Thursday, October 3, 2013

Five things to love about TV’s new love affair with fantasy

Posted by: Jane Kindred

Tim Mison as Sleepy Hollow's Ichabod Crane

Stephen Amell as Arrow's Oliver Queen

Colin O'Donoghue as Once Upon a Time's Hook

Jay Ryan as Beauty and the Beast's Vincent Keller

David Giuntoli as Grimm's Nick Burkhardt

Oh, and yeah...them. ;)

Yeah, I’m in that kind of a mood. I’m seriously digging the multitude of SFF offerings on TV this season, and the above isn’t the only reason, but it sure doesn’t hurt. And of the five six, Sleepy Hollow, Once Upon a Time, and Beauty and the Beast at least have strong women playing equally important roles. My favorite for that so far is Sleepy Hollow—and also for its diverse casting. Grimm and Arrow get props for trying, but Supernatural? Heading into season nine and they've really never gotten it right. Oh, well. I hear there's a spin-off in the works. Can't wait to see what that will bring!

And there's more to love among the plethora of fantasy shows: Marvel's Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D., Once Upon a Time in Wonderland, Doctor Who, Lost Girl, Continuum, Warehouse 13, Alphas, Being Human, and last year's favorite of mine that I can't wait to see more of: Orphan Black. (Just to name a few.) But I have to confess to really enjoying the eye candy in the list above. I also have to confess to so far not being that impressed with Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D. Except for Ming-Na Wen and Clark Gregg, I'm not really loving the cast. But maybe they'll grow on me. I'm definitely going to keep watching, I just haven't been wowed yet by this latest Whedon project.

Do you have a favorite so far?


  1. I'm not totally sold on Shield yet either. One thing I do like is the gender parity. We have three female team members (four if you count Coby Smulders who was in the first episode.)

  2. I didn't see you mention CW's The Tomorrow People. It will premier after Arrow next week. I've not seen too much about it so I'm wondering what it is really going to be about.

    I'm not really digging Sleepy Hollow. It wasn't what I thought it would be and I can't get into what it is. Despite the awesomeness of the new Ichabod.

    Shield is being more campy than I'd like but I'm still willing to keep watching, particularly if they keep giving Thor 2 previews.

  3. Yes, after rewatching all of Angel recently, I was pleased that Joss's latest had a better mix of male to female. (I know; Angel was a long time ago, but I'd just never noticed how disappointing that was, probably because Buffy was mostly airing at the same time.)

    I haven't heard of The Tomorrow People. I'll definitely have to check that one out. I didn't really have any preconceived notions about Sleepy Hollow going into it, so I'm just enjoying the cast and the weirdness at the moment.

  4. I've been really frustrated with Sleepy Hollow, actually. I like that they cast an African-American actress as Abby, but I feel like her character is supposed to be strong but isn't. She doesn't seem to do anything useful--Ichabod is always right--and everyone keeps telling her what to do and who she's supposed to be. I mean, she got recruited to freaking Quantico and her old-white-guy father-figure was all, "Don't take the job. You're just afraid of staying here where everyone marginalizes you as a crazy person for having seen a demon as a child." Um, yeah...because joining the FBI instead of keeping a so-so job in the police force is running away? I get that she's got this important part to play in the apocalypse, but that's not what he said to her. He tried to make her feel guilty for elevating herself.

    And while the casting is diverse, all of the bad guys and the jerk boss are either headless or minorities--the Asian dirty cop, the Romani bad witch. The wise people who know what's going on and get things done are Ichabod and the old sheriff--white men. And they're both so patronizing to Abby, I kinda want to strangle them.

    I haven't seen this week's episode because I'm in crazy edit mode, so maybe this one's better than last week. But *ep 2 spoiler alert* when Ichabod single-handedly found and took out the big bad witch that it took an entire coven of women to subdue so they could turn over to the menfolk for burning (while Abby pretty much just watched him), I about threw my remote at the screen. I feel like they're relying on their diverse casting to seem progressive, but the message I keep seeing is, "Listen to the old white man. He knows what's best."

    I'm open to argument, however, because I really want to like this show. I like Ichabod's characer--if she was less wishy-washy, he wouldn't faze me, and I like that there doesn't seem to be any romantic tension between them--the story is gonzo in a good way, and the costumes and sets beautiful. And so is Tom Misson. :) But so far I've been really frustrated with what I perceive as the underlying messages. Somebody prove me wrong? I'd like that.

  5. Shield-really liked the 1st episode, 2nd one not as much, but I'm willing to give it another shot. I do like the scientist pair-both the quirkiness of the characters and the fact that they're portrayed as full members of the team, not sidekicks. I actually really like Sleepy Hollow and don't see Abby as a weak character - out of her depth a little bit but I think that's realistic given the craziness of the plotline. The ghost sheriff part bugged me too and I think you've put your finger on that one, Jax. One thing - I think the writers for Sleepy Hollow are the ones who wrote Fringe and Olivia was such a wonderful female lead. I see echoes of her in Abby and trust them to develop it.

  6. I guess I see some of those issues with Sleepy Hollow but I'm enjoying it anyway. I don't really think of Abby as wishy-washy either. I just see her as making a transition and still not wanting to entirely believe in what's going on. I'm expecting her to grow, and other characters to surprise us as well, but I could be wrong. I really liked Jenny in last week's episode, too. On the other hand, I only half watch anything because I feel guilty doing something for pleasure unless I'm also doing something else (lol), so I could be missing nuances.

  7. I agree about some of those issues with Sleepy Hollow, but I'm enjoying it anyway. Shield was a huge disappointment to me, so much that I'm not sure if I'll bother with the second episode.

    As for Once Upon a Time, that show is a hot mess of crazy but I can't tear my eyes away from Rumple! Robert Carlyle really owns that show, along with the Evil Queen.

  8. SHIELD didn't grab me... I was a fantic Once Upon A time fan but got kinda worn out in the second season. Now the new Wonderland spinoff sounds good...great post, Jane!


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