Sundays at 9 PM on HBO.
Tyrant How Long We Have To Wait: A week until June 24.What It’s About: The second son of a dictator leader of a foreign country returns from a self-imposed exile in Los Angeles, and must deal with the conflicts that arise between the culture of his homeland and the US and his oppressive father. How It Will Fill the Void: If you’re looking for political intrigue, culture clashes, a struggle for power and a father/son dynamic reminiscent of Tywin and Tyrion Lannister, this is the show for you.Airs: Tuesdays at 10 PM on FX.
The Leftovers How Long We Have to Wait: Two weeks until June 29.What It’s About: Set two years after 2 percent of the population disappears in the rapture, the series follows the rest of the world as they struggle to understand what happened to their loved ones, and attempt to move forward with their lives. How It Will Fill the Void: Like the White Walkers, the Children, and everything Melisandre is doing with the Lord of the Light, The Leftovers centers on a strange, unexplained supernatural phenomenon, and explores the personal drama that results.Airs: Sundays at 10 PM on HBO.
The Strain How Long We Have to Wait: Four weeks until July 13.What It’s About: Created by Guillermo del Toro, The Strain is about a viral strain that turns people into horrifying, bloodsucking monsters that are terrorizing the population. It’s also based on a trilogy of books by Chuck Hogan, in case you’re all caught up on A Song of Ice and Fire. How It Will Fill the Void: It’s got horror, terror, suspense, excitement, supernatural elements and – we’re assuming – plenty of gore. Plus, it has Walder Frey himself, David Bradley, presumably on a mission to traumatize as many viewers as humanly possible.Airs: Sundays at 10 PM on FX.
Masters of Sex How Long We Have to Wait: Four weeks until July 13.What It’s About: The pioneering work on human sexuality done by William Masters and Virginia Johnson in the 1950s. The second season will see Masters and Johnson grow closer, and the challenges it presents their personal and professional relationships. How It Will Fill the Void: All of the nudity and explicit sexual situations, but presented in a way that not only serves a narrative purpose and raises important questions about society and the human body, but also isn’t degrading towards women. What a novel concept!Airs: Sundays at 10 PM on Showtime.
Outlander How Long We Have to Wait: Two months until August 9.What It’s About: Based on the novels by Diana Gabaldon, the series follows Claire, a World War II nurse who is mysteriously sent back in time to the 1700s. There she is forced to marry Jaime Fraiser, a romantic and chivalrous Scottish soldier, and she is torn between two very different lives. How It Will Fill the Void: It’s a sweeping period epic that incorporates sci-fi, adventure, war, and romance that should help you move on from the tragic ending of Jon and Ygritte’s relationship.Airs: Saturdays at 9 PM on Starz.
Sleepy Hollow How Long We Have to Wait: Four months until September 22.What It’s About: The surprise hit of last year centers on Ichabod Crane, who is sent forward in time to 2014, where he solves supernatural crimes with Det. Abbie Mills, and the two of them attempt to stop the apocalypse. How It Will Fill the Void: Witty banter, well-matched partners, a supernatural threat, colorful characters, a spooky witch you should probably be wary of and some truly gruesome crimes – throw in a giant and it’s practically Game of Thrones’ fourth season.Airs: Mondays at 9 PM on Fox.
Gotham How Long We Have to Wait: Indeterminate, although it’s likely to premiere in September or October.What It’s About: Before Bruce Wayne grew up to be Batman, it was Det. Jim Gordon who cleaned up the crime and corruption on the streets of Gotham, even if that meant taking on some super villains of his own. How It Will Fill the Void: Like Ned Stark in King’s Landing, Jim Gordon is a noble man trying to bring justice to the murder, manipulation and scheming that runs amok in the city. Let’s hope he fares a bit better.Airs: Mondays at 8 PM on Fox.
Better Call Saul How Long We Have to Wait: Six months until November. What It’s About: A spinoff of Breaking Bad that focuses on Bob Odenkirk’s Saul Goodman, a lawyer who will do anything to keep his operations running smoothly. How It Will Fill the Void: You’ll probably become addicted to it, just as you were to Breaking Bad, which will help pass the time until Game of Thrones returns. Airs: On AMC, although a night and time hasn’t been revealed yet.
