You are not connected. Please login or register

Any fans of 90's/00's American Sci Fi and Fantasy Series?

View previous topic View next topic Go down  Message [Page 1 of 1]

I figured since they get brought up a lot here (by me to be fair a lot LOL), why not have a separate thread for them.

Throughout the 90's and 00's America dominated the sci fi and fantasy market. Xena, Hercules, Buffy, Angel, Babylon 5, Charmed, Smallville and all the Star Trek sequels. I think they established a distinctive style during this time that was different to anything that came before.

The style of these series I'd describe as the following.

They all have ongoing story arcs. I feel this style was pioneered during this era. Things like Classic Who, Star Trek TOS etc where all stand alone. These shows however not only almost all had story arcs, but they played around with them more, like B5 that had one story run throughout the entire series, or Buffy with the big bad story arc etc.

Stronger roles for women. I am not saying things like Classic Who were sexist of course, and there were other big female franchises like Alien and Wonder Woman before the 90's, but I think its fair to say in the 90's female led shows, both big and small were more common for the first time, and all of the most prominent, iconic and successful star women from this decade too.

They tended to be more soap operaish. Regardless of whenever they were set, in the past, the present, the future, they'd tend to focus on the characters relationships, every day worries etc, which again we don't see as much in the older classics like Quatermass and Doctor Who. They were all sci fi and adventure.

They tended to mix camp and dark content together too. Now obviously the older series could be camp (not always on purpose) and they could have lighter episodes, but I don't think it was ever quite like the 90's shows. They did episodes that were out and out parodies like the Buffy and Xena musicals, the Angel puppet episode, the Charmed episode with the fairy tale characters. However they were a lot darker, more violent, and more explicit than any previous decades work too. Even Hinchliff for instance never flayed a guy alive like Warren.

They also reused most of the same character types too. They often have two main villains, one who is desperately in love with the hero (this characters usually a man) who tries to at various points go good to win her heart, or make her go bad. The female hero rejects him all the time of course, but can't resist his sexiness LOL. Spike, Ares and Cole all fit this pattern to a T. The other villain is often a woman and a crazy bitch, who went evil because of a tragic event that pushed them over the edge. Faith and Callisto fall into this category. This villain of course HATES the hero and wants to kill them. They are their archenemy. There was no such equivilant in Charmed, which was a shame IMO. In many ways these characters were an example of how sci fi and fantasy were more female dominated in the 90's as in the past these roles were usually reversed. The more romantic, love struck villain was a woman, such as Catwoman and Irene Adler (in some versions) whilst the rival villain was always a guy (Joker, Moriarty) 90's shows also always have an angsty hero who has done bad things and is trying to make up for them, the heroes one true love that they never shut up about, their best friend who is in love with them (and who the audience often prefers). And they'll make one character become a bisexual or go gay part way through the show. Willow in Buffy, Xena and Gabrielle, Ivanova from B5 etc. Again this was obviously an example of more progressive times.

I'd say that this style really came to an end with Smallville. It was the last big hurrah for this type of show. From the late 00's and 10's on sci fi and fantasy shows in America became a lot more serious, overtly violent, ditched the camp completely, became more down to earth, and featured ensemble casts more. Walking Dead and Game of Thrones fall into this category.

As a result of this most 90's shows are looked on as garbage these days. Buffy and Angel endure of course, but Xena and Hercules are considered jokes, Charmed is looked down on, B5 though having a devoted fanbase is almost completely overlooked. Even a lot of the Star Trek sequels I'd say don't quite have the respect the old 60's one did.

Still IMO it was a golden age for sci fi and fantasy, and indeed whilst that style went out of fashion on American tv, I'd say British sci fi and fantasy completely follows this style. New Who, Merlin etc all have shades of Buffy, Xena, even Smallville in them.

View user profile
Modern Who follows this style, but botches it entirely! Big Grin
I can't say I was a fan of all of them but I loved Buffy and (to a lesser extent) Angel. X Files (can't believe you didn't mention that one!) and Babylon 5 are also major cornerstones of this era.
By contrary, I don't think much to the current "wave" - the likes of Game of Thrones and Walking Dead bore me rigid. Very much in the mould of the Craig Bond and Nolan Batman style, all of which also send me to sleep with utter disinterest. Pretty much the only decent genre shows of this decade are Fringe and Person of Interest.
The 90s were a golden age for US TV in general IMO, of which sci-fi/fantasy benefited as well, and also including the sit-com, which has never been the same since the early 00s. The so-called "comedies" of today all seem to adopt this deeply tiresome "Office" mocumentary style, more concerned with being "sophisticated" and clever-clever than actually being funny. I do snigger at those calling today's TV a "golden age". I reckon it's more like a wasteland, with only a small handful of shows worth bothering with. The golden age was two decades hence.

