Is t.v. getting better or is it me?
Linda Aksomitis

Linda Aksomitis online.

I teach online classes for a library training certificate and/or diploma at night for Credenda Virtual College. When I’m done I need to relax! So, I turn to television to give me a break from work and monitors and life in general.

In the past, I’ve had few choices. I absolutely, positively, without-a-doubt do not do reality t.v.¬† My students and I share enough real world drama that I don’t need to spend my evenings watching unscripted television and pseudo-drama. And usually, I don’t do comedy, er, well, I don’t do comedy like Robot Chicken or politically based stuff that means I need to understand the nuances to get it. To be honest, I don’t “get” a lot of comedy period.

Anyway, this has meant my t.v. for the past decade has been a whole lot of CSIs, Criminal Minds, Mentalist, and House–the typical detective/cop shows and doctor shows that have proliferated the airwaves since the weekly westerns (like Bonanza, the Wild Wild West, Rawhide and Gunsmoke) went out of fashion. And of course as a SciFi lover, I’ve also had Stargate and Stargate Atlantis and Stargate Universe along with various incarnations of Star Trek on my lists, as well as Fringe.

But this year has been different! Networks seem to have discovered–about the same time that authors have started self-publishing all those stories that don’t “fit” on bookstore shelves–that there’s a lot more to entertainment than the old standbys and keeping the genre lines on the straight and narrow.

My favorite shows for 2011-2012 have had a whole lot more to offer! Check out:

  • Lost Girl – the Canadian made series about a succubus – http://www.showcase.ca/lostgirl/ (and while they bill Bo as the main character, Kenzie, the “fragile” human is really the star)
  • Once Upon a Time – Jennifer Morrison (previously on House and now the daughter of Snow White and Prince Charming) is drawn into Storybrooke, the fairytale town where her son (now adopted by the evil Queen) now lives, to save everyone from living under a curse. http://www.imdb.com/title/tt1843230/
  • Revenge – who couldn’t help but sit on the edge of the armchair weekly as Emily Thorne (who used to be Amanda Clark but traded identities) exacts revenge for her father being framed by the wealthy inhabitants of the Hamptons? With mystery and drama it’s got lots of tension. http://www.imdb.com/title/tt1837642/
  • Awake – a series billed as a psychological thriller¬† where a cop lives parallel lives in two worlds, one where he lost his wife and the other where he lost his son – who knows which one is “real?” http://www.imdb.com/title/tt1839683/
  • The River – this is the first mainstream show (not about vampires) that I’d call horror – I’m certainly hooked on this show filmed on the Amazon River with its supernatural happenings! http://www.imdb.com/title/tt1836195/
  • Missing – spy stories have always been around, but Becca is a retired CIA searching for her kidnapped son – the around-the-world filming puts me right there with her. http://www.imdb.com/title/tt1828246/
  • Touch – if numbers and figuring out the patterns of life fascinates you, then Touch will intrigue you. http://www.imdb.com/title/tt1821681/
  • Alcatraz – I’m a history buff and science fiction fanatic — the writers of Alcatraz have a perfect balance of these two genres in this series that may be slated for the ax after this season. Hopefully not! http://www.imdb.com/title/tt1728102/
  • And did I mention there are some comedies out this season that I love! Two Broke Girls is hilarious and so is Whitney.

At any rate, is t.v. getting better or what? This year’s offerings have inspired me to tell a good story that doesn’t really worry about genres or how it’s billed–now I just need time to write.