As one of my favourite TV shows of all time comes to a close, it's worth examining why it deserves to be written about by someone like me.
Without a doubt, this show ranks in my top five. My top five includes some TV shows you may have seen but it's unlikely that you truly understood them the way I did. I was appreciating editorial juxtaposition and narrative nuance while you popped out briefly to pierce the film lid. But that's okay. The key with any TV show is that everyone can enjoy it. Even you.
However, this show is different from the others, principally because you haven't seen it and I have. When the trailers aired, you failed to witness anything to hook you. You perhaps squinted at the screen and thought 'Oh it's him. He was in that other thing,' but this would be the limit to your curiosity. I however saw something that perhaps no one else saw, not even the creator. I foresaw the beginning of a five-season arc of such peerless magnificence that I was moved to tears during that first 30 second spot. 'Finally,' I thought, 'for the first time since The Sopronis, here's something to match my intimidating cultural intellect.'
So what makes this show that I've seen and you haven't so good? Well, the brilliant performances, first-rate scripts and outstanding direction are all contributing factors but for me, its genius lies with the fact that I've seen it and you haven't. The joy in knowing you missed out comes a close second to the actual pleasure of watching the show itself, which is a testament to the show's legacy.
However, special praise must be credited to the show's creator who, by keeping the quality of the show so consistently high, emphasised both your mistake and my triumph. He gave us a lead character with which we could all (just me) relate to. Not only that, his work behind the camera also gave us (just me) the feeling we (just me) were watching a top-dollar, five star movie every week. The show's sumptuous cinematic look has not only set the bar for future shows but also opened up a whole new area of rubbing it in.
The final ingredient to the show's success was the amount of shocking moments. As we know, it is impossible to resist live-tweeting a shocking moment and tweeting is vital to cultural smugness. Never before have I tweeted such meaningless, out-of-context, capitalised hashtaggery, to hit home to the non-watcher how incomplete their lives are because they haven't watched the same TV show as me.
And so, after six years of thought-provoking, powerful and unsurpassed gloating, it is time to say goodbye.
We will never see another show like it.
Well, I will.
A sketch by Michael Spicer.Suggest a correction