Five Totally Awesome Things You Missed the First Time Around – The Fantasy Edition

Five Totally Awesome Things You Missed the First Time Around — The Fantasy Edition

Magic. Mayhem. Beasts. Myth. All of these things are essential elements to a good Fantasy tv series. Fantasy shows are few and far between BUT there are some good ones around, if you know where to look, usually not on the main networks. Here is a small list. And as always, if you have a good fantasy show that is not mentioned here, point me in the direction because I always need a little more lore in my life.


True Blood logoTrue Blood:

Stats: 4 seasons of 48 episodes airing on HBO from 2008 – present. A fifth season will air in the summer of 2012.

Starring: Anna Paquin, Stephen Moyer, Sam Trammel, Rutina Wesley, Alexander Skarsgard, Ryan Kwanton and about twenty others

Why you might have missed it: It airs on HBO and it premiered during a time of vampire saturation. But don’t worry, these vamps don’t sparkle in the sunlight, they just explode.

Summary: Sookie Stackhouse is just your ordinary, average waitress in a small town in Louisiana, except that she can read minds, her boss is a shapeshifter and she has a new neighbor that happens to be a vampire. Sookie lives in a world where vampires have revealed themselves and live out in the open… somewhat. There are also werewolves, extreme Christians, fairies, mythical creatures, etc etc. The show follows Sookie’s life and her entanglement with all of the above. There is also a heavy dose of political intrigue, myth, and of course, sex and gore. It is on HBO after all. Add in a bunch of strange and colorful characters such as the awesome Lafayette and the dense Jason and it’s a show worth watching.

Why it is AWESOME: This show manages to hook you and keep you throughout each season. Each episode had me wanting the next one right away because they usually all end in cliffhangers but also because it was just so interesting. I loved the looks into the vampire political structure and don’t get me started on Eric and Pam, two of my favorites. I like the interactions between the ‘normal’ folk and the supernatural. Some of the characters are a little over the top (I have a love-hate relationship with Tara and a love-love relationship with Lafayette) but even those minor flaws you can overlook. Overall, a great fantasy with a solid mythos and lots of action and drama. Also, the title sequence is fabulous.

How can you see it?: HBO and HBO Go.



Stats: 4 series for a total of 52 episodes airing on BBC1 from 2008-present. A fifth series is currently filming but no air dates have been released as of yet.

Starring: Colin Morgan, Bradley James, Katie McGrath, Angel Coulby, Anthony Head, Richard Wilson

Why you might have missed it: In the States, it aired for one season on NBC during the summer of 2009 and then moved to SyFy for the other three seasons. It runs several months behind the BBC airings which is maddening.

Summary: This is not your average King Arthur retelling. Merlin arrives in a Camelot where magic is outlawed and must keep his magic a secret or end up beheaded by King Uther. It shouldn’t be a problem except Merlin ends up becoming the manservant of Prince Arthur and the confidant of a dragon that is chained in Camelot’s basement. The Great Dragon reveals that Merlin has a destiny in which he is supposed to help Arthur unite Albion and bring magic back to the land. The problem… everything wants to kill Arthur including mythical beasts, creatures, assassins (magical and otherwise) and scheming relatives (alive and undead). Merlin must protect Arthur, keep his magic a secret and run around doing chores all day. The series follows Merlin’s and Arthur’s adventures and relies on twisting the known myths around. The series also features Guinevere as a servant called Gwen and Morgana as Uther’s ward living in the court (in series 1-2). Later, the Knights of the Round Table join in the fun as well.

Why it is AWESOME: BECAUSE IT IS! I have a fierce, inexplicable love for this show. It mostly stems from the two main actors Colin Morgan and Bradley James but it does have other merits. I enjoy the action, both the swordplay and the sorcery. I enjoy the Knights and watching the characters grow and move toward their destiny and the myths we all know. The plots leave a little to be desired but the show is fun to watch and does have some excellent acting from Morgan and James but also from Anthony Head and Richard Wilson. It’s fun and exciting and is very different from other Arthurian retellings.

How can you see it?: Netflix has the first three series on streaming. SyFy will occasionally air a marathon. And the fifth series will air on BBC1 sometime in 2012.


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