Four Reasons to Turn on Your TV: Defiance, Mad Men, Game of Thrones, and Scandal

SyFy’s Defiance, AMC’s Mad Men, HBO’s Game of Thrones, and ABC’s Scandal. These are the shows I watch religiously (or almost religiously) every week, which goes to show that there is good programming out there, you just might have to cobble that programming together from several channels.

Defiance is for you sci-fi junkies out there.

The cast of Defiance, from left to right: Datak Tarr and his wife Stahma Tarr; town sheriff Amanda Rosewater; Amanda's sister, bar owner Kenya Rosewater; Nolan; Irisa; and, Rafe McCauley, owner of McCauley Mines.

The cast of Defiance, from left to right: Datak Tarr and his wife Stahma Tarr; town sheriff Amanda Rosewater; Amanda’s sister, bar owner Kenya Rosewater; Nolan; Irisa; and, Rafe McCauley, owner of McCauley Mines.

In Defiance the year is 2046, three decades after seven alien races have come to Earth for a new beginning after their home worlds have been destroyed. The show is set in the town of Defiance, which used to be the city of St. Louis, Missouri. A human, Nolan (played by Grant Bowler) and his adopted daughter Irisa (Stephanie Leonidas), wind up in the town of Defiance as they were attempting to make their way to Antarctica, which is now supposed to be a paradise. As Nolan and Irisa settle in, the town becomes increasingly unsettled, as one social climbing couple attempts to accumulate power, and the town encounters a steady stream of threats which could bring it to destruction.

Defiance airs Monday nights at 9/8c and Deadline is reporting that the show has been picked up for a second season.

Mad Men is the 60’s come to life.

Jon Hamm (the star of Mad Men) surrounded by the shows' leading ladies

Jon Hamm (the star of Mad Men) surrounded by the shows’ leading ladies

This is the sixth season of Mad Men and Don Draper (Jon Hamm) is still up to his old tricks–having sex with beautiful women other than his wife and being a successful creative director of an up-and-coming ad agency.

Teyonah Parris, who plays Draper’s secretary, Dawn Chambers, is the character I’ve got my eye on this season. It’s the sixties, which was a very turbulent time for civil rights in the United States. Basically, the only reason Dawn, a black woman, was hired in the first place was because Don’s colleague thought it would be funny to poke fun at the racism of a competitor ad agency–the end result being that Sterling Cooper Draper Pryce had to hire a black person in order to cover up their own racism. Thus far this season the show has dealt with the assassination of Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. and, in one of my favorite scenes so far, what it was like for single black women to find a date to a wedding in the 60’s.

Winter is coming and the battle for the iron throne still rages.

Tyrion Lannister (played by Peter Dinklage)

Tyrion Lannister (played by Peter Dinklage)

With three houses in open revolt against the throne, can the House Lannister (led by Lord Tywin Lannister, the Hand of the King and grandfather of the current King, Joffrey Baratheon) regain control over the realm and ensure his family’s continued legacy? Threats to the throne abound. The King in the North, Robb Stark, moves his armies closer and closer to the city of Westeros, in a bid to avenge his father’s murder at the hand of the Lannister’s. Robb’s half-brother, Jon Snow, has abandoned his post with the Night’s Watch, an order of men who swear to protect the North, in favor of joining the Wildings, a people who have been forced to live north of the wall after long ago having their lands taken.

Daenerys Targaryen, mother of dragons and the last of the Targaryen royal family, is gaining strength and resolve to take the iron throne upon which Joffrey sits. Will her resolve, the dedication of her army, constructed from freed slaves, and her fire-breathing dragons be enough to conquer Westeros?

Scandal is still scandalous.


Olivia Pope once said, “I want painful, difficult, devastating, life-changing, extraordinary love.” And this season she had been getting exactly what she asked for and then some. Olivia and the President are still going back and forth, despite having taken a break after President Grant discovered Olivia’s role in his election. While President Grant and Olivia were apart she briefly became involved with someone else, someone very close to the President, and Grant doesn’t yet know about Olivia’s dalliance. Mellie, the President’s wife, in a bid to save her marriage and bring her husband to his senses (and also, to hurt him because he hurt her) has exposed her husbands’ philandering to the American people on national television. Will President Grant be able to get re-elected now that the people know their President has cheated on his wife? Will Olivia be able to expose the mole before he thwarts the President’s re-election campaign? Now that the President has unambiguously declared his love and devotion to Olivia but at the same time he is running for re-election, what does this mean for their relationship?

What are you watching?
Jamila Akil is a Senior Editor at Beyond Black and White. Follow her on Twitter @jamilaakil

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