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Binge alert – Don’t touch the green stuff

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Pictured: (l-r) Aaron Ashmore stars as John, Hannah John-Kamen as Dutch and Luke Macfarlane as D'Avin in an episode of the Syfy original series "Killjoys." Pictured: (l-r) Aaron Ashmore stars as John, Hannah John-Kamen as Dutch and Luke Macfarlane as D'Avin in an episode of the Syfy original series "Killjoys." (photo courtesy of Syfy/Killjoy Productions/Steve Wilkie)

It’s been known as sweeps month – the time when networks air their best offerings to gain ratings for the upcoming advertising season. Yet it’s also a time when you’ll see some of the best story lines, plot twists and cliffhangers that keep you coming back for more.

The networks are good about showcasing their main programs, sure. But some of the best television entertainment is off the main networks and lies within what we call second-tier programming. In fact, networks like SyFy, AMC and TNT offer such quality that they have gained a solid following.

“Killjoys” – Syfy (streaming via cable)

After their successful rebroadcast last year of the award-winning reboot of “Battlestar Galactica,” Syfy went a step further and brought back all of their seasons of the futuristic series “Killjoys.”

Set in the intergalactic quad system of Qresh, the series follows series star Hannah John-Kamen (“Ready Player One”) as Reclamation Agent Dutch along with co-stars Aaron Ashmore (“Regression”) and Luke Mcfarlane (“Brothers and Sisters”), all of whom are bounty hunters who put all on the line to finish their warrant assignments. The trio risk everything from death to intergalactic war to ensure they fulfill their missions.

Syfy, which has closely guarded this series and has not put it on streaming services like Netflix, renewed the series for a fourth season starting July 20. Yet they made the first three seasons available on demand through services like Direct TV and Spectrum until June 30. After that, it may be a lot tougher to binge it in its entirety.

Either way, don’t touch any of that green stuff. It apparently has quite a kick.

“Mad Men” (streaming via Netflix)

Any series that gives you a glimpse of the era your parents or grandparents grew up in is enlightening. Mix that with the best New York’s Madison Avenue has to offer and you end up with the gluttony, betrayal and all things Baby Boomer in the period drama “Mad Men.”

The long-running series, which AMC aired for nearly nine years until the series finale in 2015, saw an unprecedented 16 Emmys and five Golden Globes. The critically-acclaimed series starred Jon Hamm (“Baby Driver”), Elizabeth Moss (Hulu’s “The Handmaid’s Tale) and January Jones (“X-Men: First Class”). What made the series distinctive was its historical accuracy to such events like JFK’s assassination, Martin Luther King’s iconic civil rights fight, and the landing of man on the moon.

Most notable for this series, however, was the tightly-scripted character development that we saw over seven seasons that ended with each character finding their own path in the ever-changing world of advertising and impact it had on our lives.

In an era before Facebook, “Teach the world to sing.”

“The 100” – CW (airs Tuesdays, 8 p.m.)

Imagine a world wiped out by nuclear fallout. Now, imagine that same world while living on a space station in orbit around Earth that is slowly breaking down and will eventually force you to send your children to see if the home world is still hospitable to repatriate.

Well, that is the entire premise of “The 100.” We’ve seen our main characters endure their attempts to move back to Earth as their science-dependent existence ends with every failing oxygen scrubber on the failing space station.

Starring Eliza Taylor (“The November Man”) as Clarke Griffin and Isiah Washington (“Grey’s Anatomy”) as leader Thelonius Jaha, “The 100” has performed well for The CW as we’ve seen an ensemble cast survive everything from the grounders (humans who survived the holocaust and still inhabit the Earth) to the never-ending radiation that still threatens their existence. You can binge on the previous four seasons on either Netflix or Hulu; the current season just began and will run through the summer months.  

“The X-Files” – Fox (airs Wednesdays, 8 p.m.)

As one of the few franchises that has really stood the test of time since its very first episode in 1993, Fox’s “The X-Files” had aired 10 seasons and even threw in a couple of full-length feature films for good measure. Starring David Duchovny as FBI agent and paranormal believer Fox Mulder and Gillian Anderson as his always skeptical partner Dana Scully, the series has taken so many twists and turns over the years and always kept fans wanting more.

Well, Fox obliged and brought back “The X-Files” for an 11th season this year. The 10-episode arc that aired this spring picks up where it left off in last year’s similarly-structured limited season and we finally learn some of the answers we’ve been seeking for decades. And in a rare move for streaming fans, Fox also brought back all 10 previous seasons via on demand through cable and select streaming services. However, there’s indication that some of those early seasons may soon disappear and Fox’s library has continued its migration from Netflix to Hulu.

So hurry, while the truth is still out there.

Last modified on Tuesday, 29 May 2018 15:24

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