I almost hesitate to say I like a show, for fear it will be immediately cancelled. Whether this says more about the industry or my taste is not worth debating. The reality is that the ability to make a show set in space, with a solid cast and a decent plot, is apparently hard to do. Or not hard to do (hello Firefly), but it does seem difficult for TV executives to have a little patience while we build our complex relationships with shows we take seriously. You see, these kinds of shows aren’t just entertainment; they are mirrors. They are the age-old battles of good and evil in the future that we can relate to. And deal with. Which brings me to SyFy’s new show Killjoys. I mean, look at that poster. Space opera gold.
Here are eight reasons I love this show:
1. Dutch. Hannah John-Kamen kills it as the lady in charge. She is smart, sexy without being ridiculous, and clearly knows what she is doing. I also like that, no matter where the storyline goes in the future, there isn’t excess sexual tension as she works with two hot guys. Two hot brother guys.
2. The two hot brothers: John and D’avin. One is alpha male, ex-military, sarcastic, and is dealing with some major PTSD. The other is adorable, loyal, genius, and a bit of a MacGyver. They obviously need to work out some history, but generally they love each other like brothers should/would/could. I appreciate that the show doesn’t make those issues interfere with the rhythm of the episodes, nor are they panting over Dutch the whole time. I mean, I wouldn’t blame them if they did. She is gorgeous and has mad skills. But keeping the focus on the job, the loyalty of the team, and the individual journeys makes the whole thing relatable.
3. This summary: “Killjoys follows a fun-loving, hard-living trio of interplanetary bounty hunters sworn to remain impartial as they chase deadly warrants throughout the Quad, a distant system on the brink of a bloody, multiplanetary class war.”
Oh hell yeah.
4. This dress:
5. The back of that dress. Also, that necklace is made of explosive spider beads, which she can toss at annoying guards who get in her way.
6. The R.A.C. Or the “Recovery and Apprehension Coalition,” which is the organization that licenses, governs, and disciplines Killjoys, the professionals who pursue warrants throughout the galaxy. Independent from the governance of other worlds, there is something intriguing and mysterious about an organization that has to be well-informed and positioned, but also impartial. The Killjoys live by one rule: The warrant is all. There is something very space cowboy about all of this. Living separate from everyone, having a rigid internal code of honor. I suspect, however, that because of human nature being what it is, there will be conflicts within the R.A.C. in later episodes that will test our motley crew. Outside challenges always make for good TV, but it is the inside ones that are the most complex.
7. The plot (so far). I really like that each episode of Killjoys stands pretty much on its own. There are threads of storyline that tie them together (D’avin’s PTSD, the red boxes), but each show can be enjoyed without feeling completely frustrated and LOST. Pun intended. Also, each episode has been building in complexity and witty banter. I like clever dialogue, don’t you? Which begs me to mention the sassy ship AI. “Lucy” is clearly evolved, plays favorites, and is everything a ship AI should be.
8. The Red Box. Secret assassin cults? Dutch has one week to follow a kill order that shows up inside a Red Box when one appears? What is going on with that? Who is the creepy guy? Clearly Dutch realizes that her childhood was not an ordinary one, nor does she want anything to do with her master now. The setup is that she is now asking questions about why the targets she is given are chosen; the implication is that before she did as she blindly was told. I have a feeling that I should probably not make any assumptions because they will be wrong—which makes this subplot all the more exciting as it unfolds.
One of the benefits of watching a show that is building a new world is that you get to know an entire new civilization as the story is written. You visit new cities and observe new ways humans adapt and become resourceful. Because the future holds few boundaries, we get to embrace a myriad of possibilities. Killjoys so far is doing this really well, and I look forward to seeing more.