It’s almost that time again, time for the new genre shows to take to the airwaves. Some are returning shows, some brand new offerings, I wanted to take this chance to take a look at the specific sci-fi and fantasy shows on the horizon to see what I’m excited for and what I’m going to be ignoring completely. I’ll do this alphabetically, just to keep things orderly.
Because I like being orderly, I’m going to color-code all of the shows so you can tell at a glance what I’ll be watching, what I’ll be checking out and what I’ll be ignoring.
Almost Human (Fox – Returning) – I enjoyed the original BBC series, but past the first series, I just lost interest. When it came to the U.S., I couldn’t bring myself to care, it’s just not a concept that has any staying power with me. The idea of a ghost, a vampire and a werewolf living together can only go so far and I think it’s gone farther than that. Pass, again.
American Horror Story: Coven (FX – Returning) – This is just not my thing, I’m not into magic and witchcraft and any of that nonsense so… into the skip pile this goes. Yes, I know it has some amazing actresses, but that’s not enough to make me watch this stuff.
Arrow (CW – Returning) – I’m very much looking forward to this coming back. I was initially very skeptical, expecting it to be crap like Smallville, but instead it turned out to be a great show that’s a lot more “realistic” than most DC shows (or comics for that matter). If you ask me, this kind of show ought to be the model for the entire DC media conglomerate. Good stories, not black-and-white morality plays, with stories about people, not suits. It does everything right that DC does wrong.
Atlantis (BBC America – New) – I admit that I am a little nervous here. This show was made by the creator of Misfits, Howard Overman. I started off liking Misfits, at least at the beginning, but by the end of the first series, none of the characters were at all relatable and I gave up. I just had no interest in watching a bunch of super-powered juvenile delinquents, especially completely unrepentant ones. I am, however, willing to give it a shot and placing it in Atlantis might be interesting, especially if done in the old-style Jason and the Argonauts style, which is probably not the case. Keeping the fingers crossed.
Beauty and the Beast (CW – Returning) – I didn’t care for the old Beauty and the Beast series with Ron Perlman and Linda Hamilton, this one is no more up my alley. I don’t watch TV for romance, I watch it for adventure and this show gets way too much romance all over my adventure. Sorry, pass.
Dracula (NBC – New) – For the same reason that I’m giving a shot to Sleepy Hollow, I might try an episode or two of this. Now I do hate vampires with a passion, so if it’s just going to be an angsty sex drama, forget it, but placing it in Victorian London and the idea that Dracula is trying to bring future technology to the past, might be interesting. Not holding my breath, but I’ll give it a shot.
Grimm (NBC – Returning) – This was one of my wife’s shows, back in the first season, but I almost immediately lost interest. I wrote an extensive review and, from what I’ve heard from people who still watch it, I’d hate what it’s become, even more than what it was when it started.
Haven (Syfy – Returning) – As strange as it sounds, this is one of the shows I’m most looking forward to. I hated Haven when it started, I hated Audrey, I hated the town, it was just crap, but as time has gone on, the show has evolved to the point that, while I’m still not wild about Audrey, it’s interesting enough to keep me tuning in.
Marvel’s Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D. (ABC – New) – Of course I’ll be watching this, I’m going to commit myself to at least the first season, sight unseen, just because of the pedigree behind the franchise. I cannot imagine, given the track record at Marvel, that they won’t be putting everything they have into the writing of this series.
The Neighbors (ABC – Returning) – No. Just no. Wacky sitcoms suck. Actually, I think all sitcoms suck these days, even though I used to enjoy them when I was much younger. I don’t care if it’s got aliens in it. My eyes will never be poisoned by this show.
Once Upon a Time (ABC – Returning) – Because yes, I want to watch Disney fairy tale characters romp around on my TV screen. Oh wait, no I don’t! I’ve yet to hear a single positive review of this series by anyone I’d remotely respect.
Once Upon a Time in Wonderland (ABC – New) – And I don’t want to watch it as a spin-off either. Double pass.
