With April, spring truly approaches in my neck of the woods—and I mean that literally, as I live on an island on the Mississippi. I watch the eagles nesting in a small island just off the one on which I live, see the cranes pose (are they doing yoga?) on the distant banks, and enjoy the seagulls as they dance with joy over the now-open water. So as spring has now sprung, we Quills turn our attention to a new topic, namely, “TV Shows We Enjoy.” Our focus is on the types of shows that grab our attention.
Let's hear what P.S. Broaddus, author of A Hero's Curse, has to say.
I love movies. TV shows. As mentioned, part of that love relates to the communal, shared-story aspect of film. I watch Person of Interest with my wife and Phineas & Ferb and Dinotrux with the boys. I watched Marvel's Netflix collaboration, Daredevil, which was particularly interesting as it featured a blind protagonist with super senses. How intriguingly fortuitous.
But today, since I'm a young adult/middle-grade writer, I'll talk about . . .
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Next up is Robin Lythgoe, author of As the Crow Flies. What do you think, Robin?
I remember going through a period of time several years ago when I was bored with television. Oh, sure, there were some decent dramas to watch, and maybe few good action programs, but my speculative fiction soul positively yearned for fantasy and science fiction, and the pickin’s were extremely slim.
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Finally, here are my thoughts.
I’d guess that it was over a period of about fifteen years that I watched little or nothing in the way of television series, whether dramas or comedies. As a political news junkie, other things held my attention. Moreover, I had young people in the house, and there were so many things I didn’t want them to see and to hear before their time. However, more recently, I thought it would be interesting to catch up on some of the shows I’d missed over the past years. I found that most of those of interest to me came from cable stations and/or are Netflix originals. Aside from the obvious series with the “political bent” (such as House of Cards), three main types have attracted my attention and they all relate in some way to my writing: historical fiction, crimes and mystery, and fantasy/superhero. While I find television considerably more graphic overall, I’ve enjoyed some series, nonetheless.
The first category is historical fiction tales (taking this title in a very broad sense). These stories hold my attention not because I believe they are “accurate” necessarily, but because of the older worlds in which they are set. I really don’t care about the era or geography. Examples include: The Borgias (set in the 16th century following the Borgia family), Peaky Blinders (set in the early 20th century in Birmingham, England) and Rebellion (about the 1916 uprising in Ireland). Although these are very different stories, with each, I took note of how people accomplished things without the advantage of modern technology, how they dressed, and so forth. From time to time, these portrayals give me ideas for my own tales.
The second category is crime and mystery. These tales appeal to a deeper interest of mine. Examples include: The Fall (super, SUPER creepy); Luther (sometimes quite scary!); Low Winter Sun, Gomorrah, and Prison Break. I originally went to law school intending to one day, practice as a criminal prosecutor. So these stories feed that interest. They also help me to see how the parts of an investigation make up the whole, how the trail is followed to the ultimate solving of a crime, and so on. Again, these principles can be helpful for my writing.
Third and last, are the superhero stories. After all, what are superheroes if not “magical” creatures? I particularly enjoyed Arrow (because, honestly, what is not to love about Stephen Amell), Daredevil (I mean, a blind superhero? Really? Parker Broaddus? Get that!), and Gotham (from which I especially enjoy the creepy Penguin). Tales like this give me ideas about magic and about how to put limitations on it that are believable and that help to keep a story interesting. After all, if characters with magic powers were invincible, there would be no story to tell. They would always "win." As that would never do, there must be obstacles. These stores give me ideas for things of that nature.
Notwithstanding my having watched some series over the past couple of years, my first love continues to be: books.
What about you? What shows are your favorites? Which ones would you suggest that I watch?