TV Science Fiction & Fantasy


AWAY. “Go.” Netflix, 60m, 04 September 2020 (Season 1, Episode 1). Hilary Swank as Emma Green, an American astronaut who is the commander of the mission; Josh Charles as Matt Logan, Emma’s husband and a NASA engineer who has washed out of the astronaut program because of a brain disease; Vivian Wu as Lu, a Chinese taikonaut who is also a chemist; Mark Ivanir as Misha, a veteran Russian astronaut who is also the space shuttle’s engineer; Ato Essandoh as Kwesi, a Jewish British-Ghanaian rookie astronaut who is a botanist; Ray Panthaki as Ram, the mission’s second-in-command; Talitha Bateman as Alexis “Lex” Logan, Emma and Matt’s teenage daughter. Creator/screenwriter: Andrew Hinderaker. Director: Edward Zwick.

   This is the kind of Science Fiction that I can still watch on either the big screen or small one. Minimal special effects (floating in low gravity environments) and quite a bit of effort on the producers’ part to get the science and engineering right. The basis of the story is simple: follow a diverse crew of five (the standard list of both sexes and various nationalities) as they begin a long arduous three year journey to Mars.

   In practice, though, it isn’t going to be easy. Due to a mistake Emma Green (a perfectly cast Hilary Swank) as commander makes on the trip from the Earth to the Moon, two of the crew are in near rebellion, even before the main part of the journey begins, and complications back on Earth do not make things any easier for her (Emma’s husband suffers a stroke, but without giving anything away, if he didn’t recover just in time, there’d be no series, or does he?).

   So it’s going to be a mixture of soap opera and space opera from here on out. I can anticipate the problems they’re going to have in both regards. I don’t think media critics are likely to praise this, but who cares. I enjoyed this, and I’m looking forward to the rest of the trip.

   

HAUNTED “Pilot.” UPN, 60m. 24 September 2002. Matthew Fox as PI Frank Taylor, Russell Hornsby, John Mann, Lynn Collins, Michael Irby, Bree Michael Warner. Director: Michael Rymer. The complete series is available on DVD.

   It’s been a couple of nights since I watched this, and to tell you the truth, it made such a little impression on me that other than Matthew Fox, the rest of the cast are only names to me. I’m going to take a very sad way out and use the Wikipedia description of the show: “Private detective Frank Taylor, whose marriage to Jessica Manning ended after their son was abducted, kills a pedophile, Simon Dunn, and almost dies himself. When he discovers he can now see the dead, he uses this ability to find a missing boy kidnapped by Simon, who now haunts him.”

               

   Part of the problem is that this is all claptrap to me. I watched this only because of the fact that Fox plays a private detective in this, not that that’s made very clear. The whole thing’s a muddle. Maybe it got better as time went on. Eleven episodes were aired before it disappeared for good. (A fact which is actually not so. Repeats have been shown on the Sci-Fi channel, Chiller, and Universal HD.)

PostScript: Kevin Burton Smith on his Thrilling Detective website liked the first episode better than did I, but he also goes on to say that the show would have been better if they’d played up the PI end of things, and that “the pop-up ghost gimmick was already annoying by the end of the show.”

   He also says, contrary to Wikipedia, that in the series’ first run on UPN, only seven of the eleven episodes were actually aired.

   

PERSON OF INTEREST “Pilot.” CBS, 22 September 2011. Jim Caviezel as John Reese, Michael Emerson as Harold Finch. Guest cast: Natalie Zea. Seriescreated by Jonathan Nolan; executive producers: Nolan, J. J. Abrams, Bryan Burk, Greg Plageman, Denise Thé, and Chris Fisher. Director: David Semel.

   This series lasted for five years, but when it was first suggested to me that it was excellent and I really had to watch it, it was part way through the third year, and believe you me, I had no idea what was going on. Science fictional TV series like this one has a tendency to get that way, especially when the basic concept was so complicated to begin with.

   To wit: A former government contractor named Harold Finch is  the man who helped build a super computer program that… What the hell. I’m just going to quote Wikipedia:

   “…that is capable of collating all sources of information to predict terrorist acts and identify people planning them. The Machine also identifies perpetrators and victims of other premeditated deadly crimes, but, because the government considers these ‘irrelevant,’ he programs the Machine to delete this information each night. Anticipating abuse of his creation, Finch created a backdoor into the Machine. Tormented by the ‘irrelevant’ deaths that might have been prevented, he eventually decides to use his backdoor to act covertly. To escape detection, he directs the Machine to provide only a tiny fragment of data: the social security number of a ‘person of interest.’ The person may be a victim, a perpetrator, or an innocent bystander caught up in lethal events.”

