Hello, and Happy Spring! The daffodils are blooming, the trees are budding (in the northern hemisphere, anyway!), and A Drift of Quills are branching out. We usually talk about bookish things, but this month we’re exploring a different format of entertainment: television. What programs do you think grab our interest and get our brains working overtime?
I remember going through a period of time several years ago when I was bored with television. Oh, sure, there were some decent dramas to watch, and maybe few good action programs, but my speculative fiction soul positively yearned for fantasy and science fiction and the pickin’s were extremely slim.
So-called “reality” tv is definitely speculative—and certainly beyond belief—but I’d rather clean house than subject myself to watching those…
But then there was this revolution, this astonishing output of a plethora of sci-fi and fantasy. Oh, wow! Boy-oh-boy! Hand over the popcorn and bring ‘em on!
Cable probably ruined a good portion of my life, except… how wonderfully, serendipitously magical to be able to devour my favorite kinds of stories complete with extraordinary settings and special effects!
Sure, some of the effects turned out to be mind-bogglingly bad (I’m looking at you, Dr. Who. Are you going to stay in the 70s?), but I am amazed at how far things have come in a matter of a few years.
Now, I’m not at all against watching non-spec-fic shows. They inspire all kinds of ideas about murder, politics, weird relationships, and human interest. I love watching This is Us, Designated Survivor, Shooter, Secrets and Lies, Quantico, Turn, and historical fiction—though the latter can pull me down endless rabbit holes while I research how things really happened. Oops?
My husband usually tries to guess the end of the shows we watch together. (Not “This is Us,” in case you’re wondering!) Me? I get so sucked into what the characters are going through that I sometimes have to pry my hands off the armrests of my chair. Or go get tissue. Commercial breaks are probably good for my psyche.
All right, so let’s get down to business. What are my current favorite fantasy/sci-fi programs? I’ll narrow it down to just three, in no particular order:
- Killjoys. Fast-paced, twisty plotted sci-fi full of side-splitting one-liners. There are moments that break my heart and moments that make me laugh out loud. The stories meld seamlessly with the settings. Definitely inspirational.
- Sleepy Hollow. What’s not to love about Tom Mison as Ichabod Crane? I love that the show incorporates magic, history and, yes, humor.
- Once Upon a Time. Don’t tell me what is happening now! I watched the first season a long time ago, then… didn’t watch any more. I kept hearing good things about it, and hello, Colin O’Donoghue. (He’s a pretty good option to take on the role of Crow in my book As the Crow Flies, dontcha think?) Being sick (yes, again) has me all the way into season two. Woot. Magic. Clever takes on fairytales. Cunning plot twists. Not to mention the way the writers have woven all those stories together in a way that (usually) makes sense.
There are more! Maybe we’ll play another round of “TV Shows We Love” in the future!
Author of the Oathtaker Series
I’d guess that it was over a period of about fifteen years that I watched little or nothing in the way of television series, whether dramas or comedies. As a political news junkie, other things held my attention. Moreover, I had young people in the house, and there were so many things I didn’t want them to see and to hear before their time. However, more recently, I thought it would be interesting to catch up on some of the shows I’d missed over the past years. I found that most of those of interest to me came from cable stations and/or are Netflix originals. Aside from the obvious series with the “political bent” (such as House of Cards), three main types have attracted my attention and they all relate in some way to my writing: historical fiction, crimes and mystery, and fantasy/superhero. While I find television considerably more graphic overall, I’ve enjoyed some series, nonetheless. (Read more!)
Author of A Hero’s Curse (The Unseen Chronicles Book 1)
I love movies. TV shows. As mentioned, part of that love relates to the communal, shared-story aspect of film. I watch Person of Interest with my wife and Phineas & Ferb and Dinotrux with the boys. I watched Marvel’s Netflix collaboration, Daredevil, which was particularly interesting as it featured a blind protagonist with super senses. How intriguingly fortuitous.
But today, since I’m a young adult/middle-grade writer, I’ll talk about… (Read more!)
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What fantasy and/or sci-fi shows are your favorites? Let us know in the comments below!