The summer is almost half over, and the new Fall shows are coming sooner than later. Since most TV programs are waiting to come back, or even playing right now, this would be a great time to check out stuff that you didn’t get a chance to start watching last Fall or Winter.
Here’s my list of Ten science fiction and fantasy goodies that are mostly just into their first, second or third season. You have plenty of time to watch them in their entirety, especially the ones that won’t be back until Spring 2014.
1. ORPHAN BLACK – Sara is a bit rough around the edges. But when she gets an opportunity to become a woman named Beth, she thinks she’s caught the train to easy street. But why did Beth look so much like her? This is probably the best TV show to come out this 2013. An extremely pleasant surprise by BBC America. Tatiana Maslany plays our primary clone who has to weave her way around all sorts of dangers to find out who she really is and why she’s here. She also plays every other clone on the show. If you have to catch up to anything on this post, make sure you include this. But there isn’t any rush, the second season won’t air until early 2014.
2. GRIMM – Nick was just a regular detective in the Portland police department. With his partner Hank, and his fiancée Juliette, life seemed pretty normal. Then he started seeing things. People with animal like faces, weird creatures. When his aunt told him that he was a Grimm, a person able to see the supernatural, he kind of freaked. But that couldn’t last long, because some of these ‘Wesson’ that he kept seeing were dangerous killers. Lucky he’s a detective that can look into some of these strange murders. Grimm just finished its second season. A great ride for anybody that gets into Supernatural. Season 3 starts this fall.
3. DOCTOR WHO – This is probably the longest of shows that you could catch up to. I’m not talking about the whole series from the 1960s on. I’m only talking the new incarnation that started back in 2006. Most of you geeks have gotten into it. But there are some that didn’t give it a chance because of cheap special effects and cheeky acting. But that’s Doctor Who. The show wouldn’t be the same without it. Now if you are willing to give it another go, you have time to catch up to all of the seasons. It’s not coming back until next year (except for the Christmas Special). If you have Netflix, or some other streaming service, you should be able to see the entire show. Just don’t BLINK when you do (hee hee).
4. THE NEIGHBORS – On the other side of the spectrum of popularity, most of you geeks and geekettes missed this charming family Sci-Fi comedy that aired its first season last year. Aliens come to earth and take up residence in a quaint golfing community. Actually they completely take over all of the houses there. The Zabvronians have been keeping their presence quiet, but a ‘human’ family ends up buying a house vacated by a disgruntled alien couple. From that point on the comedy ensues. And no matter which planet you are from, family life and the trouble that come with it seem universal. The 5 Nerdy Venoms and I love this show (well, most of us). It’s a cool throwback to Leave It To Beaver meets My Favorite Martian. Except Mrs. Cleaver never looked like Jackie-Joyner Kersee in the show. All of the actors are talented, even the young ones. Watch it, and don’t let the green slime coming out the ears fool you, it’s a good show. It only happens in the first two episodes anyway.
5. ARROW – Biggest surprise of the season. Most of us comic geeks were expecting the worst. Arrow is based on Green Arrow from DC Comics. Oliver (Stephen Amell), who used to be a young and snobby rich guy, comes back from being lost on a small island for 5 years. He has a mission; to right the wrongs of his father and company, and clean the city of corruption. CW and WB have been pumping out teen melodramas for a while. But this has elements for a slightly older generation too. It’s an older cast for one. And Oliver is very willing to kill people. Bad people of course. He also has one of the coolest partners on TV, John Diggle. You like him from the start, and the superhero bromance that forms between him and Oliver. The first half of the season is mostly telling Green Arrow’s origin story, but in a way comic geeks and non-comic geeks can appreciate. Things quickly draw you in as a genre fan when they introduce a hero or villain from the comics almost each and every night. The creators do it so well, and handle the drama, action, stunts and pacing in a way that keep you wanting to watch the next episode. Stephen Amell plays a pretty decent conflicted hero.
6. GAME OF THRONES – It’s HBO, so it’s Swords and Sex, Dragons and Death much much Drama. All coming from the books of George R. R. Martin, this mega geek hit has only completed its third season recently. There will be plenty of time to catch up, and rumor has it that HBO might promote their HBOGO.com subscription to non-HBO cable subscribers. You can wrap the entire show up in a few days, which is probably what will happen if you watch episode one and have plenty of food in the house.
7. TEEN WOLF – I know what you’re thinking. And I was thinking the same thing too when El Camino and Toby Wan Kenobi (on our podcast) kept telling me it’s a good show. Not a lot of teen drama, but it’s there. But it’s overshadowed by the werewolf action, and enemies that the main character – Scott McCall – has to deal with while keeping his girlfriend and best friend from getting killed. The show is right in the middle of its third season, and you can see 1 and 2 on Netflix. There only 12 episodes each.
8. CONTINUUM – A cop from the year 2077 gets transported back to the past with a terrorist group. The only thing is, the terrorist group are fighting for democracy in a future controlled by corporations. Keira must deal with stopping this group as well as keep her time traveling origins a secret. And who does she have helping her? A 17-year-old genius that can talk to her though her advanced tech, and the Canadian police department that doesn’t know where she’s really from. The show is in the middle of its second season, and the first season is a quick watch with only 10 episodes, also on Netflix.
9. WALKING DEAD – Walking Awesome! I don’t know anybody that hasn’t watched the show. Even the one person I found out that missed Walking Dead caught up to season 3 in no time, Hey Renegade!! The second season was a slow point, but over all it’s a darn good show. And the only zombie show there is. Some people were a little put off by the ending of the 3rd season. I might have been a little disappointed myself, but I’m still looking forward to season 4.
10. ONCE UPON A TIME – I have to admit that this is just a last suggestion because I fell off of the series for a minute. But then I watched the last couple episodes of the second season, not bad. Basically, this tale centers around a town called Storybrook, where the residence are all normal folk… that used to be fairytale characters. All except a little boy named Henry, who goes to find his mother so she can lift the curse and help everybody remember who they were. The only problem is that she doesn’t believe Henry, and neither does the rest of the town. But by season two, things take a series turn, and another, and another. One of my favorite actors – Robert Carlyle – plays a particularly bad person in this twist on the classic fables.
OTHER SHOWS THAT ARE STILL KIND OF NEW:
DEFIANCE – Seven Alien races have to find a way to live with humans after their Arc ships cause havoc with the Earth’s environment. It starts out a pretty decent show, but has a little trouble moving along. I probably should have included it in the Top Ten. You have plenty of time to watch this, its first season finale just aired last week.
FALLING SKIES – Aliens attack earth and humans are on the run. But people are fighting back, revolutionary war style. It’s now in the third season, but honestly, I have to catch up to it myself. The plots of the episodes get a little monotonous in the first season. The 2nd picks up a little. This is the kind of science fiction that takes a little patience.
REVOLUTION – This show is coming back in the Fall for season 2. The lights go off, and never come back on for 15 years. Society falls apart, but there are people who know how to energize things up again. And there are people who are willing to kill the ones with the key. A lot of people like this dystopian sci-fi, but to me it’s missing something. Maybe you will like it though.