The First Annual Occult Detective Awards continue…
Occult Detectives have always found a way to make a place for themselves on television. Of course it was the 1970s, my formative years, in which the Occult Detective Genre really took hold, giving us Gary Collins as Dr. Michael Rhodes (The Sixth Sense), Roy Thinnes as David Norliss (The Norliss Tapes), Darren McGavin as Carl Kolchak (Kolchak: The Night Stalker), and Robert Culp as William Sebastian (Spectre). In the past decade or so there has been a resurgence in supernatural mysteries on the small screen and 2010 saw many returning favorites as well as a few new additions to the genre.
Best Returning Series
Supernatural (CW/ Fridays 9pm)
When Supernatural first aired in the Fall of 2005 I dismissed it. First of all, it starred two pretty boys, models-cum-actors. Secondly, it was on the WB, not exactly known as a bastion of quality television. I should have known better. I had originally dismissed Buffy the Vampire Slayer in much the same way. Anyway, long story short, a buddy of mine convinced me to give it another shot. He loaned me his season one DVD and I was hooked. I caught up with season two and have been a fanboy ever since. For five seasons I was enthralled and the series ended beautifully, except it didn’t. Though creator Eric Kripke’s five season plan came to its fruition the CW renewed the series for a sixth season, sans Kripke as the showrunner. Ruh Roh Raggy. I was skeptical, but you know what, I should have learned my lesson from the show’s early days — never count out the Winchester Brothers. With Sera Gamble at the helm, Supernatural has been at the top of its game, reimagining itself and expanding on the show’s mythology.
Best New Series
Lost Girl (Showcase, Sundays 9pm)
This one caught me totally by surprise. Bo, a mysterious foundling, discovers she’s a succubus and walks a tight rope between warring factions of Light and Dark Fae. She’s got allies — Kenzi, a wisecracking pickpocket… Dyson, a homicide detective who also happens to be a Light Fae werewolf… and Trick, proprietor of a Fae drinking establishment by day, Blood King by night. It’s fun, takes itself quite seriously, and has some decent effects for a slim budgeted television series. With shades of the Buffyverse and a bit of True Blood-Lite going on, season one has left me eager to see where they go with this promising serial.
Directed by Mike Rohl / Written by Sera Gamble and Robert Singer — Death agrees to help Dean get Sam’s soul back, but requires Dean to serve in his place for 24 hours. Meanwhile, Sam decides that he doesn’t want his soul back and turns to Balthazar for assistance. The rogue angel agrees to help, and informs Sam that the spell required needs the blood of his father… or a father figure.
Jensen Ackles (Dean Winchester / Supernatural)
And my Supernatural lovefest continues. Jensen Ackles has delivered some truly memorable performances in his five and half seasons playing Dean Winchester, but of late he has elevated his game, showing us just how far he’s come as an actor. The range of emotion Ackles is able to convey and his solid delivery has taken a show with obvious budget issues and made you buy into each and every scene.
Anna Torv (Olivia Dunham / Fringe)
I am constantly surprised to read negative comments about Anna Torv’s performance as FBI Special Agent Olivia Dunham. I have found her to deliver from the onset of the series and her gradual softening of the character and depth of performance has been a marvel to witness. Of course all that changed when Fringe threw us the curveball that is Altlivia. Torv handled playing these two characters with an effortless mastery of her craft. In the hands of a less competent actress Fringe would have collapsed under the weight of its own mind-boggling intricacy. Torv’s delivery enabled Fringe to go where few shows have the courage to tread.
AT THE MOVIES
Unfortunately, the occult detective genre wasn’t
exactly represented up there on the big screen
so instead I’ll post for you my
Top Ten Favorite Films of 2010
Edge of Darkness
When You’re Strange
Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows, Part I
Well, there you are kids. Be sure to tune in tomorrow as the Occult Detective Awards delve into the heart of the genre by examining the truths behind the fantasies. We’ll acknowledge the occultists and ghost hunters and publishers and writers and more that brave the wonders of the paranormal and drag it kicking and screaming into our homes through various media.