I hesitate to say we're living in a golden age of television, but from where I'm sitting, it certainly feels like it. I've just completed a four-year academic course, which has been absorbing what would otherwise be spare time, and I've only kept up with a few shows. I'm now looking around at what's out there to watch, and what's coming up soon, and it's honestly a bit overwhelming.
I am up to date, more or less, on Agents of SHIELD. I am somewhat behind on Flash, rather more on Arrow, and very much so on Gotham. I'm watching Agent Carter with my wife, and I think we're about five episodes into that. I haven't even looked at Orphan Black or Penny Dreadful, although I do intend to. And House of Cards and Clone Wars are being watched in bits and pieces; I'm midway through Season 2 of the former and about five or six episodes into the latter.
You'll note that House of Cards is about the only non-genre show I'm watching. That suits me just fine; I'm just not all that interested in non-genre television. But the real point here is that I can watch nothing but genre and still be talking about six or seven current shows. And then there's the upcoming stuff.
Supergirl, for instance, looks like it's going to be absolutely stellar. Take a look here, if you haven't seen it already. From the trailer, it looks like it hits a lot of my buttons; capable female lead, good female supporting characters, the trailer on its own passes the Bechdel test, faithful to the established mythology in so far as it needs to be, and also fun. Importantly, it's not going the grim route of some of the DC material.
Speaking of DC, they seem to be doing an ensemble series which I can only imagine is a counter to Agents of SHIELD. The trailer there is avoiding too many spoilers, but it looks like a solid piece, spinning off from Arrow and Flash. We'll see how the ensemble nature is managed in the long run; it's a difficult thing to do well.
And in non-superhero material, Lev Grossman's The Magicians (originally an excellent book series) is now making it to television as well; trailer here on Buzzfeed. It's slightly altered from the original - which featured the lead characters starting off in their teens - but I'm ok with that kind of change for practical reasons. It's provoking some whining in the fan community, but I reckon that's going to happen with any such change; the feature you lose is going to have been important to someone, somewhere.
2016 looks like being a good year for television, and I'm happy that I'll have the time to keep track.
Posted by Drew Shiel on May 17, 2015 at 15:45