Into the Dreaming Imaginative Fiction from Author, Reviewer, and Writing Coach Christine Amsden

Tag Archives: Tv

Travelers Season 1

Canada is once more proving that they’ve got game when it comes to science fiction television shows. This joint Canadian/Netflix venture was an easy binge watch with an instantly hooky premise and a great cast.

So sometime in the future, things are bad. “Travelers” jump back to modern time by rewriting the brain of some poor schmuck who’s about to die anyway … in an accident or some other preventable way. The future depends upon the age of computers to accurately record the places, times, and mechanisms of these deaths. (The answer to the question: “Why don’t you kill Hitler?” which did come up.) Not all travelers land safely. The journey comes with risks, and there is a real chance of dying.

Of course, our five heroes have no problems … at least, no problems arriving. One ends up dealing with his host’s heroine addiction while another learns that her host had a serious mental disability which essentially means she’s going to die (host brain can’t handle it).

They’re on a mission to save the future, and they’re not the only ones here. That’s one of the things I enjoy most about this story: You get a sense of a much bigger pictures and of a carefully orchestrated scheme. We’re only seeing the tip of the iceberg.

I have 1 complaint about this show. It’s something I didn’t fully know how to put into words until the very end of the season, although I sensed something a little off nearly from the start.

We know almost nothing about these characters’ lives before they jumped to the present (their past).

There’s a great deal of story and character development in the here and now, but the fact that we don’t have a solid backstory, or any backstory at all, makes it hard to understand the true stakes of the situation. I know they’re intentionally trying to keep the future murky, but this strategy backfires on someone like me who thrives on character motivation. Why did they risk everything to come back? What did they leave behind? Was any of it good? Who they are is more than who they have become; it began in their past (in the future).

I hope season 2 will address this gaping hole. I definitely plan to watch and find out!

I’d give this a solid 4/5 starts and recommend it to scifi fans.

You, Me, and the Apocalypse: Watch at your Own Risk

I just finished a riveting 10-episode series that aired on NBC last year called “You, Me, and the Apocalypse.” It takes a run-up to your typical asteroid-destroys-the-earth and fills it with strange, exciting characters and insane twists. All counting down to the moment of truth, the moment foretold in the series intro: A man ends up in a bunker deep under Slough (England) with a most unlikely group of companions.

Were this show to have a second season, I would give it an enthusiastic 5 stars. However, as the creator has claimed (wrongly) that the show came to a logical conclusion, I must simply say, “Watch at your own risk.” Because you will be at the end of episode 10, frantically searching the internet for news of season 2. I mean, surely they couldn’t end it THERE? Not at a logical conclusion but at a veritable cliffhanger?!?!?

Alas, yes.

So if you want to enjoy a wild ride, give it a chance. Just don’t fall off the cliff at the end!

TV Review: Orange is the New Black Season 1

"Orange Is the New Black" Season 2 debuts in June, and if the first photos are any indication, the Litchfield women are in for another bumpy ride.

A unique, dramatic, and entertaining show!

I’ve been hearing about “Orange is the New Black” for a while now but I’m often slow to pick up on new shows, especially when they’re “out of genre” for me (science fiction and fantasy). But the world is full of entertaining stories and this is certainly one of them.

Piper Chapman is sent to prison ten years after committing the crime of transporting heroin. At the time, she was involved in a relationship with a woman who was part of an international drug cartel. Now she’s about to get married and is trying to start a business. But someone said something to someone about her ten-year-old transgression and she has to do the time — 15 months.

The first episode was a little hard to follow, to be honest, A series of poorly constructed flashbacks made it confusing, although the back story did turn out to be important as at the end of episode one, we discover that Piper’s ex-girlfriend is also in prison with her.

After the first episode, the flashbacks get far less frequent and more manageable. Many of them help explain what the various other main characters are doing in prison, and they add depth to the ongoing situation.

There is no shortage of drama! Piper starts out by sticking her foot in her mouth and insulting the food, which leads to her being deprived of food for several days. A crazy woman decides that Piper is her “wife” and gets a bit scary. Over time, Piper’s relationship with her fiance on the outside gets seriously strained while her relationships on the inside have her calling into question who she is.

This show is classified as a comedy/drama, but I believe that is a misclassification. It’s a drama. There are some humorous moments, as in life, but the primary goal of the show is not comedy. It is far more thought-provoking than funny. And as a drama, it is definitely a winner!

I highly recommend this show. Adult viewers only.