Wikipedia calls Science Fiction: “a genre of fiction dealing with imaginative content such as futuristic settings, futuristic science and technology, space travel, time travel, faster than light travel, parallel universes and extraterrestrial life.”
Today, I am thrilled at the full swing technology’s tentacles have swung and reached into mainstream television with well-produced, well-acted and well-written televisions series themed around zombies, robots, deadly viruses, paranormal activity, time travel and sixth senses gone cray cray.
As a technology geek and a TV junkie, I thought it was time to spread the word on my favorite sci-fi shows.
1. Black Mirror
Black Mirror was a UK series that truly blended today’s technology into mind-blowing stories that literally made me watch with my mouth hanging open, wondering what was going to happen next. It caused a serious case of binge watching, via Netflix, but it’s not for everyone. It’s The Twilight Zone on ecstasy and it will get you thinking about a lot of intriguing ideas and subjects. Now Netflix is in motion to produce a few more episodes of this provocative series.
2. The X-Files
The X-Files is an iconic sci-fi series that laid the ground work for many similar shows later, including Fringe and Sleepy Hollow, which both try to duplicate the chemistry of the sleuthing duo of Mulder and Scully. For me, it was tantalizing – I collected fan paraphernalia, went to the X-Files convention in NYC, and didn’t go anywhere on Friday nights. Now it’s back for a short run on Fox with original shows in January and you can be sure X-Files fans everywhere will be glued to the TV for this long awaited event. Yep, it’s been 20 years and I’m still hooked.
Heroes is one of the few series based on comic book characters that I really fell in love with. Sure, the characters were too numerous, the plot lines got crazy and eventually they cancelled the show. Still, I watched it religiously when it was on and now NBC is pushing Heroes Reborn to see if it can recapture the fans’ love for the super humans who duked it out all over the planet in battles of good vs. evil – the new fashioned way.
Extant is a Halle Berry fueled series which features sassy unlikeable robots, glowing eyes that tend to do some damage to those in a staring contest, and an alien invasion on Earth. Who woulda thunk that Halle Berry would save the day here? For me, this show is somewhat inconsistent, but it does pull you in more frequently than not. We’ve seen this story before and continue to do so in the slew of sci-fi series now on TV, but Berry and her current pal, Jeffrey Dean Morgan aren’t bad eye candy and the show does deliver on most levels. It’ll be back next season.
5. Mr. Robot
Mr. Robot is primarily about hackers and revolution. If you dug V for Vendetta, this show will exceed expectations. That said, I did fall into it a few episodes late and it took me a while to figure out what the heck was going on. Sometimes, I just watched the show for the complete weirdness of it and being totally hypnotized by the performance of the lead character played by Rami Malek. I intend to re-watch the series from the beginning soon. This show can be scary thanks to the reality of current events. Mostly it is DARK and creepy and right up my alley.
Sleepy Hollow is my guilty pleasure. When I first watched it I thought, this isn’t going to make another season. How can you possibly recreate the Sleepy Hollow tale and bring it into the 21st century? I’d already said ICK to Once Upon a Time and similar shows; Sleepy Hollow managed to surprise me. The creators figured out a great formula: good writing + good looking and very capable actors + some awesome tweetable one-liners + an honest to God Ichabod Crane character (for a long time in his original duds!) = delightful fun. I’m looking forward to its return.
7. The Strain
Who could possibly resist a series from renowned fantasy and horror film director Guillermo Del Toro? I sure couldn’t. The Strain is an unpredictable, campy, creepy, slimy, fright fest of vampires, vampire killers, truly unlucky victims, master evil-doers, and Fortune 500 henchmen. Oh yeah, it’s got everything. I personally tweet the most about this show; it’s basically about a really bad virus, but the characters and plots lines are just wacky enough to keep me coming back for more. It also has a few gory moments, so tread lightly here if you’re the queasy type.
Humans is more robotic fare, and I think it’s a tad better than Extant. It’s quieter, spookier and you have to pay attention. I’m really thrilled they brought William Hurt back into the fold for this one, but all the actors are good. Once again, the bots or synths as they’re called here, have a little too much human dna in them and gosh, doesn’t that just cause robots to go awry every time? Watch it from the beginning. It’s yet another gem in AMC’s bucket of gold.
9. Orphan Black
Think you know weird and complicated TV shows? Check out this doozy from BBC America. This one’s about conspiracy, clones and having to uncover just about everything from scratch to figure out what’s going on. It’ll have your head spinning, but it feels fresh to me and Tatiana Maslany’s performance is perfect. At times I simply cannot understand that British accent, but if you’re used to it, you’ll become immersed in this seriously sci-fi offering.
10. The IT Crowd
This show is simply one of the most hilarious shows I’ve ever seen. It’s not in the sci-fi category, but I’m always turning techno geeks onto it because even after I binge watched the four seasons it lasted, I still laughed when I watched it again a few weeks later. It’s about two computer technicians stuck in the basement of their company’s building and managed by a woman who knows nothing about IT. Now there are rumors of it being remade in the US, but I think they’ll be hard put to find the right combination of actors and that super cheeky humor the brits are known for. It’s a classic.