Okay, to be fair, this list covers what I love to watch right now, and largely mainstream broadcast television and/or what I can grab off the internet that you’d normally find on cable/direct TV that routinely has new, ongoing episodes.? This does not include? my all time favorites Star Trek:? The Next Generation, X-Files, Battlestar Galactica, or even Doctor Who (which would certainly come in as number one) because it’s not kicking off here in the states until maybe late Spring, Summer or even Fall.
Mild spoilers ahead.
1. LOST Now in it’s Sixth and Final Season (Tuesdays at 9:00PM on ABC), it didn’t really catch my attention until about it’s third season, and it didn’t really hook me until it’s fourth.? I dug the flashwords idea and anyone who knows me knows I love time travel (see H.G. Wells the Time Machine, Doctor Who and Back to the Future).? I go back and re-watch the first couple seasons of LOST when I can now, and it’s always got great moments of characterization.? I love the constant tug of war between Jack and John, Sawyer’s and Kate’s struggles to become better people, Sun and Jin’s tumultuous love story, Sayid’s kick-assness, and Hurley’s every-dude-ness (yeah, I’m making up words.)? And there’s no one creepier on television than Benjamin Linus.? I miss rocker Charlie and single father Walt, though I hear they’ll be back in some capacity. The time travel is over, and now the show is? going back to basics.? At least, for a show like LOST.? It’s mind-blowing season premiere February 2nd introduced a parallel world, one in which Oceanic Flight 815 never crashed on the island.
2.? SUPERNATURAL (5th Season, Thursdays at 9:00PM on the CW)? Just a solid, solid show.? It never takes itself seriously and in every episode you feel the love, and sometimes resentment, annoyance, fear, silliness, admiration and pride between the brothers Sam and Dean Winchester as they battle demons, demigods and even angels from week to week.? There’s a tight-knit core supporting cast:? fellow hunter and father figure Bobby, and the rebel angel Castiel, and an ever revolving door of friends, allies and monsters who often meet tragic and brutal ends.? This show single-handedly nurtured a newfound love of classic rock with it’s soundtrack of AC/DC, Metallica, Blue Oyster Cult, Lynyrd Synyrd, Kansas, Journey and much, much more, often playing while Sam and Dean roll from town to town in their ’67 Impala.? Currently they’re fighting a prophecy that says that Lucifer and the Archangel Michael are going to duke it out in the end of days using Sam and Dean’s bodies as their vessels respectively.
3.? Star Wars:? The Clone Wars (2nd Season, Fridays at 9:00PM and at StarWars.com!) While the movie and even this series have been called “the coolest and lamest thing ever,” I can’t get enough of this series!? The coolest thing(s) ever?? Lightsabers and kick-ass Clone Troopers, and hundreds of aliens and their worlds and tech and cultures every week!? The lamest thing(s) ever?? The wooden CGI faces and the character of Ahsoka Tano, young Jedi padawan of Anakin Skywalker, but I think she’s grown a lot during the course of the series.? Lucas has always stated the Star Wars films were geared towards children and families, a new modern mythology to capture the imagination, and it’s all here in full digital bloom.? But like Grimm’s Fairy Tales, this show does not shy away from death and horror, so be warned!? I haven’t seen gore, but characters have been shot point-blank, and they don’t get up.? And clone troopers are constantly being picked off, definitely highlighting their expend-ability, but there are a few like Rex and Cody that are mainstays.? The last few episodes have involved the Mandalorians, the race which spawned Boba and Jango Fett and their sweet, sweet armor.
4.? Smallville (9th Season, Fridays at 8:00PM on the CW)? That’s right, it’s in its Ninth Season.? How, you might ask?? “It’s so formulaic,” you might say.? Or, “I stopped watching after it’s third season.”? Well, maybe it’s the legion of DC Comics and Superman fans out there.? Maybe it’s superhunk (I’ve been told) Tom Welling.? I think it’s a number of things, but primarily it is just that formula:? Monster, new character in town, monster is new character and chats with Chloe or Clark or Lois, monster attacks, chat with Lex or Lex’ woman Tess Mercer, Clark fights monster, aftermath chat.? Have you ever seen a show that has this aftermath chat?? This afterchat?? During which there are ruminations on good and evil, philosophies on one’s place in the universe, even gossip on who loves whom.? I think that’s one of the reasons Smallville has stayed on the air so long.? That and the almost mystical chemistry between Chloe and Clark.? Lana and Lois may have Clark’s heart in most other realities of Superman, but here in Smallville, we know the deal.? Okay, okay, there are also new showrunners in town, and they’ve consistently been bringing the cool, from Doomsday to Kandorians to 31st Century Legion of Superheroes to this past Friday’s Absolute Justice 2 hour movie-event which brought in the Justice Society of America, the gang The Watchmen was loosely based off of, though I’m sure a lot of non-comic fans will think is the other way around.? Hunt it down online, ’cause you don’t want to miss Michael Shanks as Hawkman.
