Sleeps With Monsters

Sleeps With Monsters: So Much Genre TV, So Little Time

There’s an enormous media landscape out there. Just as regards speculative fiction in English: the wider media landscape is even vaster. It’s easy to feel left out when you haven’t (or can’t) keep up with something that many, many other people are talking about. And for me, at least, it’s easy to feel guilty about not keeping up. I’m supposed to be able to keep up: what else is the ability to read ~200 books per year good for?

But it turns out that being able to read three or four books a week (on average) is still not nearly fast enough to keep up with a plurality of what’s written and published. And that leaves out quite the large amount of television, film, and videogames that’s also available to enjoy. A little while ago, I spoke about the books that I was looking forward to in the later part of this year. I’m going to use my column this week to tell you about the television that I’m hoping to eventually catch up with—and ask you what you’re watching.

All of the shows I want to watch have women as main characters or at minimum in several major roles in an ensemble. Because men are boring. (Okay, that’s not necessarily true, but we’ve seen men’s stories and arcs and relationships prioritised so often on television that those stories are often frequently tediously predictable.)

Killjoys: I’ve seen season one and season two, but I haven’t managed to catch up with season three of this bounty-hunters-and-batshit show. Extremely well-acted, with tremendously enjoyable characterisation and banter—the dialogue is some of the best I’ve ever heard in science fiction television—previous seasons expanded both the politics the main characters deal with, and what we know about their histories. Everything I’ve heard about the third season makes it sound like it gets even better, and I really hope to sit down and watch it soon.

Supergirl: What struck me about season one of this (sweet, goofy) show was its kindness and its optimism. I haven’t managed to see more than a little of season two, and the show is now mostly finished with its third season run, but if it continues with its optimistic tone and the deep friendship between sisters Kara and Alex Danvers, I can guarantee that I really want to see more.

Wynonna Earp: I really want to see season two of this ridiculous show. Demons, small-town rural Canada, a main character with an impulse-control and self-image problem, a sweet queer romance between a local cop and the main character’s younger sister, family secrets and surprising reveals, and a “we’re going to have fun with this” attitude to problems of logic and continuity—I enjoyed the first season enormously.

Legends of Tomorrow: This is another show where I’ve seen the first season and not very much more. An episodic show about a band of time-travelling screw-ups who settle down to become heroes (although their heroism isn’t always well-thought-out), I initially expected it to be a sort of knock-off Doctor Who and found myself pleasantly surprised by how much of its own, good thing it turned out to be. I understand that the second season gives an even more prominent place to the character of Sara Lance, which is definitely a selling point for me, but time-travelling explosions don’t really need much selling?

I have absolutely no idea when I’m going to find (or make) the time to catch up on these shows, mind you. Much less of the others of which I’ve heard vague but positive things over the last several months, like Black Lightning and Killing Eve!

Are you guys watching any of these shows? What do you think?

Liz Bourke is a cranky queer person who reads books. She holds a Ph.D in Classics from Trinity College, Dublin. Her first book, Sleeping With Monsters, a collection of reviews and criticism, was published in 2017 by Aqueduct Press. It’s a finalist for the 2018 Locus Awards and is nominated for a Hugo Award in Best Related Work. Find her at her blog, where she’s been known to talk about even more books thanks to her Patreon supporters. Or find her at her Twitter. She supports the work of the Irish Refugee Council and the Abortion Rights Campaign.


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