The Sci-Fi TV I’m Currently Watching

Continuum

tumblr_inline_nf2erl1ZQq1t3eyxxContinuum used to be my favorite sci-fi show currently on TV, and I still enjoy it. However, its third season just aired, and I’ll admit it took me a few tries to get through it. There’s a big change at the end of season 2 (no spoilers!), which changes the way the characters interact with each other. There are also loads more flashbacks than in previous seasons, including an entire flashback episode.

It’s not all bad, it just gives the show a very different feel. I find it a little harder to relate to the protagonists Kiera and Alec when they’re going through so much emotional drama — not to mention fighting with each other quite a bit. And Kiera’s cop partner, Carlos, has become frustrated and depressed to the point where his character spends a lot of the season drinking and moping, which is too bad; I really liked his down to earth side before, and how he and Kiera always had each other’s backs.

Plus, as happens in a lot of great sci-fi shows (Lost, anyone?), the plot twists get a little crazy at some point. It’s like the writers are attempting to keep the novelty alive for viewers, but it changes the show into something that feels different than what you first fell in love with.

The bottom line: Continuum is still interesting, just not as engaging for me. I’m kind of glad next season is its last. I’m hoping the show closes on a good note. The characters and early plot thread mysteries — even from the first episode — are so fantastic, it deserves an epic finale!

Orphan Black

Sarah-OrphanI watched the first season of Orphan Black this summer and enjoyed it immensely. It’s already been on for a few years, but I guess I kind of skipped it in my Continuum fervor. If you haven’t seen it, it’s about a woman who finds out she is a clone and steals the identity of one of them (a cop) to get some fast cash. However, over time she starts investigating the clone situation and learns there are a lot more secrets — and a lot of people — in play.

I’m a big fan of the show’s balance of investigation, science, and human drama. That last part is key, though. In the role of all of the clones, Tatiana Maslany is amazing to watch. And really fun. That’s what I love most about the show, actually: It has an offbeat sense of humor as you get to know all of the clones. A perfect example is the soccer mom Alison who is at first uptight and tough but has some bizarrely funny scenes beating up her husband (who she thinks is spying on her) and, later, getting high and completely losing it as she tries to deal with all the clone craziness going on.

Each part Maslany plays is original and nuanced. Take the soccer mom on one hand, and then consider that in the same episode this actress plays a psychotic clone who has spent time caged and indoctrinated and now has a mission to murder the other clones. Maslany is brilliant, and it’s no wonder she’s been nominated for so many awards.

The Strain

The_Strain_promotional_posterThe Strain is not the type of show I would immediately jump on. It’s horror. It’s about vampires, but they look a lot more like monster-zombies with freaky long tongues, pale skin, and no sex organs. However, it’s this very unique blend of familiar elements — epidemics, survival horror, vampires with a twist, scary infected (like the undead) — that makes the show so entertaining.

I won’t lie: It’s creepy at times, and gory. I had to look away during a few autopsies and killings. But some of these scenes are the heartbeat of the show, making it a very emotional experience to watch. That’s the part I love. Seeing an infected daughter come back to her grieving father, who greets her with open arms — and then you can guess what happens. Later, an infected father chains himself in a shed to avoid harming his family with his bloodlust. These are the kinds of stories that really get to me.

The cast of survivors is pretty diverse. I like some more than others. This season, which started airing a couple of weeks ago on FX, has a new actor playing the protagonist’s son. There’s also a budding love story that makes one of the characters a little more tolerable to me. I won’t give away a lot of spoilers, but if you’re into survival horror, this is a fantastic choice and very different than your average zombie show.

Humans

kinopoisk.ru
kinopoisk.ru

I’ve only watched the first episode, but it already looks fantastic. It came as a recommendation from fellow blogger Matt of The Triple Option, since I like science fiction and robots so much. If you haven’t seen it, the show is about androids put into a variety of “servile” jobs, from household maids to what are essentially prostitutes. (Every sci-fi show about robots has to have sex-bots.)

Since I’ve only watched one episode, I can’t tell you a lot about the plot, but the premise is that a family hires a servant while elsewhere in the city a young man is searching for her. He used to know her — even love her, it seems — and there are a band of machines who are trying to be free. The young man is helping them, but the android working with the family doesn’t seem to remember who she is. She does, however, say something that makes the mother freak out a little; it’s as if this particular robot has a soul. I’m excited to see what happens next.

— Ashley

5 thoughts on “The Sci-Fi TV I’m Currently Watching”

  1. I was thrown off a bit by Continuum’s big changes after series 2 and so couldn’t engage with series 3 sadly… Should I give it another go?

    I felt that The Strain lost traction immediately after the AMAZING pilot episode and I dropped it midway through the first season. Should I got back to it?

    I’ve just finished Humans and it is fantastic! I won’t spoil it at all but I will caution that it is a very slow burn but manages to explore some enormous themes and feels genuinely unique despite being another story about androids and sex-bots!

    1. I love Continuum and recommend it despite how much it changes. As for The Strain, I can see why you dropped it, and so far nothing really makes the second season better… Either you’re into the survival thing or you’re not, I guess. I’m watching it with somebody who read the books and that helps keep my interest!

      Okay, I’m excited to keep watching Humans then! Thanks for the tip, it sounds really interesting… Glad to hear it’s unique too, since I have watched a few robot shows before! :)

  2. Good sci-fi TV has been a little scarce these past few years but you’ve highlighted some good ones here. Orphan Black has probably been my favorite lately, but more so for Tatiana’s performance and the characters than the plotting which I hate to say gets a bit wonky as it goes on.

    I’m a little worried about how short this upcoming season of Continuum is. It just feels like there is a lot left up in the air to wrap up before it finishes. I have to agree that I didn’t like some of the turns the characters and their relationships took this past season though. It lost some of the fun the earlier seasons exuded. I look forward to seeing how it finishes though.

    Humans has definitely been very good so far. Some really interesting material being delved into and twists I really didn’t see coming. Glad you enjoyed the first episode!

    I haven’t gotten to the new season of The Strain, but I hope to give it a try at some point. I didn’t like the first season too much, but I’d like to see more of Fet and that Vampire SWAT team if they show up again.

    Great post!

    1. Interesting about Orphan Black, I’m curious to see what happens in future seasons then… I know a lot of sci-fi shows can go downhill fast as plots get a little convoluted or just too out-there. I don’t know what happens with Orphan Black there, but that’s why I felt a little disappointed in some of the later seasons of Lost (as much as I love that show!), and was not quite as into Continuum this past season as before…

      Definitely will keep watching Humans! Thanks for the recommendation. =) I’m actually excited about The Expanse, because I really enjoyed the book Leviathan Wakes. I need to read the rest in the series before I watch the show though!

  3. I love Orphan Black, for the same reasons too, Tatiana is pretty amazing! I’ve loved all the seasons so far.
    I have just started watching Humans too, AI is a particular interest of mine. It’s all the impacts that having AI would have on humans, the fact that a purely sentient AI would have rights the same as us, and the relationships we’d have with them. Very interesting.

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