I’ve long been a fan of fantasy and sci-fi TV shows, and although I don’t have time to watch as many as I would like (I guess I’m reading too many books!) if a good one comes along I’m liable to get addicted. For example, I recently finished watching the first season of Westworld and had to force myself not devote all my waking hours bingeing on it. The experience had me trying to remember which other fantasy and science fiction shows had a similar effect. After some thinking, I’ve narrowed it down to the five I like most:
I only recently watched the first season of this show but it truly blew me away. There was just so much suspense and mystery and tension in this show, so many moral conundrums, and so many twists and turns and reveals, that it had me on the edge of my seat. There was literally a point where it really felt like my brain was hurting just trying to figure things out – but in a good way! It also had that slightly creepy Groundhog Day style repetitive/looping quality, which I love.
2. Game of Thrones
Well, it had to be on here didn’t it? Although I adore this show, it’s not in the top spot because it does annoy me on occasion (never enough to stop me watching though!). Still, its fascinating characters, epic stories, shocking reveals, and massive scope make it darn addictive… and I confess, the title sequence and theme still have me totally enchanted.
3. Jessica Jones
This was by far my favourite of the TV shows Marvel has been bringing out. I feel like this one really did new and interesting things with the superhero genre, giving the heroine an all-powerful, sadistic villain that I was truly afraid of, and making Jessica far from the usual noble, all-powerful, personality-less superhero I’m so used to seeing. It was suspenseful from the very first episode, horrifying, thrilling and just generally awesome.
Maybe it’s because it’s in the tradition of shows like Hercules and Xena that I loved as a kid, but this show really enchanted me. Something about Merlin and the way he always has to keep his magic a secret made this really addictive. Also, it was just a feel good unthreatening kind of series, which is not a common thing nowadays. I hated the ending… but hey, I enjoyed the rest of it so much I can’t dismiss it just because of that.
I know this show is totally cheesy and geeky, and a tad ridiculous, but I think that’s why I love it. If you’ve been watching it since the beginning, it’s full of in-jokes, self-referential fun and funny, quirky characters that you fall in love with. It starts to feel like an old friend… and while it rarely has me on the edge of my seat with suspense the way other shows do, I enjoy watching it. I’m a particular fan of Caz, played by Misha Collins.
A Nostalgic Shout-Out
While I didn’t include them on the list, I have a lot of TV shows I remember loving in the 90s and early 2000s. I haven’t seen them in years and pretty much the only thing I can remember about them is that I loved them at the time I watched them. It seemed wrong to add them into the above list and rank them with more recent shows, but also wrong not to mention them at all, so here they are:
- Stargate SG-1
- Xena: Warrior Princess
- The X-Files
- The Secret World of Alex Mack
- Now and Again
- Dark Angel
Those are my all-time favourite fantasy and sci-fi series from the ones I’ve seen so far. I hope to add more shows to my list in the near future, as it seems plenty of great new series are being released right now, and there are several recent shows I haven’t yet had a chance to sample.
What do you think? Are you a fan of any of the above, or do have any favourite shows you’d recommend that aren’t on my list? Feel free to comment below!