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Ten TV Shows I’m Thankful For

Miss Fisher and Inspector Jack Robinson in Miss Fisher's Murder Mysteries. Photo: ABC
Miss Fisher and Inspector Jack Robinson in Miss Fisher’s Murder Mysteries.
Photo: ABC

Amber started off with ten movies she is thankful for and now my turn has come to talk about ten TV shows that fill me with gratitude. These are the shows that inspired me in some way because of the good storytelling, deep characterization (with several episodes to delve in deeper than a film), and so much more.

Road to Avonlea

Photo: Sullivan Entertainment
Photo: Sullivan Entertainment

Growing up, this was my weekly show. Joining in on the adventures of Sara Stanley and the Kings captured my heart and also inspired me to become an empathetic person. What is so great about the spirit of this show is that it always revealed who someone actually is behind their prickly edges from the guest characters to Hetty King, arguably one of the finest characters to ever be on the small screen. This is also the one show I always return to when I want to just feel good. It has so much heart and hope in the writing.

Moonlight

Photo: CBS
Photo: CBS

Moonlight was the only TV series that I actually campaigned for after its cancellation because it was just so unfathomable to me. For a Friday night TV series, the ratings were fantastic (and CBS hasn’t seen these ratings since) and would have grown as this came out the year before the huge vampire craze. They acted too hastily. Still, I am thankful this show even existed because it reminded me of how good love stories should be written. It doesn’t need to be just about sexual attraction (which is my main issue with several shows on today); it is about two souls who go beyond that. It was also old-fashioned where the touch of a hand meant more than sleeping together. I liked that and I still do.

Roswell

Max and Liz Photo: WB
Max and Liz
Photo: WB

Roswell holds an important place in my memory because in high school and college, we would have Roswell parties! Together, we could root for Max and Liz, Michael and Maria, Alex and Isabel, and hate Tess. It was so much fun and it was also a prime example of how to write a paranormal (or Sci Fi as is the case here) love story set in high school (The Vampire Diaries should have taken notes). From the very beginning, the lead female character Liz was in on the big secret that Max was an alien. She wasn’t in the dark being made a fool of. Liz was also a character with extreme intelligence and ambition: she wanted to be a scientist, making for some great ‘chemistry’ scenes between Max and Liz as well. Fifteen years later and these types of female characters in high school seem to have gone out the door. What are Elena’s and Caroline’s goals in life for example other than to party in college and have fun with boyfriends? Roswell is a show I am continually grateful for because the writers got it right from the romance (almost everyone rooted for Max and Liz instead of despising the main leads) to the characters to even the parents (that seem nonexistent in most teen shows now).

The X Files

Photo: Fox
Photo: Fox

I remember watching this occasionally when I was young. Recently, my sister and I decided to go back and watch the entire series as adults and I am so thankful I did. The X Files reminded me that writing can come before flash. The characterization between the two leads though is what I am most thankful for because it was other worldly in scope. Will we ever see the likes of Scully and Mulder ever again? Probably not but one can only hope. I honestly can’t say how much I appreciate that Scully and Mulder took longer to get together because it gave depth to their characters (such as Scully’s fears of death and letting people in). The more they were kept apart, the more I wanted them to end up with one another. I didn’t need the quick fix, not when Scully and Mulder’s love was the real thing. Other than their love story, The X Files also showed that you can have both excellent stand-alone episodes and serialized mythology that compels you to keep tuning in. This is certainly one of the best series of all time that changed TV shows from that point on.

Miss Fisher’s Murder Mysteries

Dot and Hugh also deserve recognition for their adorable awesomeness. Photo: ABC
Dot and Hugh also deserve recognition for their adorable awesomeness.
Photo: ABC

A recent addition into my shows to be thankful for, it is nevertheless quickly moving up my ranks of top shows as well. I love Period Drama and this Australian gem is phenomenal, recreating the late 1920s with perfection. I am just so grateful to have discovered a show with intelligent female characters that never disappoint from Miss Fisher to even Dot. Dot’s religious side is never mocked even though the show has very modern sensibilities. I am not sure this would have been the case in America these days. The show is witty, the characters are rich, and the romances are wonderful to watch. I would be grateful if this show would last another few seasons at least, so go check it out and spread the word (it is on Netflix in America now).

