Although I don’t have as much time to invest in watching television series as much as I used too, there are still some new series released in the last few years that are worthy of my time. Here’s a few current shows that have inspired me and helped see our world in different frameworks. In order for each show to be eligible for this list, they all have to be currently airing and/or renewed for another season (at the time of this writing, August 2018).
The future is bleak, and travelers are sent back in time to help change the events that led up to their own current world. There are missions they must complete, though not all missions are simple – difficult choices must be made that makes you question how the past, present, and future impact us. The cast of characters are highly diverse and each have their own struggles, which helps provide a deeper understanding of why people behave certain ways and that perspectives are not a matter of bad or good, though rather why they made the choices they decided to make. By the beginning of Season 2, the reality of science fiction and the world we live in suddenly take a deeper turn that may be one of the first shows to address a traumatic time in our recent history that has seldom been shown on television. I won’t reveal any spoilers!
4. The Man in the High Castle
What if the Nazi regime had won World War II? This series provides a reality in which this was the outcome, which eerily tries to establish a feeling of normalcy in the beginning of the series. While the idea of this reality is certainly troubling, sequences later on in the show show that there is much more going on that just what is happening. If you are feeling a little down about our own world, try watching this show and you’ll realize that life could be much worse!
Probably the least known show out of the list, 3% follows a group of individuals who are trying to overcome a series of challenges in order to make it to the “promised land”. Imagine if Fermat’s Room, Cube, The Hunger Games, Divergent, and The Maze Runner were put together into a television show. This is somewhat of the show, though Season 2 strongly diverts from the premise of the first season as its focus shifts into the “promised land”. This show makes you question what is fair and just, and the blurred effect between good and evil.
2. The Expanse
Although the first few episodes take awhile to create a cohesive narrative, the dichotomy that is revealed from the vast array of characters and factions keeps you compelled to keep watching. This show is quite possibly one of the best outer space science fictions shows I have seen. Earth, Mars, and The Belt are at odds with one another, and different characters from each location help provide the reasons behind these conflicts. However, a turn of events soon makes each faction question whether their current trajectory is on the right course, or destined for doom. My personal favorite story arc is Shohreh Aghdashloo’s character, Chrisjen Avasarala, who is Secretary-General of the United Nations. Her presence commands the screen and I personally hope she will be featured more in future seasons!
1. Long Lost Family
The show that helped me decide to research more of my family history and connect with cousins I never knew and long-lost cousins I have yet to meet! These individual narratives bring the best of humanity to the forefront and provides a deeper understanding on the importance of identity, feeling a sense of belonging, forgiveness, and the realization that you are more than what you think you are. A touching show that I look forward to every season. Currently there are new seasons being filmed in the United Kingdom and the United States.
Honorable Mentions: The OA, We’ll Meet Again.