The Originals (CW – New) – This is a spin-off of Vampire Diaries so… not a chance in hell. What’s with all the spin-offs this year, especially of really horrible shows?
Person of Interest (CBS – Returning) – I’m not really sure how much this show is in the wheel-house, although granted, the season finale from last year was very much centered on the Machine, so I guess it qualifies. This is a great show with terrific characters that always keeps me guessing. Hopefully this new season will be as amazing as the last and we’ll see even more fantastic adventures from Harold and Mr. Reese.
Ravenswood (ABC Family – New) – Yet another spinoff, this time a fantasy version of Pretty Little Liars, which I think it awful anyhow, I would never watch that show, why watch a fantasy version of it?
Revolution (NBC – Returning) – Likewise, this was a show that I tried to like but I couldn’t even make it through the first episode. Bad writing, bad acting, bad… well, bad everything. It’s been reviewed, but even if it has improved, I can’t bring myself to care.
Sleepy Hollow (Fox – New) – The pilot has gotten some good buzz in the press so far and the concept, moving the Ichabod Crane story to the modern era, is interesting enough to get me watching. Whether I’ll keep watching is anyone’s guess, the show has to earn that. I don’t know if they’re going to do characters out of time, like they’ve done in the first Highlander movie and the short-lived New Amsterdam, I’m always attracted to stories like that, but we’ll have to see.
Supernatural (CW – Returning) – This is a show we watched for years, but as time went on and it became painfully obvious that the only reason it was being kept on the air was for the brainless fangirls breathlessly panting over the Winchester brothers, we dropped it following season 5 and probably should have dropped it earlier. I talked a bit about where it went wrong here.
The Tomorrow People (CW – New) – I was a fan of the original BBC series, back in the day, and from everything I’ve heard, this has all the things I liked about the originals, plus plays nicely with the modern superhero mythos. I might have to go back and watch some of the originals now!
Witches of East End (Lifetime – New) – Alright, I can pretty much guarantee that, just because it’s on Lifetime, it’s not a show for me, but I had to keep reading the description over and over and over, shaking my head every time, until I almost had whiplash and had to stop. The premise is that a witch has two daughters who have unknowingly inherited mom’s supernatural abilities, but they keep dying and the witch is doomed to keep having the same two daughters over and over and over again. Huh? It instantly reminded me of the Venture Bros. and not in a good way. No thanks.
The Vampire Diaries (CW – Returning) – I was unfortunate enough to be trapped in a panel room at San Diego Comicon one year where they showed the entire pilot episode. Holy crap, was it bad. Granted, I’m not the target audience for this monstrosity, but my oldest daughter, who is their target audience, spent the whole episode texting people on the Nintendo DS wireless network in the room with other teens who thought it was utter shit. I hate vampires with a passion. Stake ’em all.
The Walking Dead (AMC – Returning) – I started out a huge fan of this show, but it’s cooled over time, for many of the same reasons that I no longer read the comic book. It’s just too dark, there’s no chance that the humans are going to win without some amazing McGuffin and it’s just a long, slow slide into extinction for all of them. I’ll still watch it, but the longer it goes on, the less excited I get by the whole thing.
So the scorecard, for anyone keeping track, is 5 definite watch, 4 maybe watch and 13 avoid like the plague. I’m not sure if that’s a good ratio or not to be honest. Among the 5 I’ll definitely see, 4 are returning series that I know I’ve liked in the past and 1 is clearly going to be good, based on the reputation of the Marvel superhero movie franchise. I feel confident of all of those. The maybes though, only 1 has me pretty sure I’ll like it, the other 3 are things that I’ll check out for a couple of episodes and decide then if they’re worth continuing. I hope they are, this gives me potentially 9 genre shows to review every week, which, combined with the detective/mystery shows, could keep my TV Thursday column absurdly full, but I guess we’ll just have to see how it all goes.
The question is, do you disagree with any of my picks? What do you see on the list that you’re looking forward to and why?