I have really embraced Netflix and streaming video. Enough so that I made a post about 5 genre shows now streaming from the service just a couple days ago. Looking through the available content, though, I realized there were a lot more shows deserving of a mention. So, here’s a list of five more shows! (presented in no particular order)
1. Warehouse 13
I am as hard as anyone on the channel formerly known as SciFi, but I have to admit – Warehouse 13 is entertaining. In the same vein as Eureka, Warehouse 13 isn’t built on a foundation of hard science. If anything, it’s more fantasy than science, but oh so very fun. Warehouse 13 is a secret installation located in South Dakota and surrounded by a lot of nothing. United States Secret Service Agents Myka Bering and Pete Lattimer are assigned to Warehouse 13 where they meet Artie Nielsen, a senior agent who is charge of training Pete and Myka to retrieve artifacts, objects that have been supernaturally charged by their owners (unknowingly). These objects are a danger to the general public, and can range from H.G. Wells’ actual time machine, to Edgar Allen Poe’s pen, to W. C. Field’s juggling balls. Every week, Pete and Myka have to identify and retrieve an artifact before it causes trouble, but that’s only the beginning of the story… A fun, light show. Netflix is currently streaming 2 seasons.
2. Doctor Who
Not a fan (usually) of reboots, but the rebooted Doctor Who is so much fun. I admit, I am a fan of David Tenant’s Doctor. Matt Smith’s version is growing on me, though. Netflix has 6 seasons of Doctor Who currently streaming, from the moment Christopher Eccleston’s Doctor took Rose by the hand, promising her adventure, to Matt Smith’s The Wedding of River Song, it’s all here.
As a bonus, there is some Classic Who streaming as well. The Three Doctors features Hartnell (first Doctor), Troughton (second Doctor) and Pertwee (third Doctor) working together to save the universe from Time Lord Omega, who invented time travel. Part of the fourth Doctor’s multi-episode story, The Key To Time (The Pirate Planet, The Ribos Operation, The Android’s of Tara & The Power of Kroll – oddly, The Stones of Blood and The Armageddon Factor are absent), is available. Also from the Tom Baker years, The Ark In Space, Pyramids of Mars, The City of Death, The Leisure Hive and Horror of Fang Rock. From the first Doctor, we have The Aztecs. From the second Doctor, The Mind Robber. From the third Doctor, Carnival of Monsters, The Green Death, and Spearhead from Space. From the fifth Doctor, The Caves of Androzani and The Visitation. From the seventh Doctor, The Curse of Fenric. So, lots of Who available for folks waiting for the new series to begin in the Fall.
When Buffy: The Vampire Slayer gained popularity on the fledgling WB network, a spin-off was only natural. I don’t think anyone was prepared for what was to come, though. Angel was there from the beginning, a mysterious guy who showed up to help Buffy now and then, but his story was much richer. Born as Liam, he caught the eye of a beautiful vampire named Darla, who turned him into Angelus. Together with Drusilla and Spike, Angelus and Darla cut a swath across Europe until Angelus killed a Gypsy princess and was cursed to suffer for eternity by having his soul put back into his body. Now as Angel, he is haunted by the things he did as a vampire, and strives to make up for it by doing good. In the show, Angel starts a detective agency with Cordelia Chase and Doyle, a half-demon living among humans. They quickly come up against Wolfram & Hart, a Los Angeles attorney firm that, as it turns out, is quite evil and attempting to guide the world towards apocalypse.
If Buffy was about high school, Angel is about being an adult and dealing with difficult decisions. Much darker than Buffy, the show Angel draws a clear line and says, “This is the kind of show we are”. If you watch this show for no other reason, watch it for character arc of Wesley. I was blown away by the depth of the character, the growth over time, and the conclusion. Kudos to Alexis Denisof for such a fantastic portrayal. All 5 seasons are streaming on Netflix.
4. Battlestar Galactica
Talking about reboots… When I saw the announcement that the SciFi Channel would be rebooting Battlestar Galactica, I wasn’t excited. I’d seen some stuff online about former Battlestar Apollo Richard Hatch, trying to get a new series off the ground, and wasn’t really interested. But, as I saw more and more about the new, ‘reimagining’ and about the serious tone the new show would take, I admit to being optimistic. I recorded the mini-series and was blown away. What a damn fine show! (for the first 68 or so episodes…)
And don’t get me started on ‘The Plan’. I can’t believe you even brought that up. Sheesh. Just watch the first three seasons. Plus some of the fourth. Like, 4.0, as SyFy released em. Skip 4.5. Yeah. That’ll work. Not that I’m bitter.
Another show I never thought I’d like. I remember watching the first episode and thinking, “Meh”. Over time, I found that this retelling of the Arthurian Legend, wherein Merlin is a man-servant to a young Prince Arthur and living in a Camelot where Uther is still alive, Guinevere is a servant, too, and magic is outlawed in all its forms, grew on me. I was especially drawn to Morgana’s story arc. She begins as a ward of Uther who slowly starts to see the world through very different eyes. Her downward spiral into something akin to the Morgana we know, is interesting and compelling. Another interesting component of this show is the way Arthur and Gwen’s relationship is handled and slowly evolves. After all, she is a servant he a Prince, and his father, Uther, draws clear and distinct lines of what is, and isn’t, proper.
Despite what you might think, the show is mostly light fare. Quite entertaining, too.