Top Ten (or so) New Sci-Fi Fantasy TV shows (Winter 2016)

Here is a post I wrote a few weeks back about some of the new sci-fi and fantasy shows I have been enjoying this season.

These 6 are my current favorites from recent run new sci-fi fantasy shows (that sentence was better in my head).

The Expanse (SyFy)

The Expanse Logo

One of the best sci-fi shows in a long time. I compare it to Battlestar Galactica without hesitation. Great writing. Great casting. Great performances. Fantastic show. The Expanse is space opera set in the future where humans have colonized the solar system.

The Magicians (SyFy)

The Magicians

Another great show. The Magicians is not the millennial sci-fi drama that it looks like but an interesting and intriguing mix of characters and situations and sex and coolness. I love the cast and the characters and the whole scenario. And the writing. And the writing. And the writing. I’m really enjoying this show. Probably my favorite on this list. The Magicians is based on the novel by Lev Grossman. It is about a school of magic and the students who attend and the ones who didn’t get in but still want to learn magic any way they can. Oh yeah and the cast is freaking gorgeous.

The Magicians cast

I love these guys.

The Shannara Chronicles (MTV)

The-Shannara-Chronicles-Title-Sequence

I didn’t expect much from this adaptation of the Terry Brooks novels but I have been pleasantly surprised. First thing I noticed was that it solves my on-going problem with sword fighting on these kinds of shows when they have these tiny little actresses swinging swords and fighting and it looks laughable because they are all so tiny.

Shannara Cast

Well this time they’re elves so it’s fine that they are hilariously skinny and visually it doesn’t bother me. And I know that seems small and petty but stuff like that takes me right out of shows. But Shannara is also pretty cool. I like the characters a lot and I like the story and the world. It’s not too deep but there’s a mythology and magic and monsters with a past as future twist. The Shannara Chronicles is an enjoyable fantasy adventure.

Lucifer (FOX)

Lucifer

The best thing about Lucifer is Lucifer himself. The main character, based on the comic character created by Neil Gaiman for The Sandman series, really makes the show for me. And it’s easy to like him but as soon as you forget that he’s evil… he’s evil again and it’s kind of jarring. Oh yeah right he’s Lucifer.

Lucifer TV

But it’s a fun show because of it and the best part is that he’s not even trying to hide the fact that he’s the devil. He’s proud of it and he’s immortal so it’s not like he’s afraid of anything. Except for himself and what he’s becoming and also his “partner” who was really annoying at first (because she’s always trying to stop Lucifer from being Lucifer and that’s the best part of Lucifer) but she’s grown on me and while he’s an open book, she is the mystery on the show because not only is she immune to his powers. She’s able to hurt him when nothing else can. Looking forward to discovering more about this mythology.

Colony (USA)

Colony Logo

Colony is a great show. From the first episode I was hooked. Good cast. Good world. Great writing. Great directing. Very impressive. One of the best new things on TV. And as they reveal more and more about what happened to the world and the alien occupation it gets better. Colony is about the relationship between the two main characters and it’s brilliant. The show is about Alien invasion and colonization and it mirrors the way the Europeans colonized the sub-continent.

Colony cast

Creating false borders and classes where none existed. Pitting human against human so that they have little time to turn their anger on their overlords all the while introducing a new religion to their children. It’s brilliant. So the husband and wife are on the opposite sides of the smaller conflict (The human resistance and the human authority) but on the same side of the larger conflict (Aliens have taken over the Earth). It’s great. Find it and watch it.

Colony TV

USA has renewed Colony for a second season.

Limitless (CBS)

limitless

Another amazing new show. Limitless is so much fun. Limitless is a continuation of the story from the movie with Bradley Cooper stopping by every once in a while to lend his star power to the proceedings. I love everything about Limitless.

And here is a break in the action where I show you the names of a couple of really good sit-coms. Showing that the format is not dead. There was an obit. I wrote it.

The Grinder (FOX)

Life in Pieces (CBS)

Both shows have great casts and great writing and are creative and funny. And it’s good to know there is still some enjoyment to be had from the half hour comedy.

Now back to our show

These next 4 are the shows that are on the bubble for me but I’m still watching because I want to like them or there is just something about them that I just can’t leave.

DC’s Legends of Tomorrow (CW)

legends of tomorrow

I want to like Legends but I don’t. I like most of the characters but the ones I can’t stand almost make the show unwatchable. The young black guy is such a bad actor that I have to mute my TV whenever he has a monologue. This isn’t a show with amazing acting to begin with but that guy is incredibly bad at his job.

