It is very clear from the first episodes of Godless and Lost in Space that the shows are western and science fiction, respectively. The set, costumes, and even the dialogue (in terms of jargon and word choice) is obvious for the genres. Godless signifies the small western towns, some with a single doctor and others with only a few very young men left after an accident, as well as Alice being a widow, that are so typical for the concepts of living in the dangerous wild west. Some portions of Godless however are less typical, like that of La Belle being a predominantly female town. Like Gilbert pointed out in her article, however, this is not a portion of the show very highly focused on at first. The hierarchy of the town is not very visible, save for a few comments that there are few men left and that Alice is not trusted. Another abnormality which goes against the genre is the fact that Alice has a half Native American son, whereas typically there is conflict between westerns and Native Americans.

Lost in Space also has some factors which are typical to its genre which make the plot what it is—going out on a space mission where one cannot return to earth, crash landing on an unknown planet, all of which are features which could not really exist in any other genre without classifying it as science fiction in some way. It is typical in the sense that the man is the one who is forced to save his family, even though his daughter and son do get their moments with performing the medical procedure on their mother and bringing the robot back to the family to help. Also, the flash backs to their time at earth almost throws in some post-apocalyptic themes as well which are unusual, but the majority of the content is clearly science fiction. The characters are fairly similar to what is considered normal for the genre too, being highly intelligent and naturals in their fields despite their young ages as well as having one character who flunked out of “space school” but managed to slip into the program anyways, which is, in my opinion, typical. Overall I wish both Godless and Lost in Space would have branched out more in terms of character and themes throughout the first episode, but again, I have only seen episode one so perhaps that comes later.

To have a full appreciation of Godless and Lost in Space does not require an understanding of how their genres “work” in my opinion. In fact, I think understanding the genres could make the shows more cliché, because in the perspective of the viewer the plots could become too repetitive in terms of themes and ideology. Many science fiction and western shows are similar to each other because the genres have become typical, and the same can be said for many genres across the field of entertainment. However, I will admit, an understanding of the genres are what makes the shows classics and keeps people flocking back to them—they are familiar in a sense, and therefore viewers know what they are walking into, and there is security in that.

When it comes to preferred genre, I am more of a fan of science fiction than I am of western, having been raised on Star Wars and Star Trek. However I think that is more of my younger self speaking because until I watched Godless, it had been some time since I saw a western, and I did enjoy it more than I thought I would. I am interested in history, so I think I could cultivate more of an interest in westerns if I looked into it more, so watching Godless did assist with that.

Santa Clarita Diet leans more towards comedy than horror because, just as Oller points out in their article, the set and color scheme, which is very bright and happy almost akin to what a viewer would see on HGTV, makes it almost impossible for a viewer to get into the headspace of a horror show. The characters had some very great one-liners which are not customary to the horror genre, doing everything from making fun of the ball size of the first man eaten to casually mentioning paying money to have sex with a cadaver is commonplace—definitely not something one could slap into a horror movie trailer. But it is this combination between comedy and horror, because the theme of craving human flesh and having to procure a way to satisfy said craving definitely fits into the horror genre, is done in a perfect way so as to satisfy both the craving to cringe and laugh out loud.

 

 

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