Thursday, September 22, 2011

New TV Season

Insofar as TV seasons as such exist anymore, the summer series are winding down and the fall programs are starting up (with more overlap between the two phases than usual, it seems). EUREKA, set in a small town inhabited almost entirely by scientific geniuses working for a cutting-edge technology company, climaxes with a space flight to Titan. TRUE BLOOD has finished its season, and HAVEN, which so far I haven't found as exciting as I'd hoped (lots of delicious hints about the town's past but few revelations), will end for the year next week. I liked FALLING SKIES, about a group of human survivors coping with an alien invasion, very much and was glad to learn it's returning next summer.

Of the regular-season SF or fantasy series I watch, SUPERNATURAL and THE VAMPIRE DIARIES are still around. I gave up on FRINGE a long time ago (which may have been a mistake) and never got into some of the other cable SF shows.

New series: THE SECRET CIRCLE, based on novels by the author of THE VAMPIRE DIARIES, has already started and shows possibilities. A teenage girl gets drawn into a coven of witches replicating a similar circle their parents belonged to. The heroine's situation, not surprisingly, has distinct resemblances to that of Elena at the beginning of THE VAMPIRE DIARIES.

There are two fairy-tale-based shows I'm looking forward to: In GRIMM, a detective who's descended from the Grimm brothers solves crimes involving evil creatures from legends and fairy tales, which, unknown to the general public, really exist. ONCE UPON A TIME features characters such as Snow White cursed to live in our world.

About Spielberg's TERRA NOVA, I'm dubious. I'll give the pilot a try. A group of colonists is sent back to the age of the dinosaurs to make a fresh start for humanity. How is that supposed to work? If they're intended to engineer a reset for human evolution, they're starting way too far back. Given the butterfly effect, who knows what kind of world would result from their intervention? Or maybe the purpose is to establish a population base in a fresh environment unspoiled by the human-made disasters that have ruined the future they've come from. If so, again, why pick the dinosaur era? Couldn't they find a more recent epoch just as unspoiled but a lot less dangerous?

What returning or new spec fic shows are you looking forward to?

By the way, what caused the decline of the old TV schedule with premieres in the fall and reruns in the summer? Cable? In my view, that's an improvement, by the way—lots more viewing choices. And why do contemporary "fall" shows typically have fewer episodes per season than series did decades ago? When do we ever see a conventional 26-episode season anymore? Cost of production, I assume, but I don't know enough about the industry to guess why the present-day cost per hour would proportionally exceed similar expenses thirty years ago.

Margaret L. Carter
Carter's Crypt


  1. I liked Falling Skies, and I love Supernatural (having 2 hot guys as main characters definitely doesn't hurt lol). But you definitely shouldn't have given up on Fringe. It's never too late to start again - the seasons are all out on dvd!

  2. Meghan:

    I'm still following FRINGE, and though I've missed some because there were too many shows on at once to record and time-shift, I am into WAREHOUSE 13.

    I'm going too give Terra Nova a try, and FALLING SKIES has some good potential though the start was slow in an attempt to pick up the action audience rather than the SF audience.

    They used to market SF as "just for teen boys" - but now they market it as "just for action fiends" -- personally, I think SF is about the way Science/Technology affects REAL PEOPLE and society/relationships.

    For that reason, I like SUITS (which is about how Law which is a form of technology) affects real people, and I like ROYAL PAINS which is about how the practice of medicine (a science/artform) affects the lives of the practitioners.

    Likewise, HOUSE and medical forensics shows have potential.

    I like ALPHAS, also, but mostly for the autistic character.

    Jacqueline Lichtenberg

  3. The premise of ALPHAS sounded interesting, but I'm trying to resist taking on too many new shows. Time-shifting still requires finding TIME to watch the recorded items.