   In the pilot, the social security number is that of a successful female prosecutor. What kind of problem is she having, or will she have? There are many low life characters in her life every day. Is she in danger? To help him find out, Finch recruits John Reese (Jim Caviezel) – and quoting Wikipedia again, he is “a former Green Beret and CIA agent now presumed dead.” Finch needs him as a leg man to investigate.

   It’s a great concept, and this the first episode is slickly done, with a twist or two that  brought a smile (or several smiles) to my face.. It’s no wonder the show went on to great success.

   I’m not sure, though, whether I want to invest the equivalent of five years’ worth of episodes, especially, as I said the outset, I think the show went off in directions that even those who made this pilot had no idea of that far in advance. Fringe was another series that I enjoyed for maybe two years before the plots became way way too complicated, at least for me.

   I welcome any advice you may have to offer on this.

   

TRAVELERS “Travelers” (2016). Canadian-American production. Netflix. 17 October 2016 (Season 1, Episode 1). Eric McCormack, MacKenzie Porter, Nesta Cooper, Jared Abrahamson, Reilly Dolman, Patrick Gilmore. Creator-Screenplay: Brad Wright. Director: Nick Hurran.

   It takes the full hour, but as the pilot episode for this series, it does exactly what it is supposed to do: Introduce both the players and the plot with just enough story to have we the viewer (me) anxious to see the next one.

   I can’t say that it’s a new idea (so I won’t), but you can tell me whether or not you’ve heard this one before: a group of travelers from a rather bleak future comes to our time and place to make some corrections. They do this by entering taking over their new hosts’ bodies at the time they would otherwise have died.

   I apologize if I’ve already told you more than you wanted to know. Me, I prefer going into a series totally cold and not having any idea what the whole story line is. At least I can’t tell you what’s going to happen next, what the team’s various missions are going to be, and for a very good reason: I have no idea.

   The series was on for three seasons, so at least more than few people found a reason to keep watching. This first episode was very stylishly done, with better than average acting on the part of all the participants. Each of the characters who have become hosts for the travelers is quite well drawn. In terms of the lighting and some of the locations, there are some elements of noir to the story. Not as much as in Blade Runner, say, but it’s there. Whether it continues, I do not know.

   

SPACE: 1999 “The Metamorph” ITC (UK); first run syndication (US). 04 September 1976 (Season 2, Episode 1).. Martin Landau (Commander John Koenig), Barbara Bain (Dr. Helena Russell), Tony Anholt, Nick Tate, Zienia Merton. Guest cast: Catherine Schell, Brian Blessed. Format creators: Gerry Anderson and Sylvia Anderson. Writer: Johnny Byrne. Director: Charles Crichton.

   The premise of this series was laughable at best if you were to look at scientifically: an explosion on the Moon would be sufficient to throw it out of its orbit and head it traveling at apparent light speed out into outer space. (In reality such an explosion would have the Moon come crashing down on Earth or blow it up entirely.)

   But given enough suspension of disbelief, which I could at the time, and I still can now, this mean that the 300 plus inhabitants on the Moonbase there would have the trip and adventures of their lives. The special effects were both top notch and spectacular. The stories? Not so much.

   But truth be told, I enjoyed Space: 1999 more than I did Star Trek, which I often found boring and preachy. If it hadn’t been for Spock’s ears, the show would have gone nowhere. But I digress. Suffice it to say that the stories in Space:1999 were probably not as good as those as Star Trek’s, but while people may disagree with me on this, I found them a lot more fun.

   Case in point. In “The Metamorph,” the folks on the space traveling Moon are running out of titanium (if I remember correctly), and a what they think is a barren planet looks like a promising place to find some. Not so. The ruler of the underground civilization named Mentor – the ruler, not the planet – takes a survey crew captive, and plans to do the same to the rest of the crew. The reason? To suck the energy from their brains to feed his biological computer, which he plans to use to replenish his planet.

   It’s a close call, but everyone escapes, just in the nick of time, thanks to, .. Well, I guess I won’t tell you, but as a hint, one of the members of the guest cast above turns out to become a regular member of Moonbase Alpha for the rest of the second season. (There were only the two.)

   As I say, the story is weak. If you haven’t read and seen a version of it before, you probably haven’t read or watched a lot of sci-fi. But watching this last night brought a lot of good memories. All of a sudden I was a 30-something again.

