Five Fantasy Shows You May Not Remember

Last updated on: Published by: Amanda Ross 0

It’s no secret that a love of mythology and fantasy was ingrained in me from a young age.

 

My father loved dragons and Magic the Gathering and told me stories about a girl who lived in the forest and could talk to animals. My mother loved African mythology, specifically Egyptian. She was also a painter and so images of Pharaohs and a bust of Nefertiti set the atmosphere. She also loved to read about vampires and witches and werewolves. When I was finally allowed to channel surf, I discovered fantastical shows that continued to feed my love of the genre. 

 

Fantasy and sci-fi are ubiquitous now, but it wasn’t always this way. There are some shows that were so good but aired too early to reach the right audiences. Or they did, but have been forgotten by time. Here are five fantasy shows you may not remember. 

 

Blood Ties

This short-lived show featured a vampire/PI/detective love triangle and I was here for all of it. Blood Ties follows Vicky, a former detective turned PI who teams up with a sexy vampire, Henry, to solve supernatural cases for her clients. Occasionally, she’ll enlist the help of her former partner and lover, Mike, who is still on the force. Vicky is torn between them – Henry is powerful, cultured, and immortal. Mike is loyal, clever, and familiar. As the show goes on and the cases get weirder, you root for the three of them to succeed. 

 

Moonlight

Another PI + vampire tale is Moonlight. The show follows Mick, a vampire and PI, who solves cases in Los Angeles. He falls in love with a reporter named Beth, as they begin to investigate a case together. Beth introduces him to her friend Morgan, and Mick gags when he realizes that it’s his estranged wife and sire, Coraline. Things only get more interesting from there. This is another short lived but bingeable show. 

 

Dead Like Me 

This show gave us grim reapers who are less like the reapers in Supernatural and more like the characters of The Office. It follows 18-year-old Georgia who, after dying, is informed that she’s in charge of removing the souls of people after they die from accidents. We get to know her and the rest of the reapers in the External Influence Division as they go about their reaper jobs and day jobs. 

 

Sabrina the Teenage Witch

Before Kiernan Shipka took on Sabrina in a dark retelling, there was the quirky Melissa Joan Hart, who played the teenage witch with all the pluck and angst of a 90s teen. Sabrina the Teenage Witch follows Sabrina Spellman after she discovers her powers when he turns 16. She lives with her two 600-year old aunts, Hilda and Zelda, and their magical talking cat, Salem. Sabrina struggles to master her powers and get through high school in one piece. This was a staple in my house especially because it was part of the TGIF lineup on ABC. 

 

Being Human

There are two versions of this show, but like most things, the original is better. It follows three roommates – a vampire, a werewolf, and a ghost as they live together and try to make sense of their lives in modern-day Bristol. A big part of the first season is them dealing with their central conflicts – John is trying desperately not to feed, George struggles to maintain his transformations, and Annie tries to find out how she died. I loved the relationship between these characters and how they are truly a found family. 

 

What are your favorite fantasy shows? Let me know!

Five Witchy Movies to Binge Watch Now

Last updated on: Published by: Amanda Ross 0

For many people, witches are terrifying because of their abilities to bend reality to their will. For me, being a witch seems like the most exciting thing you could be. I’d love to be able to move things with my mind or cast spells or change the weather. It’s this desire that compelled me to feature witches in To Astera, With Love

While you’re at home staying put and avoiding Ms. ‘Rona, you’re probably looking for something good to watch. When you’re ready to get your magic on, check out these five witchy movies. 

The Witch
Set in the 1630’s New England, The Witch follows a family of five after they are cast out of their colony over a religious dispute. The family – father William, mother Katherine, and children Thomasin, Caleb, Mercy, Jonas, and newborn Samuel – move to an abandoned field by the forest where they must build their own home. After the baby disappears one day on Thomasin’s watch and Caleb falls ill after a walk in the woods, the family accuses her of being a witch. Despite her protestations, bad things continue to happen. 

I loved this movie from the moment I saw it. It feels historically accurate from the costumes to the set to the writing – the characters actually use 17th century vernacular. Additionally, it is deliciously creepy to follow the family’s descent into madness. 

The Craft
Sarah Barnes moves to Los Angeles with her father and stepmother. She makes friends quickly with a group of outcasts. There’s Rochelle, one of the only black students, who’s constantly bullied by a group of white girls. There’s Bonnie, whose body is covered in burns from a car accident, forcing her to constantly stay covered. Then there’s Nancy, who’s poor and lives in a trailer with her abusive stepfather. The girls introduce Sarah to a deity they call “Manon,” who they feel will endow them with powers. After they complete a ritual, they each start to use their powers in various ways. Nancy becomes power-hungry, and soon Sarah finds herself at odds with them. 

The Craft offers ‘90’s nostalgia, teen drama, and all the witchcraft you need. The one thing that is frustrating about this film is that Rochelle’s (played by Rachel True) storyline was centered on dealing with racist bullies. Given that she was the only black character, it only served to tokenize her more than the writers probably wanted. 

The Witches
Eight-year-old Luke is on vacation with his aunt Helga in Norway. While roaming around his hotel, he spies on a group of witches during their annual gathering. He overhears the Grand High Witch talking about a potion that will turn children into mice. Before he can get away without notice, Luke is captured and turned into a mouse. With the help of his aunt and another boy at the hotel, Luke conspires to kill the witches and escape. 

I remember watching The Witches with my siblings when I was a kid. At the time, I was scared by the Grand High Witch, played by Angelica Houston. Watching it as an adult, it’s definitely campy but still worth watching.  

Hocus Pocus
We all know the tale – Max and his sister Dani move with their family from Los Angeles to New England. Max is upset about the move, and even more perturbed about having to take his little sister trick-or-treating. After running into his classmate Allison, the trio visits the house of the Sanderson sisters. The sisters were hanged 300 years prior for being witches. The house has become a museum and is being watched by Thackery Binx, a teenager turned cat. He warns them, saying that if a virgin lights the black flame candle, it will bring back the sisters. The candle is lit, the sisters return, and All Hallows Eve gets a lot more interesting for Max, Allison, Dani, and Thackery Binx.

This classic film featuring Bette Midler, Sarah Jessica Parker, and Kathy Najimy as the Sanderson sisters is on everyone’s list for top Halloween movies. I won’t try to convince you how great this film is because you should have seen it already – right?  

Blair Witch
College students Heather, Mike, and Josh are making a documentary about the Blair Witch, who supposedly haunts the woods in Burkittsville, Maryland. As they interview local townsfolk, they are told about the history of the witch and of a man named Rustin Parr, who allegedly killed children at the witch’s behest. As they make their way into the woods, more and more creepy disturbances occur – they hear noises at night around their tent, their map goes missing, and eventually Josh disappears. 

This is the film that started the found-footage craze. When it first came out, many people thought that it was real. It’s been parodied a lot, and many people may disagree with me, but I feel this film holds up if you’re looking for something more atmospheric than gory. 

What’s your favorite witchy film? Leave a message in the comments!