FoCC Reactor: Television & Streaming Gems – Fall 2020 Edition

By Miclpea

As television viewers have found in this year of Covid-19, there are many exceptional choices available on network television and streaming services to entertain viewers as the nation battles the pandemic. Here are some new gems that many viewers might have missed.  These series are definitely worth a look.

Helstrom – Hulu

Helstrom is a wonderfully dark, horror thriller. The series was expertly produced by the now-defunct Marvel television studios under the guidance of Jeph Loeb. The acting, writing, directing, visual effects, and overall production values are top-notch. 

Helstrom invokes the story of an estranged family touched and cursed by the supernatural which has left the mother, Victoria Helstrom (brilliantly portrayed by Elizabeth Marvel) institutionalized. Her son, Daimon Helstrom (Tom Austen), tries to care for her while he works as a part-time exorcist and full-time professor.  Daimon manifests supernatural ability as he exorcises the demons from their unwilling hosts. Unfortunately for Daimon, he is surrounded by so much darkness because his father was a serial killer inhabited by an arch-demon. 

Ana (Sydney Lemmon), Daimon’s sister, also has supernatural powers but hides behind an ice shell of logic and cool elegance. She is also fighting her own demons (literally, in some cases) as she and Daimon reluctantly join forces to combat the very powerful demon that is holding their mother hostage. 

Joining this dysfunctional family in its fight against evil are Novitiate Gabriella Rosetti (Ariana Guerra), Dr. Louise Hastings (June Carryl), Caretaker (Robert Wisdom), and Ana’s assistant, Chris Yen (Alain Uy).

With only 10 episodes, the series tells a concise story of horror that is redeemed by sacrifice, faith, and familial bonds. Helstrom is definitely worth the watch and fans can only hope for a second season.

Blood of Zeus – Netflix

Blood of Zeus, a stylish anime series, retells the story of the Greek gods who are notorious for their human failings. Zeus (Jason O’Mara) falls in love with a mortal woman, Alexia (Jessica Henwick) with whom he has a child, Heron (Derek Phillips).  Of course, anything involving the Greek gods only complicates matters. Alexia is married to a king when she gives birth to Heron and his half-brother, Seraphim (Elias Toufexis). This starts a devastating chain reaction of events that eventually lead to tragedy. 

Let’s not forget that Zeus is still married to Hera (Claudia Christian) who is quite upset with Zeus for his dalliance. She wants revenge. 

If this were set in modern times with just humans, it would be the typical soap opera. However, with gods, demons, and demi-gods, the series becomes an exciting excursion into a world long forgotten. Ultimately, the series develops into a story of love, growth, and redemption. With only 8 episodes, it is definitely worth a watch.

Truth Seekers – Amazon Prime Video

Truth Seekers answers the question of what happens when British humor meets the X-Files. The series stars Nick Frost as Gus Roberts, a part-time paranormal investigator whose day job is working as a technician for a major telecom company. Gus partners with Elton John (Samson Kayo) and later they are joined by Astrid (Emma D’Arcy) and Elton John’s sister, Helen (Susan Wokoma). Veteran actor Malcolm McDowell performs as the wonderfully eccentric, curmudgeonly Richard, Gus’s father-in-law.

But if the series has Nick Frost, viewers do not have to look far for Simon Pegg, who expertly plays Dave, Gus’s droll boss. In typical X-Files fashion, nothing is what it seems. Seriously, one of the characters calls himself Elton John, which even Gus finds hard to believe. His name hides a very dark past. 

The series has laughs, screams, plenty of heart, and Malcolm McDowell. Who could ask for more? The series is currently streaming on Amazon Prime Video. Hopefully, there will be a Season 2 for this very funny and, at times, scary series.

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I love going to conventions around the US. I'm an ardent fan of all things science fiction and especially The Expanse. I'm a staff writer for Friends of CC and I have co-written a science-fiction script called Punctuated Equilibrium.

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