Tuesday, September 6, 2016

Top Ten Fantasy and Scifi TV Shows


I watch so many fantasy and scifi shows--any other fans out there? What shows have I missed?

Classics

1. Star Trek

I'm a fan of all the iterations of Star Trek, although most recently we re-watched the first couple seasons of Enterprise (which contained most of my favorite episodes from that show so I'm not sure if I want to continue). I really love S2 E5 "A Night in Sickbay," which features Captain Archer's beagle, Porthos.

2. The X-Files

I didn't watch this in real time, but so far, we're somewhere in season...seven, I think? I love Mulder and Scully, especially the one-offs (but, you know, also the continuing stuff). S3E4, when they encounter a real psychic, is one of my favorites, but there are so many to choose from.

3. Babylon Five

I watched individual episodes while this was airing, but I never watched in sequence or really got the overarching plot. If this were airing right now, I guarantee it would be one of the most popular shows on television. Some sharp commentary on government and media and humanity in general, and extremely quirky main characters that nevertheless gel as a cast.

Currently on TV

4.  Game of Thrones

Go Tyrion. Team Sansa. 'Nuff said.

5. The 100

We literally watched this in order to laugh at a whiny teen drama. And, ok, it starts out, and occasionally slips into that. But the moral ambiguity of this show, the ethical dilemmas...there is nothing like it. No one ups the ante like The 100 and I love that there are so many strong female leaders in this show, from Clarke to Lexa to Raven to Indra. And you have to love John "the things I do to survive" Murphy. My favorite show on TV right now.

6. Agents of Shield

This is a fun show, and I love how they play with tropes, and each season gets grittier. Plus, FitzSimmons for life.

7. The Shannara Chronicles

So, I read The Elfstones of Shannara about 16 years ago, and I remember the story pretty well (the ending is hard to forget), but I thought it was straight up high fantasy. Apparently, it's set in a post-apocalyptic world where humans have divided into humans, gnomes, and trolls, and Elves, who apparently were hidden all along, have come out of hiding to rule (and protect everyone from gnarly demons)? Whether this was just made up for the show or not, it makes for a fascinating cultural backdrop, and despite legit whiny teen drama (this is from MTV), it's well worth watching for a fantasy fix. Second season has been confirmed; interested to see if they will continue this story or use another book from the series.

8. Stranger Things

It's classified as "horror" as well as scifi, which I usually shy away from, but this schlocky '80s style scifi is perfect for nostalgic '80s and '90s nerds. Can't wait to see what Season 2 cooks up (I hope a certain number will be back).

Just Started/Considering Watching

9. Jonathan Strange and Mr. Norrell

One of my favorite books of all time. I knew the BBC was doing a series, but it just showed up on Netflix! I wasn't that impressed with the first episode, but we're a few episodes in and I'm liking it better. Let's be honest, Jonathan Strange is way more fun than Mr. Norrell, although Mr. Norrell's library and study are objects of my deepest envy. The show did a marvelous job of nailing the aesthetic of the time period (an alternate 19th century England).

10. The Magicians

I read the first book in the series, but stopped because it crushed my childhood too much (made deep dark cynical parody of Narnia and Harry Potter). However, I think I might be willing to give the show a whirl. It can't possibly be as bleak as the book. Thoughts?

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