The new year brought with it subzero temperatures and a temptation to binge-watch popular shows I’d never seen. A friend’s recommendation guided me to Game of Thrones. By the end of the first episode, with so much potential for episodic drama rife with good, evil, sex, and violence, I gazed out the window, saw two polar bears battling over dumpster scraps outside of Chinatown Kitchen, and realized I was indeed hooked on Game of Thrones.
The most striking part of the HBO series is its enormity. Due to its ever-sprawling story arc, Thrones features about a dozen major characters, scores of minor characters, numerous stunt doubles, and countless extras—and that only covers the people who appear on-screen, not the producers, writers, directors, editors, camera and boom mic operators, wardrobe designers, set builders, stylists, key grips and best boys (whatever it is they do), caterers, and dialect coaches who constantly harp on the actors to British-up those accents.
That last job might be the easiest since many of the performers hail from the United Kingdom. Although the program is certifiably huge in the States and we can at least be proud the dwarf was born in Jersey, we seem to be missing the full potential of HBO’s pop-culture juggernaut. Thrones makes a staggering amount of money and generates a lot of industry, but that industry mostly profits Europeans, not Americans. And for that reason, I declare that our president and Congress should unite in a massive group-text effort with the show’s producers. We’ve got to let them know that the average American has the potential to be yet another minor character in a seemingly infinite realm. We must demand that an already crowded, fictional universe be expanded for the benefit of America.
Our Thrones homeland is to be named McDonaldsburgh. Devout fans have no reason to suspect the rise of McDonaldsburgh will clash with author George RR Martin’s epic vision. The new land’s inhabitants, the McDonaldsburghers, will exist apart from Martin’s multitude of characters and their various adventures. If we can somehow tie together all the stories in the end just like they did on Seinfeld, that’d be fantastic. If not, hey, we’re just hoping to get paid either way. As if that plea wasn’t humble enough for the purists, we’re only asking for ten minutes of screen time per episode. Plus we’re Americans, so you don’t have to worry about a drop-off when it comes to sex and violence.
By introducing McDonaldsburgh into the narrative, my hunch is that America’s unemployment rate could be cut in half. Filmed in the woods of northern Wisconsin—the Midwest’s answer to Hollywood if there ever was one—job-growth would commence with some big-time deforestation efforts so we can build enormous sets to make McDonaldsburgh come to life. For that endeavor, we’re going to need thousands of lumberers, construction workers, and engineers—and if any of them fit the part, we also need someone to play the parts of the rugged crusader Clutch Mountainside as well as the goateed schemer Fork Stansbury.
The most crucial set-piece is the luxurious mayor’s office. (Yes, mayor’s office, the others can have their silly monarchies, but we do things the McDonaldsburgh way.) Mayor Plus Wonderpledge rules the land with a strong hand and a charming smile, but you might remember him from a bunch of movies in which he gets butchered, so don’t get too attached to the guy! His wife Fern is a paragon of virtue and his children Whiff and Beige are spirited upstarts with bright futures, but Plus’ longtime rival Lance Wedgers and his cousinly lover Stemla Prickerbush are dead-set on sabotaging the entire Wonderpledge family. They intend to unseat Wonderpledge behind the hallowed mayor’s desk and symbolically decimate his empire by using the over-sized key to the city to smash his “Realm’s Best Mayor” mug.
Bare in mind, besides the obvious acting jobs these characters create, every performer will require makeup ladies (or lads), costume designers, fight coordinators, acting coaches, personal trainers, personal assistants, desperate hangers-on like that surfer dude who crashed at OJ’s, and various shoulder-to-cry-on specialists (a position which pays a respectable $12/hour).
Elsewhere in McDonaldsburgh, the area’s finest horse-drawn carriage manufacturing barn is overseen by Lord Fordsworth, who’s constantly warning his rabble-rousing blacksmiths Vanderley Cobbleport and Bloom Chesters to stop carousing with his 19 irresistible daughters—each more scantily clad and born out of wedlock than the last! (Hoping this one will get its own spin-off, btw.)
Citizens can take refuge from their troubles at the McDonaldsburgh Gladiator Arena. Therein, a series of physical challenges pit contestants against Gladiators like Clamp Superplex, Ore Flackington, Boom Merlin-Olsen, and my personal favorites, the chesty Eliza Thundersnow and her bosomy friend Vivacity Landolakes. All performers are clad in McDonaldsburgh’s most wondrous invention: spandex. Gladiator events like the Dwarf Catapult, the Rapunzel Climb, the Bastard Toss, and the Axe Fight to the Death are sure to put even the best Gladiator, Indigo Foxboro (whom I just made up to create another job), to the ultimate test. Contestants include Remi Millimeter, who was sentenced to compete after his newfangled system of measurement was deemed straight-up witchcraft.
In more scandalous fashion, citizens can also take refuge from their troubles, or perhaps add to their troubles, by patronizing Vice Everlast’s Burlesque-o-torium, where the bedazzling Marigold Minutia dances nightly. Male dancers Fort Bravado and Leif Deciduous provide some eye candy for the ladies. Also the gay men, I suppose. Anyway, they supply this eye candy to the tunes of Clive Aerosmith and Sammi Redrocker, McDonaldsburgh’s most radical glockenspiel and lute combo. The villainous Speck Crumbsteign and the complex yet also quite complicated Plate Wightly vie to manage them.
Oh, and in closing, we’ll come up with stuff to do for the following characters: Flea Highriser, Fanny Pebblekeg, Zane Beedles, Ladybird Nippley, Wheely Cobblestone, Big Mama Cabbagepatch, and if possible, a part for me, Sir Beardythins of the North.
The main cause for concern is that these jobs are not going to create themselves. (Though Sir Beardythins would be capable of magically creating jobs if given the opportunity.) Our government needs to reach an agreement with Game of Thrones and its British contingency. So, however you want to go about it, whether that means screaming out the window in the general direction of the White House or sending your city counsel a video cassette of you being super- P.O.’d, or perhaps some third, smarter form of political action, make your voice heard about the Game of Thrones Stimulus Package. Let’s let those British thespians know they’re not the only ones with castles and dragons, and we’re proud of our bouncy castles and WWE Hall-of-Famer Ricky “The Dragon” Steamboat!
And if they refuse us, we must usurp the British throne. Queen Elizabeth is 88 years old, so I gotta wonder, how hard could it be? It’d be such an easy usurping, we could arm a dwarf from Jersey with a crossbow to get the job done.
Only kidding about the regicide! Regicide is no joke, it’s not a comedy. It’s the best drama on TV.