   

PHILIP K. DICK’S ELECTRIC DREAMS “Real Life,” Channel 4, UK, 25 October 2017 (Episode 5). Amazon Prime, US, 2018 (currently streaming as episode 1). Anna Paquin, Terrence Howard, Rachelle Lefevre, Lara Pulver. Teleplay by Ronald D. Moore, loosely based on .the story “Exhibit Piece” by Philip K. Dick (If, August 1954). Director: Jeffrey Reiner.

   I have not researched this at all, but it’s quite possible (a hypothesis, then) that more of Philip K/ Dick’s work have been filmed for either movies or TV than any other SF writer. (Think Blade Runner as the most well known.) Not bad for a writer who pretty much only had a small cult following when he died in 1982, just as Blade Runner was about to be released.

   Electric Dreams was a 10-part anthology of Dick’s short stories as adapted for TV. One of his favorite themes in his early fiction was the question of what is real around us, and what is not. “Real Life” takes that idea and runs with it with considerable success, I think. A lesbian cop in the future with a flying car is wracked with guilt after being the survivor of the massacre of several of her colleagues. She’s advised to take a virtual reality “vacation” from her life…

   … and ends up in the body of a black billionaire who’s not only the head of huge tech company but also a vigilante by night, being dead set on revenging the death of his wife at the hands of …

   … the same master criminal he/she’s after back in the future. Not only in the quest for revenge the same in the two worlds, but so are many of the people and locations in each. The overridng question is, which of the two worlds in the real one?

   This is one of those stories, as televised, that starts off as confusing to the viewer as it is to the primary character in it, perhaps even more so, but when eventually the viewer begins to straighten him or herself out, the problem of which world is which still remains, to both the character and the viewer. I won’t tell you, of course, and that’s even assuming that I know even now, which I don’t. I really enjoyed this one.

   

COUNTERPART. “The Crossing.” Starz, 60 minutes. 10 December 2017 (season 1, episode 1).  J. K. Simmons (in a dual role), and a large ensemble cast, both primary and recurring. Created by and screenplay: Justin Marks. Director: Morten Tyldum,

   Shown on the premium channel Starz for two 10-episode seasons, the premise is both simple and complicated. The short description is that a parallel world to our has been secretly tapped into, and while much is the same in the two Earths, the paths for each have been rapidly diverging. The long version takes up the entirety of this, the entire pilot episode, without much of a direction of where the story is going to go from there.

   I’ve listed only J. K. Simmons as the star of the series, as the roles of everyone else revolve only around him. On our side he’s a downbeaten schlub for the company he works for, without no hope for promotion and not much idea what the company he works for actually does (which is tom monitor the point at which the two wolds meet). On the other side he’s the aggressive agent who’s been sent to our side to pave the way for – what exactly, the details will come later.

   As an actor, J. K. Simmos is a revelation. Just by body language alone, you know immediately which Howard Silk he is. It is an utter delight just to see him in action. I’m not a big fan of parallel worlds story lines such as this (I stopped watching Fringe when the emphasis changed from relationships between the characters on our side to uninteresting events happening on the other), but at the moment I’m OK with watching the next in this series, just to see where it’s going from here.

   

   An eight-episode adaptation of H.G. Wells’ classic science fiction novel, The War of the Worlds was shown in France last year. The series will make its first appearance in the US next month (February 16th) on Epix.

   The show stars Gabriel Byrne, Elizabeth McGovern, Léa Drucker, Natasha Little, Daisy Edgar Jones, Stéphane Caillard, Adel Bencherif, and Guillaume Gouix.

KAREN A. ROMANKO – Women of Science Fiction and Fantasy Television: An Encyclopedia of 400 Characters and 200 Shows, 1950-2016. McFarland, softcover, October 2019.

   Karen A. Romanko’s previous book, Television’s Female Spies and Crimefighters (McFarland, 2016) was noted here soon after it was published. As was the case for that book, the title should tell everyone at once what this one’s about, and I imagine the subject matter is of at least some interest to you all.

   As before, both the characters and the shows they were on are listed alphabetically, but interspersed one with the other. For example, the first profile entry is for Devon Adair, who appeared on the TV series Earth-2, followed by Bo Adams (of Believe), then by The Addams Family, with a lengthy overview of the series itself, which ran for two seasons on ABC, 1964-1966.

