In a little over nine months, your life will go back to normal.
You’ll sit down on the couch one night and fire up your TV, already shivering in anticipation of hearing that much-loved and maudlin ballad used as the theme song for the most-talked about TV show of our time.
Sing it with us now: DAH-DUM, DA-DA DAH-DUM, DA-DA DAH-DUM, DA-DA DAH-DUM, (key change!) DA-DA DAH-DUM, DA-DA DAH-DUM…
Game of Thrones is, without a doubt, the reason why water coolers exist. Friendships have been forged and lost (for posting social media spoilers) because of the swift sway over popular culture the show has gained. It’s nothing short of impressive.
But what the heck do you watch between now and then? The thought of getting on board already established triple-A shows, like Boardwalk Empire, is a daunting one.
Never fear. There are a number of awesome shows available right now to get your teeth into. Here are The New Daily’s top picks to get you through.
The thinking woman’s crumpet, Liev Schreiber (Naomi Watts’ other half) throws himself into the rich depth of the titular role in Ray Donovan with gusto.
A professional ‘fixer’ for the well-to-do of Los Angeles, Donovan is as cool with his words as he is handy with a baseball bat, attempting to juggle family, life and his ‘work,’ with the ever-present threat of skeletons from his past threatening to burst from the nearest closet.
You still have time to binge watch the first season and throw some popcorn in the microwave for the new season’s arrival (July).
For lovers of: House of Cards and The Sopranos
Creepy, sexy and entirely partially based on historical events, Salem is a sure bet for those after a hit of fantasy. Sure, it may only have half the titillation of GoT, but the simple premise – What if there really were witches in Salem? – is realised in all its realistic, and occasionally gory, glory.
For lovers of: Game of Thrones and American Horror Story
The ultimate palette cleanser if you need a break from high-fantasy or political-slash-crime dramas, Silicon Valley concerns a group of young start-up techs who chose to forge their own path.
Dry as a martini, but with little of the class, the first season has just wrapped up and is ready for your bingeing pleasure.
For lovers of: The IT Crowd and New Girl
Using comedy as a tool to dissect societal issues is not a new concept, but one wielded deftly in Looking. Exploring the lives of a group of gay friends in San Francisco, this show is raw, honest and confronting.
Created by Michael Lannan, who shared a producer credit with James Franco for homosexual docufiction, Interior: Leather Bar, expect a little edge with this modern-day drama.
For lovers of: Girls and Queer As Folk
From Homeland executive producer and writer, Gideon Raff, comes a controversial drama that confronts Middle Eastern politics without focusing on terrorism.
Delving into geo-political concepts as vast as the fictional deserts of its setting, Tyrant is a timely exploration of family, honour and duty. Expect it to be intriguing at every turn, without resorting to cliché.
For lovers of: Homeland and 24
Based on the actual series of chilling and macabre events that inspired the Coen brothers movie of the same name, Martin Freeman (The Hobbit, Sherlock) stars as series foil, Lester Nygaard, to investigating Police deputy, Molly Solverson, out to solve the case of multiple murder involving her department Sheriff and Nygaard’s wife.
But the real show stealer is Billy Bob Thornton; who plays the cool and Machiavellian, Lorne Malvo. Think of him as the devil on Nygaard’s shoulder.
For lovers of: Fargo and Breaking Bad
Honourable mentions go to:
– House of Cards: Even though we’re two seasons deep, there’s still time to get on board this modern-day political drama of Shakespearian proportions.
– True Detective: A vivid and raw drama, centred on two Louisiana detectives, who set out to solve a slowly unwinding tale of serial murders.
– Believe: JJ Abrams-produced fantasy drama about a young girl with psychic powers and a prison-escapee as her only protection from pursuit by sinister figures.
– The Leftovers: Yes, yes, post-apocalyptic tales are almost done and dusted, but this one takes a fresh approach to explore the sobering reality of The Rapture.
– Brooklyn Nine-Nine: Andy Samberg, of SNL and The Lonely Island fame, stars in this new take on the buddy cop genre.
– The Newsroom: About to air its third season, this newsroom drama pulls no punches when it examines the turbulent dynamics of mass media production.
– Penny Dreadful: Supernatural horror, set in 19th Century London, and featuring Timothy Dalton and Eva Green? Yes, please!
– The Strain: From the darkest reaches of Guillermo del Toro’s mind comes this thriller centred on that ever-popular trope, vampires.
All series are available to rent or buy on DVD and Bluray, or stream via the iTunes Store, Google Play, Quickflix, Ezyflix, Foxtel, iView or SBS On Demand.