I have never claimed to be perfect… but if the good folks at VANITY FAIR want to say so, who I am to argue?
Of course, they are not actually saying I am perfect. They are talking about “Blackwater,” one of the episodes I wrote for GAME OF THRONES. (I scripted four. And yes, “Blackwater” is my own favorite of those, although I thought “The Lion and the Rose” turned out very well too, and I have a soft spot for that one).
I haven’t seen all of the other episodes on the list… but I have to say, the ones that I have watched were by and large extraordinary, so I can’t take issue with many of VANITY FAIR’s choices. “The Suitcase” from MAD MEN, the heart-wrenching “Ozymandias” episode from BREAKING BAD… THE SOPRANOS had lots of great episodes, but “The Pine Barrens” was special, and for the entire rest of the series I kept waiting for that Russian to turn up again when we least expected… for “The Wire” they picked the episode where Stringer died, and one can’t argue with that, though Omar’s death hit me maybe a tiny bit harder… but the show was so good, it came close to perfection pretty frequently… and BLACK MIRROR is an extraordinary series in so many ways, but “San Junipero” is the episode I love to watch over and over, and tell my friends to watch… if I had to pick one episode that was even more perfect than all the others on the list, though, it would have to be the final episode of SIX FEET UNDER. I liked that series well enough, though I cannot say I loved it as much as I loved ROME or DEADWOOD or FARGO or a few other shows missing from the list, but that last episode was far and away the best finale in the entire history of television, and I cannot imagine how anyone could possibly do better.
Anyway… I feel very pleased and flattered to be in such great company. No work of art is ever truly perfect, of course… but it is very gratifying to hear that maybe you achieved it, or at least came close… for some of your readers (or viewers)… once in a very great while. There is always a next time, though… and regardless of how well (or poorly) one of my tales is received, I always want to do better the next time I sit down in front of the computer.