   The final two entries are for Young Blades, a series which ran for 13 episodes in 2005, and for Zaan, the blue-skinned alien priestess on Farscape.

   Following the main portion of the book is a listing of all the series which did not make the cut, but for which I for one could often make strong cases for inclusion. On the other hand, I did not write the book! An example of just one, however, is The Dead Zone, which lasted for five seasons, but since I do not recall any women in leading roles, I will concede the point.

   One character and series that is included, but which I question is Cinnamon Carter of Mission: Impossible fame. Many of team’s exploits were far-fetched, but that does not mean they were fantasy, either.

   Of special note is the historical overview at the front of book, putting into context many of the more important female heroes included in the book, beginning with Tonga and Carol Carlisle (of Space Patrol) and concluding with Peggy Carter, the starring character of her very own series, Agent Carter.

   And since the cutoff for inclusion this time around was 2016, perhaps it is not too early to ask for a revised and expanded edition in a few years or so. I’d buy it!

MY FAVORITE TV SERIES
OF THE DECADE (2010-2019)
by Michael Shonk


   It is that time of year again when everyone makes a list, be it our list to Santa or the critic’s top ten list. This list has my favorite top 20 TV series that aired during the 2010s. I have separated them by type of TV it is: broadcast network, basic cable, premium cable, and streaming/apps.

   While the change from analog to digital television began in the 2000s the decade of 2010 will be remembered as when the digital era took over. It was a time that saw the fall of broadband network TV and the rise of digital streaming services. The major entertainment companies of the 20th Century – ABC, CBS, NBC, and Fox as well as all of the major movie studios but Disney were swallowed up by conglomerates from outside Hollywood such as AT&T and Comcast. As Old Hollywood fell, new players rose such as Netflix and Apple creating a gold rush to find a spot in the future digital Hollywood.

   Broadcast TV is dying. Still regulated by the FCC, the major free networks continue to play it safe and cling to ancient formats such as episodic drama, sitcoms and police procedural.

   Despite that, my favorite TV series of the decade is the underrated PERSON OF INTEREST (CBS, 2011-16). The series’ only flaw was it was from formulaic CBS, the only network that would air the Second Coming as an episodic procedural. PERSON OF INTEREST was ahead of its time. It went from a weekly standalone episodes to an intriguing series with a continuing story foretelling our society’s fall into paranoia and fear. It was a world where America was becoming a bad guy, a corrupt government empowered by the rise of AIs.

           HONORABLE MENTION

FRINGE: (FOX, 2008-2013). FRINGE began as just another X-FILES copy but it did not take long for it to become a creative quality series featuring time travel and multi-universes.

ZERO HOUR: (ABC, 2012-13). ZERO HOUR was so bad it was good. Set in modern day with flashbacks to WWII, the series featured a never ending source of wacky troupes including an evil baby, Nazis, Rosicrucians guarding a doomsday device, twelve apostles each with a clock holding a clue leading to the device, a woman kidnapped from her clock shop, and her husband who finds among other things a frozen to death Nazi who could be his twin.


   Modern-day basic cable has always been a source of original programming. Networks such as USA and SYFY may have began producing cheap cheesy network knockoffs but today both and the rest of cable are willing to take risks the major networks won’t, and basic cable has improved because of it.

   My favorite basic cable series of the decade is JUSTIFIED (FX 2010-15). Based on Elmore Leonard’s characters and short story “Fire In the Hole” JUSTIFED was a violent crime drama set in Harlan County Kentucky. Marshall Raylan Givens was forced back to where he grew up and no one was happy.

   There he dealt with a complicated love life and some of the best Elmore Leonard type bad people on TV. Each season featured a different villain and crime, but what made the series so great was the special relationship between Raylan and local killer Boyd Crowder.

           HONORABLE MENTION

ARCHER: (FX, 2009-2016; FXX, 2017- present) – This animated classic with a flexible premise began as a 60s style spy series for the first four seasons. The series kept the characters and placed them in different situations. Season Five was Archer Vice with our heroes as the World’s worse drug dealers. In Season Six the group were hired by the CIA and found them selves in the middle of a Latin American revolution.

   This was followed by a season as they started a 1970-80s style TV PI agency in Los Angeles (promo below). Next was a 1940s style film noir called Archer Dreamland. Next was Season 9 and Archer Danger Island where our group races some pre-WWII Nazis for a treasure on a small island. Then it was Archer 1999 and stories spoofing science fiction. Coming soon will be Archer’s eleventh season, reportedly with everyone back in the spy business.

