Jen here and I’m just going to come out and admit it: I’m a TV whore! In my defense, the vast majority of what I do watch is science fiction and fantasy genre television, but that doesn’t really lessen the fact that I watch way too much television. To that end, we’ve decided that I should just run with this sad little obsession of mine and share it with all of you. This means I’ll be sacrificing my summer for hours and hours in front of the boob tube, but I think I’ll manage (as long as someone is willing to bring me margaritas). So check back with the Skiffy and Fanty show for reviews, news, and probably some ranting, about all things Science Fiction and Fantasy TV.
Summer SF/F TV
HBOs True Blood is entering its fourth season, which will loosely follow the story of the fourth book of Charlaine Harris’s Southern Vampire Mysteries, Dead to the World. This means we’ll get more werewolves, were-panthers, witches, fairies, and sex with Eric Northman (guess what I’m most excited about). HBO has done an amazing job taking what is a solid summer reading urban fantasy series and turning it into a dark, well-crafted television show with enough variation from the original books that readers are still left guessing what is going to happen next. I was blown away by the first season, less enamored of the second, and am still catching up with the third, but I have yet to be disappointed.
Teen Wolf premieried on MTV on June 5, 2011. That means it should be easy to catch up on, but at an hour in length and the fact that it’s MTV programming and targetted at people half my age – this is going to be torture. Those of us who remember the original Teen Wolf movie will be sorely dissappointed by this “reboot.” The only things that have stayed the same are apparently the name of the main character and the fact that he’s in High School. Gone is basketball, fuzzy dad, and Michael J. Fox; in is Lacrosse, a werewolf bite, and some kid named Tyler Posey. I’m just hoping I don’t get completely sucked into it, because the only thing redeeming about it might just be the fact that the werewolf teenager falls in love with a girl from a family of werewolf hunters.
When Haven debuted last year it took me a few episodes to get into it, but once the show had me in its claws… Well, let’s just say I’m looking forward to Season 2. Haven is loosely based on Stephen King’s The Colorado Kid, which I haven’t actually read, but I imagine that was enough to give the show some street cred to draw viewers in initially. The show was intriguing enough, with low enough production costs, that it’s back for a second season. It centers around an FBI agent, Audrey Parker, who traveled to the small town of Haven to hunt down an escaped criminal. She stays after discovering that the town is beset with supernatural emergencies and that her mother may have a connection with it. I’ve enjoyed the dynamics between the characters of Haven, but I’m hoping that in Season 2 we’ll see that the rest of the town is actually beset with “The Troubles,” as opposed to the few highlighted in each episode. Haven has just enough mystery to keep me coming back for more, but I have a feeling there are only so many tricks up their sleeves. That said – the cliffhanger last season was REALLY weird and left me with my jaw dropped, so we’ll see what happens!
A series about a couple of Secret Service Agent screw ups who are relegated to a super secret Warehouse full of supernatural artifacts? What’s not to like! It’s like watching the Raiders of the Lost Ark, MacGuyver, X-Files, and Moonlighting all at the same time. Warehouse 13 is quirky, humorous, and exciting, with just enough darkness and dramatic tension to keep it from becoming completely ridiculous. Unfortunately, at the end of Season 2, Myka – one half of the dastardly duo – left Warehouse 13. The relationship between Myka and Pete was such a large part of the charm of this series, that the show may suffer for this decision. That said, they did struggle with finding a balance between Pete and Myka as a romantic possibility, and Pete and Myka’s familial comaraderie. However, the testorone quotient jumps up with Myka’s replacement and SyFy risks alienating their 50% female viewership.
Ahh, Eureka, how do I love thee? Let me count the ways… Eureka has been going strong for four seasons, and based on the twists presented in Season 4 I don’t see it losing steam anytime soon. There were some nearly show-killing plot decisions in Season 2 and 3, but the veritable reboot at the beginning of Season 4 has almost erased that, leaving a world of possibilities open for the quirky little town of Eureka. Throw in some Felicia Day and more WIl Wheaton and we should have a good summer on our hands. SyFy had some issues (I honestly don’t know what they were) releasing Season 4.5 (usually they have a winter season), but those episodes have presumably become the Summer session episodes. Hopefully the exceedingly long gap, with only 10 episodes in the previous season, won’t kill the viewing numbers, because Eureka is the only thing in Summer television that I actually look forward to.
Six months after a devastating Alien invasion, the few survivors of Earth have banded together to fight back. Falling Skies stars Noah Wyle, Moon Bloodgood, and Will Patton, so we’re at least assured of a great cast and solid acting. TNT has aired some excellent programming and with Steven Spielberg as Executive Producer, it’s hard to come out and say that this show is going to fail, but it probably will. The show looks brilliant, but expensive, and I’m not sure that the viewership will validate the slimmer profit margins TNT will undoubtedly see. I’m crossing my fingers that we actually get at least two seasons of a quality hard science fiction series, but I’m not going to hold my breath.
The 9 Lives of Chloe King
Oh CW and ABC Family, I just can’t tell you how much I appreciate all the teen drama that my two daughters will soon become addicted to (they’re not teens yet, thank the gods). At least some of it is Urban Fantasy so I can, at the very least, feign interest. The 9 Lives of Chloe King is about a girl named Chloe King who is the only hope for an ancient line of cat people who have been hunted by assassins for millenia. Something like that anyway. It’s basically the girls version of Teen Wolf and I can’t wait to see the shows copy one another. Finding popular teen urban fantasy series and turning them into tv shows is a new phenomenon, but a hugely successful one and ABC Family is out to capitalize on what the CW started with The Vampire Diaries. I have a feeling my eye will twitch while I watch this show, but I suppose it might not be HORRIBLE.