Legends cast

Also Hawk Girl can barely recite her lines either. I love the rest of the cast but instead of having two or three character-centric episodes they put all of them in every single one. And I’m not liking it. Agents of SHIELD is a superhero group but they don’t have every character in every episode. One gets an A story and another gets a B story while the other nine or so characters continue in a support role until their episodes. Trying to stuff everybody in every episode with two significant scenes a piece is disjointed and distracting. This isn’t what I wanted.

Legends-of-Tomorrow-103

And to top if off it’s a little too cute. Sure they talk as if there is some dire situation and lives are in the balance but everything is so slick and cute that I don’t feel any sense of jeopardy. The Flash is slick & polished but when stuff goes down I feel like everyone is in danger. Legends never makes me feel like any of these people are in any real danger.

Supergirl (CBS)

Supergirl-CBS

I love Supergirl. I love her relationship with her boss and her friends and family and her body. But it suffers from the same thing that is bothering me about Legends. It’s too cute. (Since I wrote this they cranked up the dark parts a bit) There is no sense of jeopardy. Except in her relationships. The relationship stuff is the best part of the show. The monster of the week stuff is too cute and her main adversary this season is so overpowering that it doesn’t even seem rational that this is her big bad. It doesn’t seem fair (It’s gotten better). She should be incredibly worried. But she’s not and it ends up being cute. The relationship stuff. Her family. Her friends. Her job. That’s all amazing and that’s why I keep coming back. (The Martian Manhunter reveal was very good and I’m back on board)

Supergirl-Martian-Manhunter-Hank-Henshaw

But they need to take a page from the old Superman show from way back in the day. The bad guy wasn’t always some equally super, villain. Most of the time it was some small time hood. Something easy but the hero still had to figure it out and work his way through a series of obstacles before knocking him out with one finger. I hope they get it together because the non-superhero stuff is great. (They have and this is old) I love everything else about it.

Crazy Ex-Girlfriend (CW)

Crazy Ex-Girlfriend

I love the songs. They make me love the show. But it’s starting to be cringe TV. I want to compare my girl to Lucille Ball and her best friend is amazing on the show but at times the whole thing makes me embarrassed to be watching. But then they do a song and I remember why I thought the show was genius. The songs save the show every time. But while I’m waiting for another hysterical song I cringe. I cringe so much I feel like turning it off. I won’t because the songs are just too good. I know this isn’t technically sci-fi but Crazy Ex-Girlfriend is fantasy. She talks to ghosts and travels through time (in songs). Whatever. It’s my blog. I can break the rules.

Shadowhunters (FreeForm)

Shadowhunters - New Key Art

I should like Shadowhunters because of the supernatural elements and the pretty cast but the main character’s voice is so annoying and her personality and now after being annoyed by her for this many episodes, her face. She is incredibly whiny and all the worst things possible. I try to stay away from all-the-whiny-kids-who-seem-to-have-little-adult-supervision shows (I like the 100 though. That show is the exception) and the reason I hate those types of shows is they get into these fights about drama and relationships and sappy kids stuff during crunch time. They have no concept of THIS IS NOT THE TIME TO DISCUSS YOUR RELATIONSHIP.

And they all sound so spoiled and whiny. Yet they’ve been in wars for most of their lives. How are these little bitches so entitled when they supposedly grew up so hard. I’m sorry this has become a critique of all the millennial sci-fi shows but some of them are decent and I want to like Shadowhunters but the main girl is all the things I hate about the genre all rolled up into one annoyingly whiny-ass white girl.

Shadowhunter Hotties

But for some reason I am still watching. I just don’t know why. This last episode had a pretty intense game-changing reveal, so maybe it will actually get good.

That’s ten.

But as a bonus here are 2 mini-series: one incredibly good and one incredibly bad.

11 22 63 (Hulu)

11 22 63

11 22 63 is one of the stupidest shows I have seen in a long time. It has a decent plot and good actors but the script is so bad it’s laughable. There is no continuity. And I’m not talking about the time travel. I’m talking about basic stuff like forgetting where you are in the story or the placement of objects. Hell they spend the whole time flashing back to conversations that didn’t happen. Conversations created out of convenience but didn’t happen. And it has nothing to do with time travel. It’s just bad writing. And bad directing. And zero continuity.

