Ever since I announced I would be including posts about TV (and potentially films) with YA appeal on the blog, I’ve been trying to write the perfect post to start this chapter. It turns out there is no perfect post. There are in fact four saved drafts of half completed posts that just didn’t feel right. Recently I decided that maybe I should just start with something simple, relaxed, more of a prologue to carry on the writing metaphor.
For me, TV shows and books are intrinsically linked, and yes films too. They offer entry to another world, either through images or words. They are portals. Recently I was attending a blogging event (more on that shortly) and surprised myself by spending more of the evening than planned discussing a multitude of TV shows a lot of us enjoyed watching (The Good Wife, Teen Wolf, Arrow and The Blacklist to name a few)
So here it is, my introductory post that simply talks about some of the shows I’m currently watching and enjoying or that I have watched previously and think have YA appeal. As mentioned in my previous TV post, I’m focusing on shows with YA or crossover appeal, like the books I review here however for the purposes of this post I may mention at the end a couple of the other shows I watch just so you can get a sense of my habits. Please note that many of these shows are UK 15 certificates and therefore those under 15 should not proceed with these TV posts. I only recommend these TV shows to those above any age restrictions said programme may have in the reader’s country. All image links go to the show’s imdb webpage, where I got the image from.
Arrow: Five years after being presumed dead in a storm, rich playboy Oliver Queen is discovered alive on a seemingly deserted island. Returning home, Oliver Queen is inevitably changed. In fact he has had to become someone else… the Arrow.
Brooding, intense and dark. It’s a YA bad boy of a TV show! Arrow just gets superhero tv right. It has clues and easter eggs for the original comic book fans but is still clear and easy to follow for newcomers, such as myself.
Action packed, Arrow still develops its characters and looks at the emotional side of the superhero, not just the action-hero. Oliver’s struggles with returning home and reconnecting with his family and people in general again are well done and Oliver really develops as the series progresses. The action scenes are brilliant and the workout scenes are pretty good too. Seriously, who didn’t want to undertake sword training, archery lessons and kali after watching a few episodes? While the show is flashback heavy, I would say 80-90% work for me and all of them do contribute to the present plots.
The Flash: Spin-off of Arrow. After a 9 month coma, Barry Allen awakes to discover he is now the fastest man alive. And the particle collider incident which caused his accident, may have created more meta-humans.
I could call this show Arrow’s little brother as it’s the freshman spin-off of Arrow. Flash to me is much lighter too, more geeky, goofy and fun. Similarly to Arrow, it is crammed full of easter eggs too. I wasn’t expecting to enjoy this as much as Arrow, but it’s great fun and has definite YA appeal.
Teen Wolf: After Scott McCall is attacked by a werewolf, his ordinary teenage life as he knows it is over.
This is the show that inspired me to start blogging about YA TV too. The title is fairly self-explanatory, but this isn’t just a paranormal YA style show. The friendships, the mythology, action scenes and approach to relationships and sexuality make it stand out more, at least particularly in the first seasons. Let’s be honest, Stiles, Scott’s best friends, steals the show with his humour, sarcasm and generally awesomeness. It’s an addictive show and while a few strands haven’t worked for me and there can be plot holes– no, seriously, don’t ask me about Echo House unless you want an impassioned rant – I still enjoy this show a lot. I love its homage to horror techniques too and self-awareness. Also, while not all of the music stands out and relies on more dancey music a lot, it has introduced me to several great songs and Hozier.
Supernatural: I hold my hands up here, since Sky didn’t buy season ten I have not caught up with the show from the end of season nine. While we’re on this subject, seriously Sky, Teen Wolf too? Why? For me the earlier seasons of Supernatural are the best and I loved the road-trip element. Two hot brothers, roadtripping around the US, y’know saving people, hunting things, the family business. It’s a very YA concept and it works. It can be very creepy and a touch scary, so just a heads up – especially episodes like Bloody Mary *shudders*
The Originals: Spin-off the Vampire Diaries following original vampire family the Mikaelsons in New Orleans.
I prefer this show to the Vampire Diaries. There, I said it. It’s darker, more mature and the New Orleans setting really works for me. I think the characters as well feel more compelling to me.
I also wanted to mentioned two more shows that are not YA/crossover shows specifically but that I really enjoy so you can get a taste for my TV interests and I can fangirl. There are many more shows I’m watching and loving at the moment, but I wanted to limit the ones with less YA appeal I mention here.
The Blacklist: Silence of the Lambs meets White Collar is one hell of a comparison. The Blacklist is one of those shows that just keeps you guessing. It is also darkly funny in places. A lot of this is down to James Spader being awesome as mastermind criminal ‘Red’ Reddington. Red hands himself into the FBI and will only speak to a young agent, offering unknown criminals up from his own blacklist. However what are his motivations for this? While series two, its current season, is slightly more predictable it still is highly addictive and a good watch. Warning: this show is violent at times and has some disturbing themes and moments so please exercise caution.
The Good Wife: Oh, this show! While it’s most definitely not aimed at teenagers, as a writer and TV lover I have to mention this show. It simply is one of the best US dramas airing right now and the writing is spectacular. After her husband’s public affair and jail sentence, lawyer turned housewife Alicia Florrick is forced to begin working again. Her new job just so happens to be working with an old flame and also competing with an ambitious Harvard graduate for a permanent role at the law firm.
Not many shows can get even better as they progress but the Good Wife does. Notably in season five, the writers flipped the script and our expectations not once but twice and changed the show significantly. I have to say that season five is one of the best TV seasons I have seen in a long time. While season 6 is currently airing in the US, UK fans have to wait until January. From what I’ve read, however, the writers have done the same thing again. This show is simply outstanding and oh man, the feels!
How about you? Do you watch any of these shows? What do you think?