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2014’s Best Sci-Fi TV: Brent’s Picks

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AlmostHuman2014 may be in the rearview, but all around it was a damn good year for science fiction. We got fantastic movies big and small, new and interesting additions to the literary side of the genre, and we’ve even got three, soon to be four, Doctor Who comic books. There was also a ton of great stuff to watch from the comfort of our very own couch and tune into week after week on ye olde boob tube. There are some definite gaps in my viewing for the year, but here are some of my favorite sci-fi shows of the past 12 months. In retrospect, this is actually kind of a sad list, as multiple entries have already been cancelled or are definitively on their way out.

the 100The 100

A year ago, having seen the promos full of handsome teen boys and pretty teen girls running around the woods, if you told me I’d be sitting here and The CW’s sci-fi Lord of the Flies drama The 100 would be one of my favorite shows on TV, I’d have called you crazy. But here we are, and that’s exactly what I’m saying. In fact, my only real hang up is that everyone in the cast looks like a freakin’ model, aside from that, and that isn’t hard to get past after they have an episode or two worth of dirt piled on top of them. The rest of is one of the best sci-fi shows of 2014. I’m as surprised as anyone, that’ll teach me to be closed-minded.

After the world has been wrecked by nuclear war, the remnants of the human race survive orbiting the Earth in a cobbled together space station called the Ark. But it sucks, is cramped, and is falling apart around them. In a desperate, last ditch effort, they send 100 juvenile prisoners down to the surface to see if it’s survivable, like canaries into a mineshaft. There is, of course, some of the usual teen drama at first, but after a few episodes, The 100 quickly established itself with a collection of strong, unique characters and stories that never take the easy way out or go where you expect. It’s been a pleasant revelation, and now halfway through the second season, just when it was in danger of jumping the shark and trailing off, it continues to surprise by moving in new directions.

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Comments

  1. Stan says:

    I watched the first episode of the 100 and never watched again,but if it finally got it’s act together as you say I will give it another shot.

    • Brent McKnight says:

      It admittedly takes three or four episodes to really figure out what it’s doing, but after that it’s been a pleasant surprise.

      • Stan says:

        I am into episode 6(I get it on Netflix) and am begining to warm to it.

        • Brent McKnight says:

          Nice. I’m curious what you think when you finish the season.

          • Stan says:

            I’m a binge watcher,so it won’t be to long.

          • Stan says:

            I’m done with the final episode of the first season and I have to agree with you it’s much better than I thought it would be., I think the level of writing is above the normal fare we see in most sci-fi on network tv ,a bit weak in the first few episodes but someone is making a damn good effort put it all together..I’m sorry now I dismissed it after the first episode because of the young adult look only to discover now we have a story that cover alll ages.It keeps surprising you with new directions and the characters are developing nicely. Also, .. I like the grittyness of it and that being a pretty young thing is no guarantee that your going to survive to the next episode. The final episode was a treat and the ending has me looking forward to the second season for the answers.

          • Brent McKnight says:

            I’m glad you wound up enjoying it. I had a similar experience. I started watching it because I’ll give any new sci-fi show at least a chance, but for the first few episodes it was just kind of on in the background. They end episodes really well, and that’s what kept me coming back until one episode I realized that it wasn’t just on in the background anymore and I was ignoring everything else. Season 2 continues to go in unexpected directions. They do things that I initially thought would ruin what they’d built, but they do them well and really expand the scope of the show in unusual ways.

  2. Cito Kurrukan says:

    Never got to see The 100. I think Firefly tops a lot of favorite lists, though.