While I do enjoy the brainless crime procedural and comedy shows, my TV heart really belongs to the high concept/sci fi/fantasy genre. With the exception of Gilmore Girls, Friends, and Veronica Mars, all my all time favorites belong to this genre (Buffy, Battlestar, Lost, Fringe, X Files).
But it’s also that genre that is most difficult to get a second season. It takes time for the mythology and storytelling to kick in and sometimes the audience and networks are impatient and they want an instant hit instead of waiting for the series to get its footing. But thanks to the Syfy Channel and original programming from streaming services like Netflix, more and more great shows are being created and allowed to live. Here are some new shows and here are the ones that I hope get a second season.
You’ve probably not heard of this because it is a Canadian sci fi show. Think of it as The 100 meets Under the Dome meets 28 Days Later but without zombies. In a town called Pretty Lake where everyone 22 years old and above starts dying from a mysterious virus and they get quarantined. So imagine the chaos that ensues when you get a bunch of kids running around and running the town. The storytelling is great, characterization needs a little more work, actors won’t win awards but they’re solid. The moral and ethical dilemmas make you think. There are just 6 episodes in the freshman season so it’s easy to catch up.
We all know that the rest of the world has given up on M Night Shyamalan after such a promising start. While he doesn’t direct this show, he is an executive producer, and this might be his redemption if it becomes a hit. It’s Twin Peaks meets Under the Dome (that show again) and a scarier Truman Show. There was a lot of secrecy involved in the shows promotion, and I had a lot of guesses as to what the town really is. But when they finally revealed it in episode 5 (there are only 6 episodes aired so far), I was nowhere near the truth. It may sound improbable at first but episode 6 explained a lot of things, and I’m officially hooked. Again, a lot of moral and ethical issues covered so it’s compelling. Oh, and Matt Dillon, enough said.
6 people wake up in a spaceship with no memory of who they are and how they get there. That’s all you need to know for now unless you want ot spoiled. Oh and a lot of space action going on, plus pretty and pretty dubious characters. Oh and that scary kid from the Silent Hill movie is all grown up with colorful hair. Just three episodes so far, and I’m willing to watch it all the way to the next season, if it gets renewed.
The other Canadian show that I’m enjoying, even though it’s just in its second episode. It’s about space bounty hunters, an almost always shirtless Luke McFarlane, a kick-ass female lead who’s sometimes subjected to the “male gaze” (my only complaint about the show so far), and the twin brother of IceMan (I’m talking about Aaron Ashmore of course). It may be too early to say that I love this show, but it has massive potential.
I’m a bit worried about this show since its on a major network and the ratings aren’t that great, but given a chance, I think it will grow on viewers (I hope). It’s a bit creepy since it involves an “Imaginary friend” that tells kids to do awful things and possibly aliens. Oh and if you’ve missed having Milo Ventimiglia on your screen, he’s here, all grown up with a little boy and no cheerleaders to save. But of course he will always be JESS!!!
It may be a little too close to iZombie (my favorite new network show) but it does have its own charms. It’s about a girl recruited by a shadow government agency that has the ability to go inside the brain of a recently deceased person and see their last memories before they hit the bucket. So yeah, iZombie but without the zombie part and with a heroine who has “temporal dysplasia” (a made up condition where you have no perception of time) and zero social skills (think Tempe Brennan but with even less empathy). Add cute nerdy guys and it’s in my wheelhouse.