My second Worth A Watch show is the Canadian export KILLJOYS on Syfy. Not only does a great job of putting a WOC front and center, but it’s also LGBT+ positive with good rep, and has some pretty good disability rep. It’s at times heart-breaking, sometimes heart-warming, always a touch crazy, and has some of the best secondary characters on TV at the moment.
What’s the story? Season 1 starts with a girl on the run and her best friend/bounty hunter buddy getting into a fight, then rescuing his brother, then getting in the middle of a major war. To survive everyone will need to face their pasts, admit their mistakes, accept their differences, and make the most of what they have.
It starts with all the classic tropes – big buff hero dude, geeky nerd type, beautiful and rich witch – and twists the tropes so they’re fun and wonderful again. There’s a found family vibe and the later seasons really look at class warfare and nationalism/racism in a way that doesn’t feel preachy. It’s fun but it’s heavy at times too. Did I mention the secondary characters that I love? This show has Pree played by the super sweet and totally talented Thom Allison who I may or may not Twitter-stalk sometimes. Pree is hilarious and for me he adds the bit of light, joy, and sarcasm that it needs to keep it from being too weighty.
Who’s it for? People who like strong female characters, platonic m/f relationships, strong communities, and Found Family stories. If Stephanie Plum ran away with the crew of Firefly but was good with guns you’d get something like Killjoys. It’s not quite space western, but it’s not Star Trek either. It’s a show for people who like explosions, one-liners, and fighting injustice.
What’s the culture like? Killjoys is a Canadian show so it feels more like what an American would expect. It’s more sexually open/sex positive than some American TV with a couple of major nudity scenes. Not Game of Thrones level nudity, but more than you’d find on prime time family TV in the USA. I bring this up because Killjoys is very casually LGBT+ positive. No one says they’re gay or not. No one mentions they’re bi. But it’s there. It’s accepted. It’s part of the character. It doesn’t feel gratuitous. And it isn’t an exploration of what it means to be a certain sexuality. There’s a feeling in a lot of Hollywood shows that someone being anything but heterosexual is a Really Big Deal and we need to talk about a coming out story, and then explore the sexual tension, and angst about feelings and not being “normal” … I think US television is kind of breaking away from it, but Killjoys does a good job of skipping the angst and letting characters be more than their sexuality.
Bonuses? Hackmods played by actual actors with disabilities. Found family vibes. Redeemed bad guy. Sassy AI. Secrets. Everyone is bisexual! Plus some super cute platonic relationships. PREE!!!!
What to watch out for? Major characters death, cliffhangers, and some really sad moments. For all the fun and wit Killjoys is not a comedy.
How many seasons? Three and we’re hoping to hear about S4 soon.