This is a purely personal list – I haven’t watched every show out there (time!!!), and none of these are reality shows or documentaries. (Story Rules!)
But these are ones I’ve loved and adored. They’re not in any particular order.
Being Human (UK)
Being Human was fantastic for three seasons. Aidan Turner, whom most paranormal fans recognized from The Hobbit, was fantastic as the urbane and very Irish vampire, while Russell Tovey was brilliant as the tortured werewolf.
Then Turner was cast as Killi in The Hobbit. At the same time, BTW, so was both of the leading actors in the BBC’s Sherlock series. But while the producers of Sherlock simply shut down production for a year and waited for their high-rating actors to return, Being Human wrote Turner out of the show…and killed it for many viewers, including me.
But the first three seasons were humdingers!
The X-Files had the distinction of being one of the first U.S. series to be filmed in Canada.
It was great for three seasons, good for another couple, then it became repetative. But I will never forget the Season 1 cliff-hanger, when Scully disappeared and Mulder knew she had been snatched by aliens.
Ben Cross as vampire Barnabus Collins…I still remember him as clear as daylight – pun intended, for one of the most memorable moments in the series was when he was able to step out into daylight for the first time in centuries.
This series was a paranormal soap opera based on a series of the same name that ran in the late sixties/early seventies. As I grew up without a TV, I only got to see the remake, but it was worth it!
There will be stalwart viewers who argue that Dr. Who is science fiction, but very little of the amazing worlds he travels to do the writers make any attempt to explain using science as a basis. So I tend to think of it as rollicking good fantasy adventure.
Da Vinci’s Demons
I have only watched the first three or so of Da Vinci’s Demons, but was blown away by the sets, the costumes…and the storylines, which have a distinct fantasy/mythology bent to them (despite Da Vinci having, in real life, anyway, a decidedly scientific mind).
I may go back to this series, in my infinite spare time…
Supernatural has just been picked up for its tenth season.
I watched faithfully and anxiously all through the first six seasons, which just got better and better – the thwarting of the Apocalypse was nail-biting!
One of my most favourite quotes ever comes from the later seasons. Dean Winchester (Ackles), as he drives his precious Impala down a country road, jerks his thumb toward the back seat where two women are sitting, and gins at his brother Sam. “I’ve got an angel and a demon in my back seat.” It was the stupid grin that did it.
I drifted away from the series at the beginning of Season 7 when it looked like they had killed Castiel – one of my favourite characters ever (a beatnik angel high on dope? You have to see it to believe it). However, I’m assured that he’s still hanging in there and I’ve mentally marked this series as one I might go back to.
It helps that the two stars, Jared Padalecki and Jenson Ackles are remarkably easy on the eyes.
This was a great show, based on a mega-runaway movie hit from the mid-eighties. The TV show won awards and enjoyed huge ratings, too.
Highlander was one of the first series for me that featured immortals, and one of the first series I ever watched at all (I didn’t get to enjoy commercial television until I was nearly an adult). It might be one of the reasons I like writing about immortals myself.
Adrian Paul, who played the lead, Duncan McLeod, was the first super-muscled hero I ever fell for, too. Yum!
This Canadian-made series is not exactly mainstream fare: An incubus trying to find her past, gets together with a werewolf who keeps her sexual appetite replete, along with a human friend who is not short on snappy comebacks, plus a whole cast of paranormal species that keep things interesting. The earliest episodes had the star, Bo, played by Anna Silk, hopping into bed for threesomes when offered, amongst other sexy and brow-raising adventures.
Lost Girl has just been renewed for its fifth season.
Fringe has the distinction of being one of the few series I pigged out on in a major, obsessed way. Mark was still wrestling while this show was peaking on the ratings charts, so while he was on the road, I watched it. A lot. There were nights I didn’t get to bed until three in the morning because I just had to watch one more episode…and another….
I was taken aback when the series took a sharp right hand turn at the beginning of Season 5; the alternative universe story line was shut down almost abruptly, killing off one of the major draws of the show for me. Then it jumps to the future, the two lead characters were estranged (they had the best working and personal relationship going before that – and I’ve written about it here on the blog), and really bizarro stuff that pushed me away from the show.
But the first four seasons were freakin’ fantastic.
Sleepy Hollow has only had one season, so far. But it picked up funding for Season 2 only two weeks into the first season, so good was the public reaction to the show.
I was hooked from Episode 1, a rare thing for me, as I usually need several episodes to decide if a series is worth sticking with.
I’m very much looking forward to Season 2, which airs sometime this year…it helps that Tom Mison has one of those bedroom voices that sends shivers up your spine. His accent is delicious and so are his eyes. ‘nuf said.
No list of paranormal shows would really be complete without True Blood appearing on it somewhere. I loved the books by Charlaine Harris (except the last one, which I will never read – I’ve been warned), and I loved the show for completely different reasons…except that by Season 6 it was veering off into the ridiculous and I reluctantly let it go.
But it was good while it maintained a minimal hold on reality.
Game of Thrones
The best for last. Season Four of Game of Thrones has just started as I write this, but I’m going to try very hard to do what I have for the last three seasons: Duck spoilers like crazy until the season is done, then watch the whole season in an orgy of bliss.
Because the show is an HBO series, no punches are pulled when it comes to story telling. There’s sex, violence and horror galore, and it makes the fantasy seem that much more real and adult.
One of the most fascinating storylines is that of Tyrion Lannister, the dwarf who ends up being forced into a marriage with the most unlikely of brides (I’m trying hard not to drop any spoilers, here) – I’m looking forward to seeing how that story evolves.
So…what are your favourite paranormal shows, ever?