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It’s All Too Much

October 9th, 2014

I’ve written before about one of the differences between the TV of my childhood and that of today: the variety (and longevity) of sci-fi/fantasy dramas. In my day, you were lucky if there was one such series on network TV, and the odds were greatly against it surviving a single season. In other words (imagine me standing on my front porch, shaking my fist as I say this) you took what you could get, and you liked it.

Now, genre fans are marinating in the stuff. There’s a franchise for every taste, and even the unloved ones achieve renewal. (Beauty and the Beast will soon begin its third season.)


The other day, I attempted to create a comprehensive list of all sci-fi/fantasy/horror dramas currently on the air or in active production. Here’s what I came up with:

  • The 100
  • American Horror Story
  • Arrow
  • Atlantis
  • Beauty and the Beast
  • Bitten
  • Constantine
  • Continuum
  • Da Vinci’s Demons
  • Defiance
  • Doctor Who
  • Dominion
  • Extant (just renewed for season two, despite no one watching it)
  • Falling Skies
  • The Flash
  • From Dusk to Dawn
  • Game of Thrones
  • Gotham
  • Grimm
  • Haven
  • Helix
  • Hemlock Grove
  • iZombie
  • The Last Ship
  • The Leftovers
  • Lost Girl
  • Marvel’s Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D.
  • Once Upon a Time
  • The Originals
  • Orphan Black
  • Outlander
  • Penny Dreadful
  • Resurrection
  • Salem
  • Sleepy Hollow
  • The Strain
  • Supernatural
  • Teen Wolf
  • Under the Dome
  • The Walking Dead
  • Witches of East End
  • Z Nation

Forty-two. Fortytwo. And that’s not counting the cartoons.

Of these, I regularly watch seven: American Horror Story, Doctor Who, Falling Skies, The Flash, Marvel’s Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D.Sleepy Hollow and The Strain.

I’ve heard good things about Arrow, Defiance and Orphan Black, among others. I’m intrigued by Once Upon a Time and will get around to Game of Thrones one of these days.

But there are literally dozens of genre shows I’ve never seen and will never see. And while I admit it’s a stupid thing to complain about, I honestly think it’s all a bit much. Even the relatively narrow fanbase for such programming is fractured six ways from Smallville. We all live in our own personal fantasy worlds, and those with whom we once might have shared our enthusiasm are a universe away.

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