I am participating in the Get Rec’d: A Movie/TV/Book List Challenge and this is the fourth week’s entry.  I have decided to be bold and list a response for all three categories; a movie, a television show, and a book.

Week 4: Favorite First Installment Of A Series

These examples illustrate the best of intentions when starting a series that drop off from there.

Movie: The Matrix (1999)

From IMDB: A computer hacker learns from mysterious rebels about the true nature of his reality and his role in the war against its controllers.  Keanu ReevesLaurence FishburneCarrie-Anne Moss

The Matrix is a great first movie that had such potential for sequels. Unfortunately, the sequels couldn’t live up to the original. Few movies could. The execution of every part of the movie worked well as a whole. There is no clear reason why they failed to resemble the first film. Although, there has been much speculation.

Television: Desperate Housewives – Season One (2004)

From IMDB: Secrets and truths unfold through the lives of female friends in one suburban neighborhood, after the mysterious suicide of a neighbor.  Teri HatcherFelicity HuffmanMarcia Cross

 

Not only the first season, but the first episode of Desperate Housewives exemplifies how to create a series that is a character driven ensemble cast with a mystery at the heart of its plot. The first season has a beginning, middle, and end of the original mystery. The characters are rich, complicated, and watchable. Future seasons got away from this core and then tried to get back to it in Season 4, but by then the characters were more of a parody of themselves.

Book: Daughter of Smoke & Bone (2011) by Laini Taylor

From Goodreads: Around the world, black hand prints are appearing on doorways, scorched there by winged strangers who have crept through a slit in the sky. In a dark and dusty shop, a devil’s supply of human teeth grows dangerously low. And in the tangled lanes of Prague, a young art student is about to be caught up in a brutal otherworldly war.

Meet Karou. She fills her sketchbooks with monsters that may or may not be real, she’s prone to disappearing on mysterious “errands”, she speaks many languages – not all of them human – and her bright blue hair actually grows out of her head that color. Who is she? That is the question that haunts her, and she’s about to find out. When beautiful, haunted Akiva fixes fiery eyes on her in an alley in Marrakesh, the result is blood and starlight, secrets unveiled, and a star-crossed love whose roots drink deep of a violent past. But will Karou live to regret learning the truth about herself?

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The lush, rich world building in Daughter of Smoke and Bone drag you right into the series. The way Laini Taylor set up the characters and environments makes you want to jump into the book. Sadly, the rest of the trilogy doesn’t come close. Taylor uproots the characters and drops them into what seems like an entirely different story. The excitement waiting for the next in the series completely waned after the second book. The series itself is worth reading, but the first book is by far the best.

Coming Up Next

Next week will be “First Purchase.”

What are your picks? Let us know in the comments.

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