RUBICON: (AMC, 2010). Unusually intelligent for TV, RUBICON was about Will Travers who worked for a small Federal based spy agency. When his mentor dies, Will begins to suspect murder and uncovers a conspiracy. A suspenseful thought provoking series with a lack of car chases RUBICON was killed in the ratings by USA’s fun bimbo spy series with car chases COVERT AFFAIRS.

SHERLOCK: (BBC/PBS/BBCA, 2010-2017) – My favorite version of Sherlock Holmes. The writing was witty and intelligent in its adapting the Arthur Conan Doyle’s original stories for a modern world. The casting worked, with Benedict Cumberbatch being the best ever to portray Holmes and Martin Freeman giving Watson new life.



VENTURE BROS
(Adult Swim, 2003- present). One of the TV’s funniest strangest TV series, the cartoon VENTURE BROS began as a parody of kids cartoons – in particularly JONNY QUEST. Quickly the series took on its own universe with its own absurdities. The video below is from the end of season five (2013). Season eight is scheduled to arrive sometime in the future.

WYNONNA EARP: (SYFY, 2016-present) Wyatt Earp’s demon killing gun has been past down through the Earp’s family first born sons until it ended up in the hands of a bad ass Wynonna. This series is over the top fun from the romances to the humor to the absurd violence as the gang sends countless demons back to Hell. The video below introduces the series that has been renewed for a fourth and fifth season.


   With the decrease in films aimed for adults and an increase in demand for TV series for adults, more and more premium channels are turning to original programming. Pay TV networks HBO, Showtime, and Cinemax have been joined by premium networks (you have to pay extra to get them) Starz, Epix, IFC, BBCA and others in producing original programs of high quality and adult content. These networks are also available on apps where you can pay for the network without having to subscribe to cable.

   My favorite of this group is DIRK GENTLY’S HOLISTIC DETECTIVE AGENCY (BBCA 2016-17). BBC had attempted to bring Dirk to the small screen in a four-part miniseries in the early part of the decade but failed to capture Douglas Adams sense of humor and bizarre world.

In 2016 BBCA and Max Landis made a second attempt with Samuel Barnett as Dirk. While never a success beyond a cult audience of which I am a member, this version got two seasons and worked because Landis for the most part ignored the books and went with Douglas Adams style and humor. Douglas Adams himself had been quoted admitted he had his least success when he worried about plot or logic.

           HONORABLE MENTION:

COUNTERPART: (STARZ, 2016-2019) – This spy series was set against a backdrop of two different but connected Universes. During the Cold War there had been an accident and the Universe doubled leaving everyone with a physical double. Oddly, except for their looks the people were different than their counter in the other Universe.

   J.K. Simmons was brilliant as Howard Silk, a meek cog in our spy agency while his double was a ruthless man and one of the other side’s top spies. Where did Howard Silk’s path separate? How did the same man become a meek failure in one Universe and a ruthless success in the other?

DOCTOR WHO: (BBCA, Modern Version 2005 – present). DOCTOR WHO is an iconic British TV series that debuted in 1963. It is about an alien with a fondness for Earth who travels with companions through time and space in a 1960s blue British Police Box. This decade was a good one for Who’s fans.

   One of the best ideas DOCTOR WHO had was regeneration. Whenever the actor playing the Doctor wanted to leave the character would regenerate into a new version of the Doctor played by a different actor. There were four Doctor’s and three different showrunners during the 2010s. I found the era of showrunner Stephen Moffat (SHERLOCK) to be my favorite since the great days of Tom Baker the fourth Doctor.

   David Tennent as the tenth Doctor remains one the series most popular Doctors. He brought emotions to the character as Ten fell in love more than once and cried when it was his turn to leave. When showrunner Russell Davies – who had successfully brought the Doctor back to life in 2005 – decided to leave, Tennent left as well.

   2011 brought showrunner Stephen Moffat, and Matt Smith became the eleventh Doctor. Smith’s Doctor was an ancient alien carrying the burden of a tragic past while hiding behind a boyish face and child-like behavior.

   In 2014 Peter Capaldi became Doctor number twelve. His Doctor was more retrospective, rude, distant and uncomfortable around humans. It was his inner struggle to decide if he was good despite his past that made this Doctor the most dramatic.

   2018 marked the arrival of thirteen and the most controversial Doctor. Jodie Whittaker became the first woman to play the Doctor. As Mommy Doctor, Whittaker was the best part of last season. New showrunner Chris Chibnall’s writing and changes were not to my taste. He had said the next season will be better. We can only hope the next decade for Doctor Who will be as entertaining and varied as the 2010 decade.

