The best thing about fantasy, at least in my opinion, is that it has been making a resurgence lately. Primarily on television. Science fiction tends to be the go-to speculative fiction that gets air time, so seeing shows like Once Upon a Time, its spin-off Wonderland, Grimm, Sleepy Hollow and the like grabbing viewers in every week is really encouraging.
For people who struggle to get into books or don’t want to spend the money trekking out to a movie, television provides a free and accessible way for stories to be absorbed. And what better way to dabble in fantasy than from your couch? Show’s like Angel, Buffy, Charmed, Bewitched, I Dream of Jeannie, and Sabrina the Teenage Witch paved the way for the stories that are network staples today. True Blood, Supernatural, Vampire Diaries, all paranormal in genre, but firmly sitting beneath the fantasy umbrella and proving that they can stand tall against cop dramas or sitcoms. There hasn’t been a better time in television history for fantasy.
My favorite fantasy series as of now is Once Upon a Time. It had a bit of a slow first season and then seemed like it jumped the shark on some of its plots, but I feel as though this season has allowed the show to finally settle into its own skin. Exploring different fantasy worlds, new characters and unconventional plots. Instead of worrying about bridging the real world and fantasy world, it has begun to slip into a story that is primarily focused on the fantastical.
I’m not as convinced about it’s spin-off, Wonderland. While it has some interesting aspects and seems to be firmly rooted within the realm of Wonderland, it might require the same expanse of time as ONCE to really get going. Do I feel as if the network will give it this time? Probably not. It should be enjoyable in the meantime, providing quirky and imaginative tales from the twisted Wonderland alongside a touching romance.
These types of shows offer the perfect escape to viewers coming home from stressful days at work or a busy day with children. And even though they take place in other worlds, or crossover worlds, the abstract ideas are easily relatable and thoroughly exciting. Who wouldn’t love to have magic? Or be able to fly or teleport themselves to such amazing places? At its heart, that’s why fantasy is the greatest genre. I would love to see more fantasy series picked up like these to introduce a whole new generation of people to the wonders of fantasy.
What’s your favorite fantasy television show of all time and why?