The Wide Angle: Coffee cup of doom steals the scene

Published 6:14 am Saturday, May 11, 2019

Every week, for the last several years, people have waited eagerly throughout the week for the next “Game of Thrones,” anticipating the next juicy chunk of “reveal” that everybody can discuss throughout the week.

I am not one of those people. I gave the popular HBO show a chance in its first season, and even tried to convince myself that I thoroughly enjoyed it.

As it turned out I did not enjoy it, possibly because I didn’t enjoy the large swaths of life I had to give away to read the first two or three books. I honestly can’t remember how many I attempted to read, just as I can’t really tell you what happened inside the books.

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But this season something did grab my attention. It wasn’t anything to do with the show, however, that made me want to start watching it again with the thought of, “wow, never saw that coming, maybe I should power watch previous seasons.”

While this newly-gained attention did start with the show, it really swirled around the larger vortex of discussion from viewers.

The coffee cup.

After each episode, the internet exploded with armchair reviewers, all giving their perspective on the events of the big episode. A chorus of opinions sang to the heavens of why something happened and speculation of what may happen, all behind the banner of “Spoilers!” It’s the internet’s passive-aggressive way of saying, “My god watch this, but just in case you haven’t seen this, here is my ‘goodwill’ effort of saving you from ruining the show.’”

The internet is so kind.

Honestly, I don’t watch any of these “shows” because I don’t need to listen to some uberfan trying to make money with a thousand other people by sitting in front of a Best Buy-bought microphone set-up, attempting to relive their own fantasies of what they would like to see.

The big discussion after this particular episode wasn’t about some big, unseen death or twist, but a coffee cup.

Let this sink in: a coffee cup.

During one scene Daenerys Targaryen, the white-haired heroine and dragon-rider was caught with a modern day-looking coffee cup on the table in front of her. Still frames revealed the coffee cup, right next to the period pieces adorning the table surrounding her.

Up front, I don’t know how the coffee got there, where it came from or even why “Game of Thrones” went back in and erased it. I haven’t done enough research and besides, I’m still waiting for my microphone order from Amazon. I want to save it for my PodTube show.

But mostly I don’t care, which is a sentiment that runs parallel to I don’t understand the uproar. As long as there has been TV or movies, rogue items are being left in frame, making it into blooper reels years later. With the astounding amount of details relevant to each set, it should come as no surprise that these items might be missed and really, before the last 20 years, a majority of it went under the radar because of one concept.

It’s been theorized that once people watched shows for simple enjoyment and didn’t scrutinized each and every scene so they could scoop Bob, who is sitting in front of his computer telling us his latest fan theory.

There was once a rumor that during an episode of the “Golden Girls,” Blanche left her cellphone on the kitchen table during a scene with Rose. I have my doubts. Blanche would never bring her cellphone on set.

Also, there were no cellphones.

My point is, we were once able to watch an episode of “The A-Team” and not worry about why something might be in a scene, and yet the internet went absolutely batty about Daenerys’ coffee cup that somehow didn’t make it out of the scene.

Is watching a show so much of a business now that we can’t simply enjoy the outcome without thinking there might be something hidden inside each frame?

I can only imagine what the final episode of “M.A.S.H.” would conjure up had it been made today.

Maybe it’s a symptom of a larger issue, where everything is taken so seriously that we’ve lost the ability to enjoy anything. That instead of enjoyment everything is done for a “like” and “subscribe” plea on YouTube just so perceived journalists can jump on the internet and tell us what the coffee cup left on the “Game of Thrones” set really means.

Listen, I’m a nerd and proud of it. I am absolutely primed for the next “Godzilla” movie, which comes out later this month. And I absolutely plan on seeing it on the biggest screen I can possible find. AND, I plan on turning off my cellphone, sitting back and watch a giant reptile go to war against a bunch of other giant lizards and I will NOT be looking for rogue coffee cups. Should I discover one though, even by accident, I will not care one single bit.

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