   Below is my favorite scene of the series. It stars Matt Smith my favorite Doctor since Tom Baker (#4).

PERPETULAL GRACE LTD (EPIX, 2019) was a quirky, at times totally incomprehensible, story told in a way that reminded me of old independent films. There was a sadness to the characters and their actions that was often hilarious.

   It featured a cast of doomed losers, those who would do anything to survive, those who blindly believe in others, and those who sought redemption but believed they didn’t deserve saving. The writing, acting and direction drew the viewers into the addictive story. One word of warning the series ended with a taunting cliffhanger and there is still no word of a second season.

WESTWORLD: (HBO, 2016-present). What began as a good book by Michael Crichton about an amusement part with robots serving the fantasies of the human guests has lead to two movie adaptations and one TV mini-series. This latest attempt to adapt the story is by far the best. This version of WESTWORLD added the point of view of the AIs (robots) to explore what is life. It can be too clever for its own good, but I really am looking forward to the coming third season.


   Streaming services have come a long way since NETFLIX killed Blockbuster rentals and decided to take on Hollywood. Streaming offers subscribers hundreds of more choices, return of long forgotten favorites, life to networks cancelled series, shows from all over the world and originals that before never would have ever been produced. It has freed us from the chains of TV schedules. It has given us a different way to watch TV as the impatient viewer can watch at the speed they want – one episode or as many as they are in the mood to watch or the entire season at one sitting.

   Netflix’s original RUSSIAN DOLL (2019) is my favorite streaming program of the 2010’s decade. Nadia is trying to survive her 36th birthday but she keeps dying. Characters in time loops are nothing new but RUSSIAN DOLL is surprisingly original. One of the best comedies of the decade made better by the brilliant acting by Natasha Lyonne as broken, foul mouth and sympathetic Nadia.

           HONORABLE MENTION

ACCA: 13 – TERRITORY INSPECTION DEPARTMENT (Funimation). This Japanese anime aired in 2017. Based on a light novel, ACCA is a delightful slice of life spy story that still makes me smile. ACCA is the agency that oversees all of the Kingdom of Dowa’s thirteen separate but equal states. A rumor of a possible coup in the peaceful kingdom has Chief Investigator Jean Otis investigating each of the 13 states.

BROKENWOOD MYSTERY: (New Zealand Prime TV 2014, airs on Acorn in United States). This folksy traditional mystery from New Zealand feels like THE ANDY GRIFFITH SHOW if ANDY had been one of those slow moving cozy traditional mysteries set in an odd small town with likable but strange characters that the British do so well.

   Detective Sergeant Mike Shepherd (Neill Rea) leads Detective Kristin Sims (Fern Sutherland) and Detective Constable Sam Breen (Nic Sampson) as they solve challenging murders. The cast has a nice chemistry, the writing is witty and the characters are the type hard to find now a days – content, likeable and peaceful.

THE EXPANSE: (SYFY, 2015-18; AMAZON PRIME, 2019). SYFY produced some better than expected TV during the 2010s. The best was THE EXPANSE. Based on the books by James S.A. Corey (Daniel Abraham and Ty Franck) THE EXPANSE is set in a time when humans have populated the solar system – the three major groups are those from Earth, Mars, and the Asteroid belt.

   The production values and special effect were too expensive for Syfy so the show was dropped and picked up by Amazon Prime. Prime offers all four series ready to watch. The video I selected explains the appeal of the series without giving away spoilers.

QUEENS OF MYSTERY (check out my review here on this blog)

STEINS;GATE (Funimation, premiered in Japan in 2011). Based on a light novel the story begins with an over the top mad scientist but things grow more serious as he and his friends find a way to send notes through time. Below is a dub in English of the first episode.


   The decade of 2010 has offered some on the best TV series in the history of television, sadly too many of which were not seen by most of American TV viewers including me. Cinemax’s JETT most likely would have made this list if I had had the time to finish watching it. I am sure there have been TV series this decade that would have made this list if I had spent more time watching TV and less time sleeping and having a life.

   Taste and opinion guide favorite or best lists. It os important to remember the quality of the beef means nothing to a vegetarian. You might notice I have a bias against the popular mainstream entertainment and favor the different, neglected and the weird. Fortunately there is a comment section for you to correct me and name your own favorites.

Next Page »