Why I love Sci-Fi & Fantasy

I know it might appear that I'm OCD when it comes to science fiction & fantasy. Books I read are almost exclusively those genres, prefer my movies to be the same, and it is rare that I am not aware of a Sci-Fi show on TV. When you factor in comics & video games, it boggles my mind that science fiction doesn't dominate the Nielsens as they do box office earnings.

I do like other genres, really I do. Just get my fill of them in the sci-fi/fantasy venues.

You see, unlike almost every other genre out there, science fiction & fantasy are merely the setting/background of the story. Other genres must remain w/n their prescribed guidelines of that particular genre. A murder mystery has to involve a murder & solving of that murder. Historical fiction has to remain true to the setting of the era it takes place. A romance has to be centered around the affairs of the star crossed couple. Westerns have to take place in the "old west".

Science fiction and fantasy have no such limitation. The story can incorporate one or more of the above listed genres throughout it's run, no matter what medium. Fantasies don't even have to take place in fictional worlds, as Harry Potter popularized. Firefly proved a western can be set in space. Caprica is a prime example of character drama. Martins Songs of Ice & Fire has a strong political drama foundation (Dune probably being the most popular of this). Throughout the run of Farscape, the creators behind the show explored just about every genre out there.

Really the only limitation behind science fiction and fantasy crossing genres is that of the writer(s) &/or creative team behind the project. When looking at my favorite genres, the entertainment possibilities are endless. Whereas I know I will eventually get bored w/ the procedural drama formula of Castle, I know if Fringe goes on for the next 6 years, they have the option to reinvent themselves to avoid stagnation.

That is why I love Sci-Fi & fantasy.



TV Pilots being looked at

A common step for TV shows making it onto your TV screen is to produce a pilot. Pilots are generally the 1st episode of the TV series. Networks order pilots so they can have a better idea of the feel of the show (& my guess is to see how well the show is produced). SciFiWire.com had a recent article about some pilots the major & some cable networks are looking at. Here are a few that I hope get picked up (from SciFiWire.com):

No Ordinary Family Could this potential series be the new Heroes? The Shield's Michael Chiklis and Angel/Dexter's Julie Benz star in this drama, which revolves around a typical American family who experience strange things when they suddenly find themselves with new abilities. Chiklis plays the dad and Benz plays the mom, Stephanie, "a gifted scientist who develops a power for superspeed." No Ordinary Family comes from Jon Harmon Feldman (Tru Calling) and Greg Berlanti (Eli Stone). The series also stars Autumn Reeser, Romany Malco, Jimmy Bennett, Kay Panabaker and Christina Chang.
Chance of pickup: 75 percent. Chiklis is a star, and with Heroes certainly at the end of its run this season or next, we're liking No Ordinary Family's chances.

The Walking Dead You've got to love what happens after a good zombie apocalypse. The Walking Dead follows a group of survivors who travel in search of a safe and secure home. Based on the comic book by Robert Kirkman, "the comic goes on to explore the challenges of life in a world overrun by zombies who take a toll on the survivors, and sometimes the interpersonal conflicts present a greater danger to their continuing survival than the zombies that roam the country. Over time, the characters are changed by the constant exposure to death, and some grow willing to do anything to survive." This one is from The Green Mile's Frank Darabont, with Gale Anne Hurd and David Alpert executive-producing.
Chance of pickup: 75 percent. The Walking Dead has a strong crew behind the scenes, and let's face it, it's time for a good television zombie apocalypse.

Steven Spielberg's Untitled Alien Invasion Series Steven Spielberg 3.0. We don't have a title yet, but this "untitled alien invasion series" does have star Noah Wylie (The Librarian) playing the college professor who becomes the reluctant leader of "a rag-tag group of soldiers and civilians as they struggle against an occupying alien force." The series begins "shortly after aliens have wiped out most of the human population. The aliens are now rounding up the few people left, but they are met with strong resistance from a group of soldiers and civilians who fight for their survival all while struggling to maintain their humanity." The series was created by Saving Private Ryan's Robert Rodat and is produced by DreamWorks Television. The series also stars Moon Bloodgood, Drew Roy, Maxim Knight, Jessy Schram and Seychelle Gabriel.
Chance of pickup: 100 percent. It's already headed to series, and 10 episodes have been ordered.


Game of Thrones Gets a Green Light from HBO

I am very excited about HBO's announcement today. George RR Martins 'A Game of Thrones' got a 10 episode order from the network.

If you have not yet read the Song of Ice & Fire series, I highly recommend you pick them up between now and when the series premieres. It is a fantasy series for grown ups. Martin does not hold back on his holy shit plot twists (actually does a very good job in building them up in a non-predictable way). It centers around a power struggle for the throne of Westeros, in which if you're a good guy, you're not guaranteed to win (or live for that matter).

I can't imagine a better network for the TV adaptation of what I hope will be the entire series (my most anticipated will be the 3rd season...& if you've read the books, you can probably guess why). HBO is a league above all other networks when it comes to producing great TV. True Blood & Carnivale quickly come to mind as my personal favorites. Let's not forget Sorpranos, Deadwood, & Six Feet Under. HBO knows their shit, & they are opting to stand behind Game of Thrones.

Unfortunately, there is no premiere date to accompany the announcement. Most are predicting Spring 2011. I'm hoping for a January 2011 premiere myself. Either way, it is going to be a looooong wait before we see Tyrion, Arya, & Jon Snow walking & talking on the small screen.