Thursday Movie Picks #4: Television Edition: Science Fiction

Welcome back to Thursday Movie Picks series hosted by Wandering through the Shelves! I missed the deadline last week but now I’ve returned. In case you’re interested, the rules are simple: based on the theme of the week, pick three to five movies and share the reason. Should anyone be interested in joining in, feel free to visit the main page here.

This year the series introduces a new category, the television edition; and this month’s theme is science fiction. This time I’m picking some recent and popular TV titles (in case anyone wants to catch up with it, people wouldn’t lost in myriads of seasons). This week I pick 3 titles and 1 honorable mentions. Here’s my picks!

01. Black Mirror (2011- )
Black Mirror (2011- )

This British sci-fi anthology is rad! Each episode tells a different story about how technology has advanced in the near-future. The episodes are equally thought-provoking and harrowing—in a sense that they challenge our beliefs in the ideal future. People keep comparing it with The Twilight Zone; at some points, that claim is right in regards with how the story might lead to a total suffocating terror in a way we don’t expect. However, Black Mirror‘s tendency in delivering satire about ‘the future’ makes it as jaw-dropping as seeing a new gadget only to know that there’s an invisible risk within.

02. Stranger Things (2016- )
Stranger Things (2016- )

Netflix original series, Stranger Things, stole the world’s attention in 2016. Regarded as a homage to retro-family sci-fi films from the 80s, this Duffer Brothers’ creation is astonishing in many ways. The complex, family-friendly plot is a thing, but the real dopes in this series are the cast. From Winona Ryder to Millie Bobby Brown, the solid cast presents us a bunch of characters we love to sympathize. It’s really a rare gem.

03. Westworld (2016- )
Westworld (2016- )

HBO’s new entry is an ambitious, sci-fi powerhouse co-created by Jonathan Nolan and Lisa Joy. On the surface, Westworld looks as if it is inspired by Yul Bremner’s film of the same title; however, it works at a completely different level. It’s mind-blowing at all aspects in a way you can expect from the mind of Jonathan Nolan. Only, this one is Nolan’s most thought-provoking and perplexed work to date. Not only it sparks buzzes over discussions about Baudreality and bicameral mind, it talks about science ethics at its finest.

Honorable mention: American Horror Story Asylum (2012)
American Horror Story: Asylum (2012)

Asylum is surprisingly the most sci-fi entry to American Horror Story saga. Set in an asylum called Briarcliff, there are more nods to scientific elements to create horror. Biological experiment, UFO abduction, brainwashing and dementia create more horrors than the possession subplots. It’s wicked more because of the sci-fi elements for me.

 

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16 thoughts on “Thursday Movie Picks #4: Television Edition: Science Fiction”

    1. You should start watching Black Mirror! I mean one episode every once in a while is okay 😀 Stranger Things is actually my first pick. About Westworld, I think it becomes a popular pick this week. Possibly because it’s recent and thought-provoking.

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  1. I’m doing so badly this week! I’m just not a science fiction series watcher in the general run of things so while of heard of all your picks I haven’t seen a single one! I did see the original film Westworld and if I had HBO I’d check out the series to see how it compares. I’ve also watched a couple of seasons of American Horror Story but not the year they did Asylum.

    Even though I’m not much for this type of series I did manage to come up with three that I’ve watched through the years.

    Firefly (2002)-A ragtag group of astronauts tour the galaxy in their rust bucket ship Serenity lead by cheeky leader Mal Reynolds (Nathan Fillion). Often not functioning as a harmonious whole due to squabbles between the opinionated crew they pull together when the going gets tough and manage to emerge from their scraps banged up but unbowed. Serio-comic sci-fi series with a strong cast was regrettably brief but did lead to a big screen sequel “Serenity”.

    My Favorite Martian (1963-1966)-Somewhat zany comedy of a stranded Martian (Ray Walston) taken in by young reporter Tim O’Hara (Bill Bixby) who uses the cover of being his Uncle Martin as he tries to repair his spaceship in an attempt to return home. While he works away the pair are confronted with many situations where Martin is constantly at risk of exposure. What could be idiotic is kept from being so by the skillful playing of Walston & Bixby as well as Pamela Britton who is simply aces as their charmingly addle-brained landlady Lorelei Brown. Adapted into a wretched decades too late feature in the 90’s.

    The Twilight Zone (1959-1964)-Trend setting anthology series created, hosted and largely written by Rod Serling. Generally but not always with either a science fiction or supernatural theme this weekly series was consistently eerie with a cavalcade of future stars, including Robert Redford, Elizabeth Montgomery, Charles Bronson and Robert Duvall, and top flight character actors-Agnes Moorehead, Gladys Cooper, Burgess Meredith etc.- in strong stories. For the length of time it ran the series stayed uniformly high in quality but has some episodes that have remained justly more famous than others…Eye of the Beholder, The Invaders, The Monsters Are Due on Maple Street, Nightmare at 20,000 Feet, Time Enough at Last, Nothing in the Dark, and my personal favorite The Hitch-Hiker among them.
    A small addendum: A moderately successful reboot of the series was done in the 80’s with varying results but there were some excellent episodes produced especially in the first season. Two directed by Wes Craven: the series’ first “Shatterday” starring Bruce Willis and “Her Pilgrim Soul” with Kristoffer Tabori and Anne Twomey are exceptional.

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    1. I can see why. Sci-fi TV series are usually cringe-worthy, for me. But, recently, they’re doing it pretty good. Black Mirror is one that reminds me to The Twilight Zone, but haven’t reached the same cult following.

      Firefly is a classic cult, right? It’s short-lived, but people seems to love it. I haven’t even got a chance to watch it.
      I definitely wouldn’t be able to watch My Favorite Martian anytime soon; yet, I definitely want it to be “resurrected” somehow

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  2. I’m so far behind on current television. I haven’t seen any of these shows, at all. I do know they exist, just haven’t bothered, lol. The one I’m interested in most is Strange Things since everyone seems to love it. Maybe I’ll give it a go.

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  3. Everyone loved Asylum the most, it was good but Murder House and Coven will always be my favourites. But I did like Hotel. Didn’t even finish Roanoke.

    Yey! Stranger Things!! I always tell my friends who aren’t into scifi to watch this and they always love it! Yey! Westworld!

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