After watching the season premiers of Being Human and Lost Girl on SyFy Monday night, I started thinking about the growth of urban fantasies on television, and which shows have been my favorites over the years. So, naturally, I made a list to share with fellow UF fans.
While there may be different opinions on what qualifies as urban fantasy, I'll just say that for me, the most important elements are: takes place in a modern city; supernatural occurrences are frequent; and various otherworldly creatures play key roles. Tone, humor, violence and romance levels all come into play for each series, but are relative within the genre as far as I'm concerned. For a closer look at the specific differences between urban fantasy and paranormal romance, check out Marsha's wonderful post at Fantasy Faction on the subject.
Here we go, in no particular order:
1) Buffy the Vampire Slayer and Angel
2) Being Human (either version)
5) Dresden Files
7) True Blood
10) Neverwhere (miniseries)
A few other faves come close to being urban fantasy, but not quite close enough to include here (specifically: Twin Peaks, Fringe, Dead Like Me, and Doctor Who). I've also become a fan of The Walking Dead series recently, but it falls squarely into the horror arena. The sad thing is that most of these shows are over, and some did not last nearly as long as they should have.
Several months ago, I reviewed the new UF show, Grimm, for our week-long speculative television theme. Obviously, it didn't make the cut, because my opinion of it since then really hasn't changed (i.e. it's a passably watchable bit of vapidity). However, I have much higher hopes for the Canadian import, Lost Girl. The heroine is strong and sexy, the secondaries show glimmers of depth, and the Fae world is new and distinctive. I hope the series lives up to its early promise, and that networks continue to develop more quality urban fantasy titles.
Lay it on me, peeps: What's your favorite urban fantasy (or paranormal) show?