11 22 63  James Franco

One character tells a story about drowning a kid in the war and in the middle of the story the writers forget that the kids head is under water. So they give him last words. How is he talking his head is under water. “I couldn’t understand him because I didn’t speak German.” No you couldn’t understand him because you were drowning him. What a piece of sloppy shit this show. One of the stupidest things I have seen in a long time.

11 22 63 is stupid

The main character’s life is saved by an inanimate object. I won’t go into it but the object saves his fucking life. In the next scene he throws it away. It is a useful object. An expensive object. But more than that. It had just saved his life. Who made this crap. It’s so stupid. I watched two episodes and that was it for me. I couldn’t stop screaming at the screen. 11 22 63 is garbage. Full-on fucking garbage.

War and Peace (BBC)

war-and-peace

War and Peace is not sci-fi or fantasy but it is amazing. I mean it’s Tolstoy and it’s epic but the actors brought it. And the writers brought it. And the directors brought it. It was so enjoyable. And epic as fuck. I’m hoping it gets recognized come awards season next year because this is the way you do a miniseries, people. Great cast. Great writing. Great costumes. Great.

War and Peace Score Card

You can’t tell the players without a score card (SPOILERS above if you don’t know the story and if you click on the image)

And that’s it…

These were my thoughts on some of the new shows. It’s a little late, I know. So some of these shows have ended but better late than never I always say. (Actually I never say that. I say, “Why are you so late? Did you want this job or not?” I was a real asshole as a boss). But I have a good excuse.

There is so much good on TV right now and so many things coming back soon.

There is not enough time.

Later,

– Mel

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11 thoughts on “Top Ten (or so) New Sci-Fi Fantasy TV shows (Winter 2016)

  1. Maybe it wasn’t enough time but have you watched season two of Daredevil? I’m four episodes in and it’s spectacular! Maybe not as good as season one but still pretty great.

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    • Yeah it’s good. I’ve seen it. Not as good as season one to me. Because of Kingpin and also I’m not the biggest Punisher fan but later they put the two together and that’s awesome. Also the way they handle Elektra is full of plot holes. But it’s still a good show.

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  2. Wow – great post!!! 🙂 I am SO out of touch with TV these days. I’ve given up on TV as I’ve been so disappointed with soooo many shows in recent years. Plus half of them got cancelled after I spent too much of my life watching an entire first season. MAN that pisses me off! I’ve only heard of two of these (Supergirl & Limitless). I love the sound of some of these! Especially the first one. That’s sad about 11 22 63, though. DAMN! The book is so good. I was really looking forward to watching that. 😦

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  3. I did start The Expanse which I like. I will add The Magicians to my list as well. Still loving Life in Pieces and The Grinder too. I fear The Grinder isn’t long for this world which is a shame as it has a fairly unique and clever sense of humor. Not feeling too bad about missing out on 11.22.63 now either which is a plus! You have given me some more shows to squeeze in, but at least I can be safe in skipping that one.

    Liked by 1 person

    • Yeah if I had to whittle this list down to three, it would be The Expanse, The Magicians and Colony. Three amazing science fiction shows. I hope you’re wrong about The Grinder. I love that cast. Maya Rudolph’s run on the show was fantastic. And any time Timothy Olyphant guest stars it is epic. I really hope you’re wrong. Thanks for the comment.

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  4. Even though I can barely keep up with the shows I’m already following, I like to keep an eye out for new stuff that I might like, especially when it comes to sci-fi fantasy. The Magicians looks pretty cool and worth giving a shot. The first episode of Shadowhunters didn’t exactly hook me in but didn’t completely turn me off either. I wonder what another lead actress would have brought to the role. Like in Supergirl, Melissa Benoist is fantastic and great to watch.

    Liked by 1 person

    • You’re right Melissa Benoist is very good. She plays all the different parts well. I love her dorky side. She cracks me up when she snorts. And I liked her on red kryptonite of course. With Shadowhunters it’s less about the actress and more about the character but there are still interesting parts to it. Thanks for the comment.

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  5. I keep seeing previews for Lucifer and I really didn’t get it. I couldn’t understand how they were making a show about Lucifer. Thanks for clearing some of that up for me. I’m glad you enjoy it.

    Liked by 1 person

  6. There are so many shows I need to get caught up on! Now that Downton Abbey is over I’ve been looking for some new shows to get into. I binged “The Unbreakable Kimmy Schmidt” on Netflix and I think the second season is coming out soon for that.

    Liked by 1 person

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