Doctor Who

The cast of "Journey's End" in season 4. Photo: BBC
The cast of “Journey’s End” in season 4.
Photo: BBC

Of course Doctor Who would have to be on my list! Doctor Who sparked my imagination and truly put me under a spell that I still haven’t come out of. I have a particular fondness for New Who and anything written by Russell T. Davies. The ease with which he writes female characters is inspiring. Here were women that women can actually relate to from Rose, Martha, to the fabulous Donna. These weren’t women that are ‘strong’ on the surface; these are women who grow to become heroes. I love that. And then there is the Doctor and the TARDIS. Watching the Doctor go off on his adventures reminds me to dream again. I would love to be one of the companions traveling but since I can’t, I never grow tired of watching the Doctor and his companions in their own weekly travels.

Being Human UK

Photo: BBC
Photo: BBC

My second vampire show to be thankful for (I am thankful for Buffy and other vampire shows as well) is UK’s lesser known show (now over) Being Human. Toby Whithouse, who has also written for Doctor Who, writes with such gravitas and power that I had to include it. I am particularly grateful for season 3 though because it is so well written that I even compared it to Shakespeare in scope. It is a tragedy at its best, the gift of Whithouse’s storytelling remarkable. Mitchell is such an amazing tragic character that he is literary, akin to the great male characters of literature such as Heathcliff and Hamlet. If only more shows were written with such command of the characters and story.

Veronica Mars

Photo: CW
Photo: CW

I have to include this one this year because we are finally getting a movie! I am mostly thankful that the end of series 3 (that ended on a cliffhanger) is no longer the ending of Veronica’s story. I can’t wait to see what happens between Veronica and Logan. But mostly, I can’t wait to see more of Veronica’s biting wit.

The Paradise

Photo: BBC
Photo: BBC

There are several other fabulous Period shows out there (like Downton Abbey for instance) but this year I am thankful for The Paradise because for me it echoes back to the spirit of Avonlea and that is something I haven’t seen in a while (not counting Bill Gallagher’s other fabulous period show Lark Rise to Candleford). The way Gallagher layers a character reminds me of Avonlea, how there is always something more than meets the eye. Take Miss Audrey for example who seems harsh on the outside but once you get to know her, we realize here is a woman who turned down love because she was afraid to give up her job that she adored (this was expected back then). Still, was this the right choice and is love too late? Questions like these make for some of the best characters on television…ever. Understanding people and who they are also uplifts the spirit and there definitely needs to be more stories like that. I am thankful I at least can have the one.

Arrow

Oliver and Felicity Photo: CW
Oliver and Felicity
Photo: CW

Now this is an odd choice on my part because it is not in my top ten favorite shows of all time or anything. This list is just about what I am thankful for and right now I am thankful for Arrow for just being so darn fun and that is thanks to the awesomeness of Felicity Smoak. I love Oliver and Felicity because they are downright entertaining to watch from her awkward one-liners to their deep connection that keeps building. Plus, it needs to be said: I LOVE that the show keeps bringing in all these fabulous genre actors from past shows that were awesome. Best catch though? John Barrowman as the villain! Any show with Captain Jack Harkness gets extra points from me!

 

What TV shows are you thankful for this holiday season? Sound off below…

 

RELATED:

Read Reviews of Miss Fisher’s Murder Mysteries  and The Paradise

Check out Amber’s Ten Movies She’s Thankful For

An Interview with Moonlight writer Kira Snyder: Part One and Part Two

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By on November 25th, 2013

About Autumn Topping

In second grade, Autumn wrote her first story, “The Spinach Monster,” and hasn't stopped writing since. Intrigued by the tales her grandmother told of vampires, witches, and ghosts as a girl, she's always been drawn to the fantastic. Later, Autumn studied English and Creative Writing (continuing her love for classic literature and everything old-fashioned) and graduated with an MA in Children’s Literature and an MS in Library & Information Science from Simmons College. Currently, she co-runs this lovely blog and works as a YA Librarian.

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2 thoughts on “Ten TV Shows I’m Thankful For”

  1. You got some good shows here for sure. I’d add that I’m thankful for Blood Ties, which, like Moonlight, also suffered by coming out one year too soon.
    Kindred: The Embraced (sensing a supernatural theme here? LOL) which also lasted, sadly, just one year. I’ve heard conflicting theories on what happened here but I’m still glad we got at least one season.
    Wolf Lake, also a one season wonder about werewolves. Great show that nobody but me watched.
    And some new shows I’m thankful for are Almost Human and Sleepy Hollow.
    I’m such a Sci-Fi and Fantasy geek. As always, terrific article!

    Reply
    • I clearly love the Supernatural too! Blood Ties really did suffer from coming out one season too early. A real bummer. I’ve heard of Wolf Lake but have never seen it. I’ll have to go check it out. You clearly have good taste. 🙂

      Reply

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