Expansive space operas, nostalgia-baiting reboots, comic book adaptations, fan-serving specials and an epic translation of a massive fantasy book franchise: The TV shows set to debut this winter read like a geek's wish list.
The upsurge in genre television for 2016 shouldn't be too much of a surprise. Last year produced a bounty of science-fiction spoils and fantasy rewards for both longtime fans and new viewers. These nerd shows were more than just fan candy — they explored important cultural depths.
"Supergirl's" Kara Danvers (played by Melissa Benoist) became the cape little kids could idealize, while "Jessica Jones" (Krysten Ritter) toppled past tropes with the introduction of her character's anti-superhero. Animated characters from "Steven Universe" pushed against gender identity norms.
Spectacle dotted with analytical hindsight is the bread and butter of the geek world. Will future series live up to the legacy of the past? What's next?
In 1993, the monster-of-the-week series "The X-Files" flung open the back door to the Internet's conspiracy theory world and slapped a pair of charming faces on the bizarre underground. Special agent
But how can a show that was so innately tied to a past paranoia reach a generation with its own fresh fears? Perhaps by taking on the doubters head on with a new character, over-the-top conservative news anchor and staunch conspiracy theorist Tad O'Malley, played by Joel McHale. He knows all past classified government cases by memory (seriously, Mulder quizzes O'Malley about random UFO cases upon their first meet and greet), but maybe that's just what the government wants him to know? It should be interesting to see how a new age of "The X-Files" will adapt to the social media age. And how can Mulder and Scully fight against the man if they're apparently working for him?
We saw it happen to "Battlestar Galactica" and "Game of Thrones." Now Terry Brooks' fantasy series from the 1970s and '80s, "The Shannara Chronicles," is getting run through the Hollywood hot machine thanks to MTV. (See "MTV's Big Fantasy" on E14). Also mined from the 1970s is HBO's "Westworld."
Little is known about this secretive series, besides the cast. And it's impressive: Ed Harris,
If you're looking for blood, dust and sacrilege, perhaps AMC's translation of the supernatural comic "Preacher" may tempt you. Spearheaded by Seth Rogen and Evan Goldberg, the western drama stars a super-powered preacher (Dominic Cooper), a drunken Irish vampire (Joseph Gilgun) and a sharpshooter (Ruth Negga) who go looking for God on the back roads of Texas. The comics have a cult following because of the truly twisted pack of characters and irreverence to the sacred material the plot tackles. If you thought things got weird and bloody for the cast of "Walking Dead," hold on to your hat. We've seen only glimpses of this series, but the comic sets up a pretty big world for the show to play in. Fingers crossed that AMC can execute it.
Also pinging on our radar is a reawakening of "The Powerpuff Girls" from the
For the record: An earlier version of this article said that "Lucifer" would be on the
Pair this list with returning champs "Mr. Robot," "Orphan Black" and "The 100," and you've got a virtual onslaught of geeky goodies headed your way. So step off, sexy doctors hooking up in the break room, we have 201 episodes of "The X-Files" that need to be marathoned, right now.