Jun. 17th, 2016

heron61: (Gryphon - emphasis and strong feelings)
With [livejournal.com profile] amberite in CA for most of June, and new TV we are interested in not yet out (We're now looking forward to 3 shows in July) [livejournal.com profile] teaotter and I tried to figure out what to watch. She'd heard that Killjoys on Syfy was good. We'd passed on it last summer, when we were watching Dark Matter, both because we didn't expect Syfy to be able to create 2 watchable shows at once, and more importantly because the ads on Syfy made Killjoys look like a sex farce with extra violence.

However, lacking anything else to watch, we tried one episode last week, it was pretty good, by episode 3 we'd decided it was actually better than Dark Matter. We just watched the last 2 episodes tonight and are very glad that there's a second season and that it's arriving in 2 weeks. It has a level of humanity that's rare in modern geeky TV, and while it's actiony fun and not all that deep, it's well done, and also surprising in a variety of ways.

The most notable being wrt female characters. The main cast is 2 white men and a woman of color, which is pretty much a dead minimum of something I'm willing to watch, but in at least 3 of the 10 episodes, every important other character was female, and there are three other recurring female characters, and the overall level of sexism was notable lower than even most of the shows I'm currently willing to watch - the addition of a recurring gay male character was also unexpected but good.

Also, not unexpectedly, it's pretty tropy, being the sort of show where I expect to eventually see a "fight club" episode and maybe even a body switch episode, but what I didn't expect was a trope I hadn't seen before - an episode clearly inspired by "Fury Road", and a fairly well done one too. I'm sure I'll eventually get tired of that being added to the standard trope-list, but for now it was a pretty welcome addition. It also has other unexpected little touches, like the local religion of the "scarback monks" being both interesting and complex, and treated seriously. Also, unlike too many modern shows, it mostly knows how to balance action, humor, grimness, and touches of genuine kindness in a manner that makes the show richer and not the one-note dullness (or often unpleasantness) that seems to common these days.

When we were getting near the end of Killjoys, we decided to try another show we'd passed up, another Syfy show, Wynonna Earp - I generally loath westerns, but Becca had heard it had multiple good female characters. We never bothered seeing if this was true. In the first scene, we were introduced to both our heroine and another young woman who was clearly rapidly going to end up either attacked by monsters and rescued by our heroine or dead, and her body found by our heroine - I bet myself that if the show was any good they'd go with option 1. They didn't, and it wasn't. After 15 minutes of mediocre dialog, where at most one male character wasn't either utterly vile or useless, and we got to watch someone's tongue ripped out of their mouth, we were more than done.

So, I recommend avoiding this and watching season 1 of Killjoys before season 2 starts.

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