[Originally published on 6/7/19 on my previous site, Bright-blood.com]
An Ode to Fantasy Television
Ever since I was a young lad, I have always been a sucker for the fantasy genre. I’d like to think it all started when I began reading Harry Potter in third grade. I was so addicted to those books. I actually read Chamber of Secrets in its entirety the very first weekend I owned it. From those early years, my tastes have spread their roots across countless books, shows, video games, and movies. The first show I remember truly falling in love with was the CW’s Supernatural, which by the way is STILL one of my favorites and STILL running. But when I think about the fantasy genre, there are three shows I think crush the rest of the competition. Coming in at numbers one and two are Supernatural and Game of Thrones, but they are fairly interchangeable at this point. GoT had easily been my number one for the last five or six years, but the ending of the final season may have opened the door for Supernatural to solidify its place in first. Following them both at number three is HBO’s True Blood, which I also watched just as religiously as numbers one and two. Naturally, there are plenty of other top-notch fantasy shows that could have been mentioned, but to me these three hold the crown with ease.
Let’s begin with Supernatural and its fourteen seasons. It initially aired on September 13th, 2005 and is one of the CW’s most successful shows, not to mention its longest running program by quite a few seasons. Coming later this year will be season fifteen, which I’m sad to say will be its last. I am super excited to see what’s in store though because the finale of season fourteen was quite a doozy. Anyways, one of the main reasons I enjoy Supernatural to the extent I do is the vast array of monsters and villains that are used. Even way back in 2005, before all the technological advances of the television industry, they did a great job of pulling you into the scene with Sam and Dean whenever they were going up against one of the bad guys. You would think that after fourteen seasons they would have had some difficulty writing or that the storyline would have gotten somewhat redundant, but that is not the case at all. Also, the storytelling in this show is phenomenal. Every little detail about the creatures is so in depth and I just love it so much. There may be a few too many sappy brother scenes or an absolutely dreadful musical episode sprinkled into a season every now and again, but even then I am always shocked by how well each episode is put together.
Next up is Game of Thrones, one of the most watched and talked about shows of my generation. I think this fell into many people’s top few shows before the final season aired last month, but now I am not so sure. If you have a phone or computer with access to the internet, I am certain you’ve seen all the negativity that the show was (and still is…) getting. I’ll admit, I was not a fan of how the series ended, but I also thought every minute up until the halfway point of episode six was absolute perfection (outside of the two water bottles and the starbucks cup lol). All of that nonsense is beside the point though, because GoT will go down in history as one of the most iconic television shows no matter how many people sign petitions about the final season. Nobody can argue that the quality of show HBO put out was anything but exceptional, especially in its final season. The battles in episodes three and five were masterfully shot, and honestly all the battle scenes throughout the entire show constantly had me at the edge of my seat. And then HBO drops that documentary on us… I won’t lie, I cried when Kit started crying towards the end. Game of Thrones coming to a close was actually the original spark behind my novel and that led me to the realization of what my true passion was. So if you were not yet sold on me being utterly engulfed within the fantasy genre, think again.
Rounding out my top three fantasy shows is another HBO classic, True Blood. This was one of their earlier masterpieces, beginning in late 2008 and ending after seven spectacular seasons in 2014. True Blood was the first fantasy show I remember that stood out on a production scale. The carnage they were able to create when the vampires and other monsters were ripping each other apart was insane. And, once again, HBO absolutely nailed the scripts that went into this show, plus the cast was stacked with incredible actors which made the dialogues seem even more natural. HBO actually made me feel like I would cross paths with a Maenad or a Skinwalker if I traveled down to Bon Temps. Unfortunately that is not the case, and if I travel down to Louisiana all I’ll discover is the greatest food of all time and even better people.
I wanted to briefly touch on some honorable mentions of mine as well because these three shows were not the sole reasons I became such a fantasy fan over the years. MTV’s Teen Wolf is probably the closest thing to a runner up for this category, mainly because it was out when I was in high school and was so easy to relate too. Then there is The Magicians, which is one of my current favorites on the Syfy channel. They just wrapped up the fourth season not too long ago, and I hope there are many more to come. One final piece was Showtime’s Penny Dreadful, which had a very dark and twisted storyline. It ended abruptly in season three which struck many people by surprise. It was one of those shows that constantly left my mind spinning in confusion and had me doing research to try and guess what would happen on the next episode. But whether a show fell into my list or just my honorable mentions, they are all enormously significant to the fantasy genre. Without these shows, I wouldn’t have been inspired to start a book or pursue my dreams. And for that, fantasy, I thank you.