So for various reasons I watched an episode each of Orphan Black, Lost Girl, and Alias.
(Oh and I also watched a lot of Japan Channel and a bit of Food Network over the weekend and I loooooooved it)
It was quite an eye-opener. Sci-fi and hardcore action and supernatural are around, sure, but not the most popular when it comes to primetime dramas in Japan (exceptions include shows such as Kaibutsu-kun). Sci-fi elements are often limited to the everyday (ie. esp/psychic powers), and less about other worlds/aliens/outer space etc. Don't get me wrong, yohkai (domestic demons/spirits/etc) and stuff are popular, but the 'hardcore scifi' seems rare. Action scenes are also somewhat toned down or pretty much nonexistent. Probably because of budget and TV culture reasons.
What I'm trying to say is primetime drama culture is obviously different. And I've been forgetting that recently.
So yeah. Orphan Black, Lost Girl, and Alias. They all had interesting female leads and that was definitely a pleasant surprise. Never can have enough strong female leads. But what struck me was how 'broken' they had to be in order to be these kickbutt leading ladies. (same goes to many Japanese dramas too)
I know the dramas and conflicts and stories come from those dilemmas, but sometimes it was too much. It's exhausting in an emotional way, biting your nails and going "omfg what's gonna happen to herrrrrrrr". These action/scifi shows were very much like a movie.
Lost Girl was the easiest to watch because it was more lighthearted than the other two shows (at least with the episode I watched). As much as I love dark, gritty stories (bring on the angst!), I know I'm going to invest a lot in it and get emotionally worn out so I tend to stay away from it until I have the time to binge. I've been getting many recommendations for Orphan Black from my friends, so I'll probably plow through it soon.
On a completely unrelated note, my favorite 'North American' drama growing up was ER (long story), and
as an adult it's been Criminal Minds (though I haven't seen past S4).