S4E18: Since The Big Bang Theory's beginning, Penny and Leonard have been on again, off again all the time. The thing is, though, that we all know they will inevitably end up together. Not to say that Big Bang is incapable of surprising its viewers, but c'mon, even the fans of the show (like me) admit that its plot lines are pretty much everything we've seen before. That's okay, though. Big Bang is an enjoyable show because it has created fun characters. As a viewer, I'm more interested in how these nutty characters act towards each other and how they handle certain situations within this world, regardless of whether or not I saw a similar plot line in Friends or Fraiser. So, in "The Prestidigitation Approximation," even though the whole Priya-Leonard-Penny love triangle is that re-hashed sitcom plot, it's still fun and at times, dare I say it, charming.
The bottom line? Big Bang delivered a nice, little enjoyable episode that, sure, had a few problems, but on the whole, delivered everything I expect from this show -- and that's to simply just entertain me for a half hour.
"Not knowing's part of the fun. Was that your motto in community college?" -Sheldon
First, let's start with the Sheldon, Raj and Howard sub-plot, which I thought was great. Howard has a simple card trick that Sheldon cannot figure out. He shows it to Sheldon and Raj at the lunch table, and at first, not knowing how it worked doesn't seem to bother Sheldon too much, but with Sheldon being Sheldon, that quickly changes. Suddenly, he can't get over the fact that he can't figure it out. Slowly, he becomes obsessed with solving it -- and whenever Sheldon gets obsessed, it's hilarious. But unfortunately for him, it can't be solved. As we learn at the near the end of the episode, the trick isn't really a trick at all. Instead, Howard is just using Raj to cheat.
"So are you finally getting used to them doing it on a daily basis?" -Howard
"I'm not going out with him. He can sleep with whoever he wants." -Penny
"Yeah, I was talking to Raj." -Howard
Meanwhile, Priya and Leonard's relationship is great. She's doing what girlfriends tend to do, and that's shape him up. Suddenly, he's dressing well and wearing contacts (and running into things because he can't really see with contacts, which was a pretty funny running gag throughout the episode). We also learned that Priya has been offered a job in Los Angeles, which Leonard is thrilled about and wants her to take. Quickly, though, we see the paradise doesn't really last. Penny still hangs around the apartment and the guys pretty frequently, and Priya is a little bit jealous. She asks Leonard to talk to Penny about hanging out a little bit less, or in her words, "cut the cord."
And, well, I liked this. Mainly because it's the first time I can remember that I actually had a good time watching Leonard because he was actually doing more than just be the set up joke for Sheldon. Sure, forcing him to choose between Priya and Penny is a little blah and a little familiar from a story-telling perspective, but I'll let it slide because maybe, just maybe, the writers are going to use Priya to finally get Leonard and Penny to just commit to one another, and then move on.
"Can't a fella just ask his buddy to relocate, no questions asked?" -Leonard
So Leonard talks to Penny, and she's very understanding of the situation. However, it's very clear that Leonard doesn't really want to eliminate Penny from his life. First, it takes him the majority of the episode to actually work up to telling her, and when he finally does, he's not even the one who says it (she assumes that Priya doesn't want her around). During this scene, I found myself surprisingly moved -- even though I knew exactly what was going to happen. The credit should go to Johnny Galecki and Kaley Cuoco because they took this scene, which could easily have fallen flat, and held it up. Beneath their comforting words for one another, there seemed to be an unsaid, mutual understanding that, really, this isn't what either of them want but it's what they feel like they must do. I was genuinely surprised because usually, Big Bang isn't good at presenting its serious side as anything other than knee-bender moments in an episode.
"The wand is called showmanship and the beep is none of your business." -Sheldon
Meanwhile, Sheldon utilizes everything within his power to try and figure out Howard's trick. And, well, I just loved this whole exchange. Sheldon is at his best when his character is not in control of a situation. And the fact that something as small as a dumb little card trick could drive him to the point of insanity was really a riot. Sometimes, Sheldon is just mean for the sake of being mean -- and that's how he's spent most of this season -- but last night, he was mean, yes, but it was out of frustration. As the audience, we knew that he couldn't figure out how Howard did it because, simply, Howard was cheating. But Sheldon couldn't believe that. In his world, everything can be solved by science -- which he believes so strongly that he's not even willing to consider that Howard is probably screwing with him. Through this, his own innocence results in ignorance and then frustration. For the audience, like the rest of the episode, it's a whole lot of fun.