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Hottest Trends in Sci-Fi Here’s a description of some of the best dramas that have aired on TV in the last few years. 

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A band of refugees tries to survive the aftermath of a genocide. During their journey, they wrestle with questions about religion, politics, and what it means to be human. A father risks environmental catastrophe and his own sanity to save his dying son. A group of people from all over the world must learn to live together in the wake of a horrible accident.

It may sound like I’m talking about the type of super-serious, award-winning drama that airs on HBO or AMC. I’m describing Battlestar Galactica, Fringe and Lost, all TV shows that fall under the sci-fi umbrella. And yes, Battlestar Galactica has killer robots. Everyone on Fringe has an alternate universe version of themselves. And Lost was full of time travel, psychics, ghosts, and a man who could turn into a cloud of smoke. But at the bottom of this, these are stories about people, all of them smart, wellmade and well-told. As the website http://scifishows.org/ puts it, “Sci fi shows are getting better.” There was a time when anything sci-fi or a Sci Fi Show was kind of junky, or just an immediate cult TV show. There’s always exceptions. The Twilight Zone is more or less beyond reproach. And even if you don’t like Star Trek and its spin-offs, you can’t deny its influence, its various groundbreaking aspects, and its diehard fan base. But for the most part, if you grew up with Star Wars, any attempt to find its descendants on the small screen would leave you frustrated. The Doctor Who that airs on British television today – smart, fun, and well-produced – is light years from its earlier incarnation, which (in its early years) often seemed like it was shot in a college classroom building.


Hottest Trends in Sci-Fi Let’s not even get into things like the Misfits of Science, or the Powers of Matthew Star, short-lived 1980s series. That’s not to say that every sci-fi show that gets produced today is a winner. New Sci Fi shows like Heroes, which showed up in 2006 as an antidote to Lost’s slower pace, quickly turned into a joke. And last year saw The River, Alcatraz and Terra Nova die one-season deaths. The point is that TV has changed so much that, well, it’s not even really TV anymore. Netflix, iTunes and OnDemand make it possible to watch entire seasons in one weekend. Services like Hulu – and again, Netflix – are producing their own shows, without any help from established networks like ABC or even “upstarts” like FX. With all that changing, it makes sense that shows that defy the idea of what’s possible will live on.


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