Off Book is a weekend event started here by yours truly to give us a chance to review things from the wider world of pop culture (movies, TV shows, podcasts, video games, etc.), outside of books. If you want to participate, please do! Just link back to here, and make sure to leave a link to your post in the comments. Feel free to grab the graphic as well.
This week, after a few week gap in my own event, I’m turning back to TV and the show I just binge watched: Killjoys, starring Hannah-John Kamen, Aaron Ashmore, and Luke McFarlane, alongside Thom Allison and Sarah Power. The show follows a trio of intergalactic bounty hunters who work for the RAC, a neutral party in a part of the galaxy known as the Quad, ruled by a mysterious Company and a group of families known as the 9. The show starts with Dutch, a woman with a mysterious past, and Johnny, who takes a mysterious kill warrant in the first episode without checking with his partner, which leads to more craziness over the seasons than anyone could ever guess.
I really enjoyed this show, and I wasn’t sure I would. I’d caught glimpses of the endings of episodes when it aired before Dark Matter and I couldn’t figure the show out, so I decided to give it a try. I’m so glad I did! It’s funny and violent and character-driven and conspiracy-filled. It’s basically everything I could ever want in a sci-fi show.
Let’s start with the characters. Dutch, the leader of the trio, is hard to figure out. She’s enigmatic, with a mysterious past, but she clearly cares deeply for Johnny and is good at her job. She can err to the violent side, but it’s so amazing to see such a strong female character lead the cast. Hannah-John Kamen plays her beautifully. Next, we have Johnny, played by Aaron Ashmore (one of my favorites ever since Warehouse 13). He’s fun-loving, wise-cracking, and his relationship with Lucy (the AI of the ship they travel on) is hilarious and touching. He clearly loves Dutch as family, and he gains layers beyond the outer shell as the show goes on. He’s my favorite character on the show, mainly due to the sheer growth of the character over 2 seasons (which I would detail, but spoilers). Finally, we have D’avin, Johnny’s brother and the newest addition. Johnny and D’av have a complicated past, which sometimes leads to conflict on the team. D’av also starts out as kind of a hunky pretty boy type character, but he also gains layers very quickly. This team is fun to travel around the galaxy with, but they still have their ups and downs, and that’s what makes their interactions great.
The supporting characters are also quite fun. There’s Pree, the owner of the Killjoys’ favorite bar in Old Town, an industrial type city inhabited by Company workers on the planet of Westerly. He’s a good comic relief at times, and, again, gains surprising layers as the show goes on. There’s also Pawter, the doctor in Old Town who no longer has a family, and becomes a part of the Killjoys’ circle. Lucy, the ship, is also a character in her own right. The entirety of the cast, including a few others who make guest spots, is really what makes this show click and work. They are fun, and interesting, and mysterious, and an integral part of the show.
In addition to the characters, I loved the overarching story of the first two seasons. Mainly dealing with a galaxy-wide conspiracy and figuring out how Dutch’s past fits into it. The conspiracy ranges from being involved with The Company and the RAC, to also potentially involving others higher up the food chain. Other complexities are dealt with as well, and everything always manages to tie back together. With a lot of balls in the air, I was impressed the writers were able to bring some resolution to them all. I’m so excited to see where the show goes from where it ended in season 2. It seems promising that we will get to leave the Quad and explore the further reaches of space, which will definitely be an interesting ride (especially if rumors of a Dark Matter crossover turn out to be true!)
If you want to check it out, Killjoys airs on SyFy. It airs mainly in the summer (this year I believe it aired from July to September), but the first 2 seasons were on demand on my cable provider (Comcast) and it’s also likely available on Amazon & ITunes. No Netflix yet!
Interested in Killjoys? Seen it? Love it? Hate it? Let me know below!