View user profile

Adam Ant Driver

avatar
Dick Tater
I enjoyed the X-Files a lot, it's coming back for another season. This time there'll be 10 episodes instead of 6. Still kind of hoping we get a full 20+ episode season with the new characters introduced in season 10.


_________________
View user profile http://thehiveforum.forumotion.com

Adam Ant Driver

avatar
Dick Tater
@iank wrote:I do snigger at those calling today's TV a "golden age". I reckon it's more like a wasteland, with only a small handful of shows worth bothering with.
To be fair, I think the people who say that are only talking about the cable channels. HBO, FX, AMC and Netflix are all creating shows with some amazing production values and are attracting big movie stars in a way that TV hasn't really seen before.

Even some of the standard network shows can deliver some cinematic stuff these days. Most of it is bottom of the barrel trash, though.


_________________
View user profile http://thehiveforum.forumotion.com
I made a thread about Lexx. Might of been late 90's, but it hit my spot!

View user profile
Sliders. Oh what a concept...and yet it was always entrusted to the worst people on the executive level. Two seasons of brilliant speculative fiction and it's ultimately wittled down to brainless action shmoz that drives away virtually every original actor bar Clevant Derricks. I do have some fondness for the fourth season despite the problems, and season five is underrated, but it just could never quite capture the magic of the first two seasons.

View user profile

Adam Ant Driver

avatar
Dick Tater
Wonderfalls and Dead Like Me were also very good but short lived shows. Dead Like Me came back for a straight to TV/DVD movie in 2009 that was pretty bad. Both were created by Bryan Fuller who also did Pushing Daisies and Hannibal but he quit Dead Like Me after 5 episodes because the network fired one of the actresses for not being pretty enough.

I remember starting Point Pleasant and Tru Calling years ago but I didn't watch much of them.


_________________
View user profile http://thehiveforum.forumotion.com
I taped all of Tru Calling's first season. Eliza Dushku looked like she was going places.

View user profile
@iank wrote:Modern Who follows this style, but botches it entirely! Big Grin
I can't say I was a fan of all of them but I loved Buffy and (to a lesser extent) Angel. X Files (can't believe you didn't mention that one!) and Babylon 5 are also major cornerstones of this era.
By contrary, I don't think much to the current "wave" - the likes of Game of Thrones and Walking Dead bore me rigid. Very much in the mould of the Craig Bond and Nolan Batman style, all of which also send me to sleep with utter disinterest. Pretty much the only decent genre shows of this decade are Fringe and Person of Interest.
The 90s were a golden age for US TV in general IMO, of which sci-fi/fantasy benefited as well, and also including the sit-com, which has never been the same since the early 00s. The so-called "comedies" of today all seem to adopt this deeply tiresome "Office" mocumentary style, more concerned with being "sophisticated" and clever-clever than actually being funny. I do snigger at those calling today's TV a "golden age". I reckon it's more like a wasteland, with only a small handful of shows worth bothering with. The golden age was two decades hence.

Yes I was wrong to forget X-Files. I was never a fan of it though. Not out of dislike just never really watched it, but it is of course one of the biggest 90's shows.

I think the Walking Dead is the most overrated TBH. Its not bad, but I can't see anything even remotely original about it?

View user profile

Adam Ant Driver

avatar
Dick Tater
I don't know, The Walking Dead is pretty bad. The characters are inconsistent and make stupid choices to advance the "plot" but just like the books there's no end in sight so the show just feels aimless. It goes through showrunners like toilet paper and I watched it for far too long hoping one of them would be able to improve the show, things were looking up for a brief period when they introduced a character claiming to have a potential zombie cure who was desperate to get to washington but it turned out he was just lying to get people to protect him.

I dropped the show when they found a small town that was walled off and a perfect place to survive, just for Rick to start acting crazy and kill a guy because of reasons. After the break he was back to normal and somehow in charge of the town, but because of reasons they ended up being overrun with zombies and had to leave. I really enjoyed the first 2 or 3 episodes of season 1, shame the rest of the show didn't live up to the hype and nothing happens apart from the one episode a year where they go completely mental. I don't understand why the show gets such high ratings because the show is so stupid.

That may be why.


_________________
View user profile http://thehiveforum.forumotion.com
@burrunjor wrote:

I think the Walking Dead is the most overrated TBH. Its not bad, but I can't see anything even remotely original about it?

