2012 Prime Time TV Reviews – Sci-Fi / Fantasy

Once Upon a Time: The Complete First Season

I don’t watch much TV but I do need a mental break every now and then. Besides, sometimes sci-fi / fantasy television shows or movies inspire my creativity. Even the bad ones can ignite a spark. There are a few new sci-fi / fantasy shows on prime time TV this season and a few recurring ones that I’d like to mention. Here they are in no particular order:

Fringe, FOX, 5th Season
Fringe is a sci-fi television show on FOX. It was set in present time with the sci-fi elements being unexplainable but supposedly scientifically based events. I liked this show in its beginnings. It reminded me of X-Files. However, I always felt the two main characters Olivia Dunham and Peter Bishop were weak. I like Walter Bishop and Astrid better. Their quirkiness, especially Walter’s carried the show. However, I think the show has gotten way off base. It all started with the alternate universe and has now progressed in this fifth season to an alternate future. It’s been like starting out watching Lord of the Rings and suddenly finding Iron Man coming to save the day. It just doesn’t fit the original direction this TV show was going.

Arrow, CW, 1st Season
Being a huge fan of Batman, Spiderman, and other DC and Marvel comics, I really liked the idea of Arrow. But the backstory is too much like Bruce Wayne’s. I have to admit that the man who plays Arrow/Oliver Queen, Stephen Amell, is really hot but his character is not at all believable or even likable. I hate the love story too. All the characters are flat, but I am a bit intrigued by the character John Diggle and Walter Steele. I do like the darker aspect of Arrow as compared to the older Batman and I love the action, but the drama doesn’t entertain me.

Beauty and the Beast, CW, 1st Season
I loved the original Beauty and the Beast, especially Ron Pearlman, the man who played the beast. This version is different, but I like it too. The backstory is interesting and the plot just keeps getting better, especially with the recent twist of his violent blackouts. I do not care for Kristin Kreuk who plays Catherine. She is not a bad actress, per se, but I keep associating her with Lana Lang in Smallville who I got very tired of in that television series. Also, she is not really a believable detective. She is much too pretty and young-looking. Then again, Kate Beckett in Castle is a hot female detective too but she is a more mature woman and carries her role well. Jay Ryan who plays Vincent Keller makes a great beast. His character is more believable, although I think his on-again/off-again relationship with Catherine is wishy-washy.

Castle, ABC, 4th Season
This is not really sci-fi or fantasy but I brought up Kate Beckett in Castle so I thought I would mention this one too. Detective shows are not usually my thing but because the character who plays Rick Castle is also the same character who played Malcolm Reynolds in Firefly (Nathan Fillion), I had to watch it. All the characters are wonderful and I love how the show can be both funny and serious depending on the situation. It is really the character interactions which make this TV series interesting since the murder cases follow much the same themes as any other detective TV show.

Once Upon a Time, ABC, 2nd Season
Once Upon a Time
 is my all-time favorite prime time show this year. Although the characters are all the same character’s from Grimm’s fairy tales and Disney movies, the story is very original. Even when they do a flashback to the original fairy tale, it is different. Snow White was an outlaw, the giant in Jack and the Beanstalk was actually a good guy, and the evil character Rumplestiltskin has a few redeeming qualities. In fact, I would say that Rumplestiltskin is my favorite character in the series. He is such a complex character that contradicts himself by doing both good and bad, but those contradictions do not make his character any less believable. Prince Charming’s character is a bit wishy-washy but he doesn’t ruin the show. And I don’t care much for the character Mulan either.

Elementary, CBS, 1st Season
This is another one that doesn’t really fit into sci-fi or fantasy. But I mention it because I want to compare it to a far more brilliant Sherlock Holmes show called Sherlock. Sherlock is a British television show that is much more dynamic and the characters far more interesting. This detective show is nothing like any detective show you have ever seen. So even if you don’t like detective shows, I highly recommend Sherlock, which is currently showing on Netflix, and forget about Elementary. Unless the plot of Elementary gets more involved, it will not last long. I wonder if they will introduce Moriarty soon. That might spice things up a bit.

To read about more about what the TV shows are about, find more information on Wiki.

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