When we talk about the Golden Age of TV of the last decade, it could be said that the two shows leading the charge have been HBO’s Game of Thrones and FX’s Breaking Bad.
Both have been favourites with audiences, critics and award panels. Just this week Game of Thrones pulled its Emmy Awards haul all the way up to 38, making it the most awarded TV series of all time, far eclipsing Breaking Bad.
But it seems the GoT creators are obsessed with beating Breaking Bad by a slightly less orthodox standard.
Fan ratings on IMDb might be pretty corruptible, subjective, and entirely open to rigging (the ratings tend to lean towards films favoured by 18-29 year-old-men who put the effort into actually voting for these things, which is why the generally well-received 2016 Ghostbusters remake sits at only 5.5/10).
But they can be great fun to debate.
After winning a stack of Emmys over the last week, GoT show-runners David Benioff and D. B. Weiss spoke to IMDb Live about their rivalry with Breaking Bad.
The most recent season’s celebrated penultimate episode, Battle of the Bastards picked up Emmys for Best Directing and Best Writing, but there’s one particularly glory with which they’ve not been honoured.
The pair revealed that their biggest concern was that IMDb rating.
“After that episode aired, we were talking to [director] Miguel Sapochnik every hour, and all we kept doing ― we didn’t look at the ratings, we didn’t look at any of that stuff ― we were checking the IMDb episode rating,” Benioff said. “Cause our friend Rian Johnson directed the ‘Ozymandias’ episode of Breaking Bad, which was the 10.0, and we were like, ‘We gotta get fucking Rian.’”
Initially they succeeded in their goal, with Battle of the Bastards receiving a perfect 10.0 but it’s since been voted down to 9.9.