5.? Fringe (2nd Season, Thursdays at 9:00PM on FOX) Okay, okay, this should be higher on my list, and I love Anna Torv and Joshua Jackson, and my gf Ali loves John Noble as the lovable mad scientist Dr. Walter Bishop, and yes it is the truest inheritor of the X-Files legacy on television to date–invisible men, parasites, magic subterranean bullet, otherworldy(?) watchers–and holy shit Leonard Nimoy plays mystery figure William Bell!? But it’s still in its infancy, and some of the episodes (much like X-Files) can be a bit hit-and-miss, and I worry that sometimes the science is too esoteric for a mass audience.? It is doing some eye-popping stuff, and it definitely deserves a big budget so that it can pull off all the things it hopes to (this is where I think Heroes falls short), and I hope J.J. Abrams and his company Bad Robot (LOST!? ALIAS! Frickin’ STAR TREK!) funnel plenty of dollars Fringe‘s way.? I think it’s interesting that LOST now has a parallel world, and Fringe has been all about the parallel world since day one.
6.? Heroes (5th Season? Mondays at 9:00PM on NBC) I know, I know, kinda sad.? This show used to be tops, and the first season was just phenomenal.? But like so many comics (Top Cow’s Rising Stars, Marvel’s New Universe), trying to make superheroes “more realistic” definitely has it’s pitfalls.? Especially when you throw a serial killer like Sylar into the mix, and a just as powerful Peter Petrelli in there, and then make the girl-who-can’t-die have blood that brings people back from the dead…viewers start to care less, or rather, fear less for the characters.? So you try to bring new characters in to bring back that sense of wonder.? You give powers to characters that your viewers loved because they didn’t have powers…? Then, when ratings start to plummet, you retool and change everything from season to season:? the characters are on the run, no wait, the characters lose all their powers (huh?), wait, the characters get their powers back…wait, um, okay, there’s this carnival…? Heroes made some fatal errors back in the day, particularly with Hiro in Japan and the immortal Takezo Kensei.? I just don’t think Heroes respects villains.? Even Sylar has been neutered time and time again.? So many of their characters are wasted, likely because their scope has been so far reaching.? I think the show would have benefited from the Origins spinoff show that they nixed back in their second season.? I think the show should be seriously cut down to Hiro,? Ando, Parkman, Noah and Claire Bennet,? with the rest making guest appearances, and renamed Hiro…And his Amazing Friends!? And frickin’ make the villains scary, and worthy of these heroes.
7.? SG-U (returning Spring 2010, Syfy Channel, own SG-U Season 1.0 DVD and blu-ray now! or see the first 5 episodes on Syfy.com)? A decent successor to Stargate SG-1 and Stargate Atlantis, I’m certain this was pitched as LOST in the Stargate Universe:? A group of people are shuttled through a mysterious stargate to avoid a planetary explosion to find themselves on board the Ancients’ ship the Destiny, which is on a mission to “just go,” and is already many galaxies away from Earth. Fortunately there are these communication stones which allow them to trade consciousnesses with someone back home, though often lead to depressing or heartbreaking moments, because an actual return home is all but impossible.? Bleak seems to be the theme of the show, because there is always something critical they are in need of to keep the ship going or to keep themselves alive.? They aren’t in control of the ship, which makes pit stops on worlds that have had stargates built upon them by Ancient ships that have come before.? Sentient contact is few and far between, and since they are galaxies away, they are far removed from anything that has come before on this series’ predecessors.? Let’s hope this frees the writers and doesn’t give them writer’s block!
8.? Caprica (First Season, Fridays at 9:00PM on Syfy and Syfy.com) A spinoff and a prequel of Battlestar Galactica, we’re going about fifty-eight years into the past to see how the Cylons were created out of the tragic death of Zoe Graystone and Tamara Adams (Adama).? Daniel Graystone is an expert in Artificial Intelligence and is working on a defense contract to create robot soldiers.? Joseph Adama is a lawyer with ties to the underworld.?? Before she died, Zoe, a brilliant thinker herself, had created an avatar of herself and placed it in a virtual world, which her father discovered after her death and transported it into one of the cybernetic bodies his company developed.? Check out the three part pilot on Syfy.com? I’m intrigued by what this series offers, a world not unlike our own, but whose technological advances provide interesting stories and more cautionary tales.? Hopefully, science-fiction at it’s purest.
9.? V (Coming back March 2010 on ABC)? The first four episodes had both pacing and tone problems, and a few of the cast members were a bit stiff.? Hopefully we’ll see some improvements when it comes back at the end of next month.? The teasers for their tech and looming armada were enough to get me to stay tuned.
10.? Legend of the Seeker (USA and syndicated to CBS, check your local listings)? A fantasy show from the producers of Xena.? A solid show with great effects, I should watch this one more.