Based on your interest in…

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Romantic Dramas with a Strong Female Lead

Intense Crime Procedurals

Irreverent Comedies

Dark Foreign Thrillers

How about a show that centers on a narcissist who is the ONLY person who can solve everything?

(Based on your interest in House M.D., Bones, Sherlock, and Lie To Me.)

I have always prided myself on watching what I considered, “Smart T.V.”

No reality shows, no ABC Family renditions of, “The Secrets of a Pregnant Little Liar.”

Definitely no sci-fi. That’s too “out there.”

No no, I was too good for that. I’ve been a cognizant viewer for at least a decade and here’s what I know:

I’ve lightened up a lot since I crossed over into pseudo-adulthood. Sci-fi is no longer a hard to relate to genre, but one I’ve realized takes serious skill to pull-off. Seasoned writers know this and are only now expanding viewership to non-sci-fi people. For instance, Game of Thrones. It isn’t the first show to do it, (Twilight Zone for example) but it is a big feat for a modern show. It is now universally recognized as quality entertainment. Which is in part, I believe, due to its popularity as a literary entity and not exclusively a world built for television. It’s much easier to explain dragons and kingdoms and magic when you have 2500 pages to do it Nevertheless, people are hooked. I’m hooked.

Now for a less fantastical example of my migration to sci-fi storytelling: BBC’s Orphan Black. An outrageous premise that had I heard it before giving it a shot would have said it’s just not my thing. However, it’s an example of excellent story strategy. Where stories for veterans of nerd fandoms would begin assuming you’re ready for the world they’ve created with disbelief so suspended it’s gone to sleep, Orphan Black throws you into the most human experiences right out of the gate. There’s nothing that can take you out of the story now, you’re invested in those people. It’s the secret to all visual entertainment: characters.

Aha! It’s why sitcoms have any viewers. How else do you explain Seinfeld and Friends being syndicated shows with virtually zero plot to them? It’s shows that can marry complex yet universal characters to interesting and believable story arcs. Shows that I believe have achieved this: The West Wing, Orphan Black, Boston Legal, House of Cards to name a few. I’m still experimenting.

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