That the new Golden Age of Television coincided with huge advancements in computer-generated effects can’t be a coincidence, right? Sure, celebrated shows like The Wire and Deadwood were maaaybe better known for their writing than they were for CGI, but these days it’s hard to find a classic show that doesn’t somehow include seamless special effects.
Most of the big genre hits have effects that rival or surpass those found in summer movies, but even dramas like Breaking Bad and Mad Men use computer imagery in such crucial ways that these shows may have been prohibitively expensive to produce in earlier eras.
So let’s give all those unheralded tech whizzes their props: Special effects have never been better or more crucial to the shows we love.
Below are some off-the-top-of-our-heads picks for TV shows with the best effects work. Which show’s visuals are YOU constantly amazed by?
Game of Thrones - is another show that uses effects in both ostentatious AND subtle ways. There’s no debate about how straight-up incredible the wildfire incident was, but Season 2 also gave us Dany’s haunting hallucination scene, plus the now-CGI direwolves looked just as organic and normal as their real dog predecessors. And those baby dragons looked so real that I’m pretty sure everyone in the world wants one now.
The second season of “Game of Thrones” is over and the long wait for Season 3 has begun. The only question now is: Are you going to sit and wait on your couch or on your made-to-order $30,000 life-size replica of the Iron Throne of the Seven Kingdoms?
HBO is now selling replicas of the Iron Throne through its online HBO Shop with the $30,000 price tag and a shipping fee of $1,800. It’s the kind of collectible only a Lannister could afford.
This custom chair is designed to mimic the seat of kings in the Seven Kingdoms. On the show, the Iron Throne was constructed by Aegon I Targaryen, the first king of the Seven Kingdoms. He made it from the swords surrendered by his enemies. Legend has it, it’s made of a thousand swords that took 59 days to hammer out into a throne. Spikes and jagged edges in every direction make this one very intimidating lounge.
- Dimensions: Height: 7’2″, Depth: 5’11″, Width: 5’5″
- Made Of: Hand finished, hand painted fiberglass throne.
- Weight: 350 pounds