Yeah, I've watched that from the start but it's gone on too long. I wouldn't mind but in the second series there was a shot of the Zombies in a Church and it was ambiguous. Were they a higher life form? Was it by accident?
WHO CARES!! Main characters killed off, Soap bollocks, attempted drama, more characters killed off etc.

That said, remember that series (Was Kate Beckinsale in it?) on late night Channel 4 about Vampires? Was it called "Violet" or "Ultraviolet"? I think it was in the 90's and it was fucking dull! How can you piss up the wall a concept like that?
Also agree The Office was terrible. But how about "Virtual Murder"? A BBC attempt at doing The Avengers but mistaking "Wacky" for developed characters.

And lastly, "Invasion Earth"!! I watched it and thought "So you took off Doctor Who to make this?!!" and usually turned over to watch Alexei Sayle's Merry-go-round.

View user profile
@Adam Ant Driver wrote:I don't know, The Walking Dead is pretty bad. The characters are inconsistent and make stupid choices to advance the "plot" but just like the books there's no end in sight so the show just feels aimless. It goes through showrunners like toilet paper and I watched it for far too long hoping one of them would be able to improve the show, things were looking up for a brief period when they introduced a character claiming to have a potential zombie cure who was desperate to get to washington but it turned out he was just lying to get people to protect him.

I dropped the show when they found a small town that was walled off and a perfect place to survive, just for Rick to start acting crazy and kill a guy because of reasons. After the break he was back to normal and somehow in charge of the town, but because of reasons they ended up being overrun with zombies and had to leave. I really enjoyed the first 2 or 3 episodes of season 1, shame the rest of the show didn't live up to the hype and nothing happens apart from the one episode a year where they go completely mental. I don't understand why the show gets such high ratings because the show is so stupid.

That may be why.

Fair enough complaints. I suppose I quite liked the characters and actors. David Morrisey was excellent as always as the Governor.

I must admit I too ditched the show after series 4. I haven't even been tempted back to see Jeffrey Dean Morgans crazy villain which is a shame as I love Jeffrey Dean Morgan, but yeah the Walking Dead TBH is just a copy of the Romero Zombie movies. A vastly inferior one at that.

View user profile
We are maybe seeing a renaissance of 90's shows soon with Xena and Charmed being remade. Of the two I think Xena has the most potential for a reboot, but the Charmed reboot sounded reasonably interesting.

It will be set in the 70's apparently.

A couple of other things about 90's shows I've noticed.

One of the characters has a baby. The baby is a special baby of course, and the badguys all want to steal or kill the baby. The producers then realise its hard to have an action show with a baby, so they have one episode where the baby is somehow aged and comes back as a whiny annoying adult that wants to kill their parent and is forgiven for all the shit they did (which was actually worse than a lot of the villains of the series). As a result of this the fans hate this character with a vengeance.

Connor from Angel, Eve from Xena and to a lesser extent Piper and Leo's child all fall into this pattern beat for beat.

Crossovers. Unlike Old Who, Lost in Space, Red Dwarf, Star Trek TOS. the 90's shows tended to have more spin offs and sister shows. Angel and Buffy, Xena and Hercules, all of the Star Trek series for instance.

I personally loved this as it was kind of hadn't been done on tv before. There had been spin offs sure, but normally they came after the old show had finished. For example Cheers and Frasier. In Buffy and Angel and Xena and Herc's case however they ran concurrently. It kind of felt like a comic book universe like DC and Marvel.

Also we got to see characters interact on different shows which could be quite interesting. Examples of this include Worf who it is agreed was more badass on Deep Space 9 than Next Generation. Ares and Spike also had a totally different dynamic on the two shows in their franchises too.

On the female led show, Ares and Spike were more 3 dimensional, grounded, sympathetic characters. Though both starting out as evil, when they fall in love with the titular heroine they end up try and become good to win her round.

On the show with the male hero however, Hercules and Angel they start out as darker, more unsympathetic characters, as they have nothing but hatred for the hero. As time goes on however they become more comical characters, as they are really nothing more than the main heroes jealous brother, or brother figure.

Also a male damsel in distress was quite common on these shows, like Joxer the Mighty, Xander, Leo from Charmed etc.

Again this was an example of how the 90's/00's era of sci fi and fantasy was really female dominated. Women and men kind of switched roles in a lot of things. Women were more often than not the central heroic figures and the main, evil, sadistic villains like Glory, Callisto, Faith, Alti etc, whilst men played the more sympathetic love struck villains and the perpetually kidnapped sidekicks.

View user profile

View previous topic View next topic Back to top  Message [Page 1 of 1]

Permissions in this forum:
You cannot reply to topics in this forum