Top 5 J.J. Abrams Television Series

When you think of fall, you may think of a pumpkin latte or baseball postseason, college football or a new pair of fashionable boots, and some of us may think of ALL THOSE THINGS. But for many, the fall season means one thing: time to dust off the ole DVR and get started on the next great TV series. Who will it be this year?

One that’s gotten us twirling in our office chairs these days is the debut of the new J.J. Abrams-produced drama, Revolution. But, c’mon, another end-of-the-world, futuristic blah-blah-blah? Haven’t we had it up to our cliffhangers in these suspense dramas? Clearly, the answer is no.

Maybe you never heard of the guy or maybe you haven’t had a chance to review his work. Where have you been? Well, now’s the time to get started! Many of the complete seasons of some of the last decade and a half’s best long-running series are available on DVD and BluRay and you should check them out! To get you started here is a brief look back at some of the shows that gave us the Abrams-itch and why Revolution might be something to watch.

Felicity: Our HPB Promotions & Direct Mail sweetheart and former Felicity fiend, Kate, says, “This four-season kick-off to Abrams’ TV career starred a young Keri Russell as the sweater-wearing, stalkerish UNY student who followed her high school crush, Ben, to college after he wrote little more than ‘HAGS*!’ in her yearbook. Unfortunately for Felicity, Ben wasn’t really that into her [at first], but cute Apple computer nerd & Resident Advisor, Noel, immediately fell in love. The next four years sought to answer the eternal question, ‘Ben or Noel?’ While Felicity also occasionally found time to befriend dorm-mate, Julie (former Pink Power Ranger, actress Amy Jo Johnson), hang out in her unbelievably swank dorm rooms, work at a coffee shop, and waver between practical pre-med vs. following her dreams to become an artist. Can we all just go back to school now? Wasn’t life easier then? Watch Felicity and you will see it most definitely was not. Did someone say Drama 101?

*HAGS = Have A Great Summer 

Alias: Becky, HPB Marketer and recovering Alias addict, says, it appears that when some of those crazy kids from Felicity graduated, they went undercover — some familiar cast members showed up in this 5 season suspense series, which premiered in 2001. A muscular and gorgeous Jennifer Garner stars as CIA agent, Sydney Bristow, who could disguise herself just enough to get by the bad guys every time! And boy, could that girl speak with a foreign accent! The series turns from straight up action to serious sci-fi when Sydney and her gang start to delve deep into a Renaissance-era artist, inventor, writer, engineer and all-around dead-genius guy, Rambaldi, and his worldwide, sought after artifacts. Every episode was like a mini-movie and left you wanting more…and if you were like me, it left you thinking you needed to head to the gym for a work out. I wasn’t kidding, Ms. Garner was fit as a fiddle as Agent Bristow.

Lost: HPB Web Designer and self-proclaimed “Other,” Darek, says of Lost, “Abrams took the initial concept of Castaway: The Series, sprinkled in numerous sci-fi/mystery elements, added a cast of characters crippled with emotional baggage, and created a television phenomenon. Six seasons were spent answering the question posed in the pilot ‘Where are we?’ as the survivors faced smoke monsters, the mysterious DHARMA Initiative, cult-like Others, time jumping, and the island gods Jacob and the Man in Black. While survival and escape from the island seemed to be of the utmost importance, the characters were really coming to terms with themselves and mistakes they’d made in the past. While television was being taken over by cheap reality shows, Abrams’ idea and creation of Lost sparked a revolution (pun intended) in TV by showing that a series is capable of having more depth and substance than most two hour movies. Namaste.

Fringe: According to HPB programmer and Fringe-o-phile, DJ, “It all began in 2008 as the next ‘X-files’: a love interest between partners of an unconventional sort.  Fringe started off slowly, with an as-yet-to-be-determined nefarious villain behind all the mysterious occurrences.  It became somewhat harder to follow during the last season, when it ripped dimensional time apart by introducing a Deus Ex Machina transformer-like super machine that can only be powered by FBI agent Peter Bishop’s mojo, or something.  After this, we were treated to a series of ultimately interesting but shaky futures hinging on the villains being bald spacemen who like their food spicy. Fringe stars Anna Torv, Joshua Jackson and John Noble as Olivia Dunham, Peter Bishop and Walter Bishop, members of an FBI “Fringe Division.”

Person of Interest: Julie, our HPB Production Manager and lover of suspense drama with a handsome lead character (or at least THIS suspense drama with a handsome lead), tells us, “This is an awesome show, and not just because Jim Caviezel is one good looking guy (see, I told you).  He also gets to kick butt, as ex-CIA Special Operations agent, John Reese.  Reese, who is living as a homeless man when the show starts, is found by Harold Finch, played by the recognizable Michael Emerson of Lost fame, a computer genius who developed a machine for the government that can detect information leading up to any crime, but crimes that will not turn into acts of terrorism are deemed irrelevant.  Finch finds a way to bypass the government watchdogs and gains access to the machine who starts to feed him social security numbers from the irrelevant list. Since he is physically challenged, Finch convinces Reese to work with him to prevent these crimes.  The second season begins on Thursday, September 27 (That’s next week! I’m so excited!), and the big question is, Will Reese be able to find the kidnapped Finch? I have faith.  Cute men always win.”


Of course, there are a multitude of TV previews not in any way connected to J.J. Abrams to discuss this fall at the water cooler, not to mention to catch up on, like when people single you out and say “WHAT! YOU NEVER WATCHED LOST?! ARE YOU CRAZY?” (True story and I am on season 4 as we speak)

Anyway, don’t forget, HPB is the perfect place to browse through, grab a copy of a series you may have missed, and catch up with your cool couch potato friends. You can look for them in any HPB store to get your fix, or search HPB Marketplace. Why rush when you can take your time and enjoy a new-to-you series or recap an old favorite! Get your remote controls ready…and GO! — Becky

Becky is Marketing Communications Manager at Half Price Books Corporate.
You can follow her on Twitter at @Bexican75.

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