Do you remember that time I swore Netflix would not become my binge of choice between books? Yeah, me neither. Even the best of us fall into the Netflix trap and with the shows they’re cranking out these days, it’s harder to kick than a sugar fix. Trust me, I know. I’m a sugar addict.
The fall from bookish grace isn’t all bad, though. The past year, Netflix created shows that lent a hand to help jump-start my creative juices and offered a refuge when I needed to process novels that left me emotionally damaged (I’m looking at you, Cassandra Clare). Here’s a look at a few new bad habits I’ve picked up in 2017:
Sense8 was a fluke for me. I just finished writing The Pristine Chaos of Solange Rue and desperately sought a show to take my mind off all the editing I had to do. At the time, I also finished Cassandra Clare’s Lord of Shadows, book two in The Dark Artifices series.
What I found, however, was a whole new addiction. Sense8’s mystery and refreshing theme of eight strangers not only connected by violence, but by heightened abilities, I could not pull myself away. I wanted more, more, more. Summary:
Eight strangers around the globe find themselves connected — first by a violent vision, then by their shared ability to connect with one another’s thoughts and actions, and finally by the urgent need to find out what happened and why. Their need to know goes beyond simple curiosity — as they pursue answers, a mysterious organization hunts them down, intent on destroying them.
Apparently this is a show people either enjoy or absolutely hate. Haven is….well….not a safe haven, as the title suggests. It’s set in a small harbor town where, every 27 years, a woman returns and with it, the Troubles. First, I liked this show because the romance between Parker and Nathan doesn’t really happen until nearly Season 3. There’s chemistry, the conflict builds, and you never know what the hell is going down next. At one point, I truly felt a part of this insane world of alternate worlds and wacky Troubles, which are ingenious. Summary:
FBI Agent Audrey Parker arrives in Haven, Maine, on what she believes is a routine assignment. But the longer she stays, the more curious she becomes — about the townspeople, who seem to be beset by a range of supernatural afflictions; about the town itself, which contains many secrets; and about her own surprising connection to this strange place. Based on the Stephen King novella “The Colorado Kid.”
I never expected to watch Arrow or to like the show. When the talks about it came out, I was still reeling from the final season of Smallville (I was late to that party) and I didn’t want to look at another superhero again.
Except, I have a thing for anti-heroes in leather. Oops. Did I say that out loud? Stephen Amell’s Arrow makes it hard to resist a man with a vendetta. Not to mention, the show’s characters and plot help writers to consider how to make their own stories complex. Summary:
When presumed-dead billionaire playboy Oliver Queen returns home to Starling City after five years stranded on a remote island in the Pacific, he hides the ways the experience has changed him. As he reconnects with those closest to him, including his sister, Thea, Oliver appears to be the same wealthy, carefree bachelor they’ve always known. At night, flanked by his devoted friend, Diggle, Oliver uses his secret persona — that of a vigilante — to right societal wrongs and transform the city to its former glory.
The Shannara Chronicle series by Terry Brooks was one of my various worlds I crawled into. While I didn’t enjoy the show as much as the books, I liked seeing how everything was brought to life. Sure, Amberle is a Mary-Sue character (Eretrai was always my favorite), but as a fan of the books, I binged this like the apocalypse was around the bend. In hindsight, it might not have been binge-worthy, but we all have our bad habits. Summary:
Based on the best-selling fantasy book series by Terry Brooks, “The Shannara Chronicles” follows heroes in the Four Lands as they embark on a quest to stop an evil Demon army from destroying the universe. Thousands of years after the fall of humankind, the world’s fate rests on the shoulders of an unlikely trio: Elvin Princess Amberle, who dreams of a life outside of the palace walls; beautiful, wild and wily Human Rover Eretria, and half-elf Wil, who knows nothing of the great destiny that runs through his veins. Later, a mysterious woman named Mareth joins the fight.
You can hate all the shows above as much as you want, but not Dark Matter. This show is packed with complex characters on a ship they have no memory boarding and a nefarious destination. Battles in space, off-world exploration, steamy romance, strange societies, and no apologies for anyone killed off unexpectedly, Dark Matter is a heart pounding show that sucked the air out of me. Summary:
When crew members working on a derelict spaceship awaken from stasis, they have no memory of who they are or how they got onto the vessel. The only clues to their identities are weaponry and a destination — a remote mining colony soon to become a war zone. They must band together to fight off the threats they face on a voyage filled with vengeance, betrayal and secrets that make survival a question mark for all on board the ship. In the wake of a betrayal, the crew is split up. Some are imprisoned, while others are sent away to start a new life. The sci-fi series is based on the graphic novel of the same name.