On TNT's alien-invasion drama Falling Skies, Peter Shinkoda plays Dai, a fierce soldier with killer motorcycle skills and a penchant for keeping quiet. But he was more than happy to open up when I emailed him recently to ask about his favorite TV shows.
"Long before I made my first appearance on the small screen, television had been a crucial part of my life," he said. "Growing up in Montreal, I watched both Canadian and American shows in both English and French, so TV was a multicultural adventure that exposed me to fascinating new ideas, and functioned as a window into places and experiences that I had yet to see. And, of course, there was hockey."
I was expecting Shinkoda to reveal his inner sci-fi geek—in addition to Falling Skies, he's played roles in Stephen King's Kingdom Hospital, Sanctuary, Dark Angel and Stargate SG-1—but to my surprise, he listed a number of more recent, non-supernatural comedies and dramas. He also took care to point out that just because he didn't include many older series on his list doesn't mean he didn't consider them:
"It's almost a cliche to say so, now, but I think we're living in a Golden Age of television," he said. "The explosion of content out there has really raised the quality of writing, acting, production, everything. But, that said, a number of classic shows are still among my favorites."
Read on to find out Peter’s favorite shows (not counting Falling Skies, which he said should be "a given!").
"I almost hate to admit it, but I can relate too well to this series. It is hilarious and brilliantly written, but it is also a frighteningly accurate depiction of the current Hollywood lifestyle, at least as practiced by a number of my friends!"
"I know everyone's talking about this show, but please add me to the masses. It's fantastic, compelling television, and it demonstrates that even if you kill off your lead, you can still be fantastic and compelling."
"Okay, how was this show possibly canceled? One of the funniest, smartest shows of all time, featuring an unrivaled ensemble cast delivering dialogue that still makes me laugh after just one or two words. 'Come on!'"
"This show was before my time, but watching reruns when I was growing up was part of what made me want to be an actor. Jack Lord was not only cool and possessed of legendary hair, but he also provided substantive roles for ethnic minorities when there were none and, even more impressive, didn't call attention to it."
"Possibly the most underrated show on TV today. Intelligent, witty, and full of ironic charm. Also, it features my good friend Sage Brocklebank in the ongoing role of Officer Buzz McNab. How many cast members can last six seasons on a detective series without getting killed off? Something for us all to aspire to!"
What do you think of Shinkoda's picks? Did any of them surprise you?
Falling Skies returns for Season 2 on Sunday, June 17 at 9pm on TNT.
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