I didn’t know what to talk about this time around. I’ve been watching tons of youtube videos about horror, different topics, reviews, just ANYTHING to get me out of this little writer’s block/rut I’ve been in. Yes, there are things written already but I didn’t want to go to those just yet. So I’m scanning through my dvds, my vhs tapes, looking for something that might spark some kind of conversation today. Being quarantined for a long time has really done something to my creative writing and psyche.
Before I go on a tangent about that, I pulled out the vhs tapes of Goosebumps, planning on watching them later in the week. And then I started pulling out the other tv based horror tapes in my possession: Tales from the Darkside, Tales from the Crypt, Are You Afraid of the Dark, The Twilight Zone and it got me to think about horror and television.
Horror in all forms of consumption is impactful: novels, video games, films, television but how do I, as a person, a viewer, a lover of the genre, take to television.
Television, you can do anything, within FCC rules but anything is on the plate to offer to the world to either accept or reject. Horror is one of the few, if not only, genre I care about on television. I don’t do dramas, comedies (minus Schitt’s Creek because that’s well written) or action. I dabble into sci-fi and fantasy because at the end of the day, they, along with horror, all go together.
So what do I like in my horror for tv?
1. A substantial story
2. The weirder, the better
3. Characters (and the talent)
4. Take Risks
5. Visually Stimulate Me
These are quite obvious and you might agree with me or not but these are not in any particular order.
We as viewers need to be invested in the show. Give us and show us reasons why we should tune in every week to see what happens next. For example, I loved The Walking Dead. I really did. I remember watching the series premiere and fell in love with it. I was emotionally and mentally invested in TWD. And then, there were some big shifts that happened within that show (and outside of it) that I couldn’t ignore anymore. I stopped watching a little after Negan’s introduction. Do I have regrets? No. I wasn’t into the show anymore, I’m still not. The actors that I fell in love with aren’t there anymore or in the process of leaving (Danai, sobs) and in my mind I always thought that if Rick (Andrew Lincoln) died in the show, the show’s over.
Yet, that damn show is on still. Kill it.
But not all shows are the same, not all shows are treated equal. You have your anthologies (The Twilight Zone, Tales from the Darkside, Tales from the Crypt, Goosebumps, Are You Afraid, Channel Zero, Masters of Horror, American Horror Story, Black Mirror, Freddy’s Nightmares, etc), and single based narratives (Hannibal, The Haunting of Hill House, Stranger Things, The Walking Dead, perhaps Scream Queens, True Blood, etc).
So what shows would I recommend that checks the boxes of what I’m looking for? Hannibal is an immediate first answer. The Walking Dead, despite that rant and it overstayed its welcome, it deserves to be experienced. Channel Zero is a nice addition into the genre from creepypastas, American Horror Story feeds into the niches of what you’re into (demons, witches, ghosts, killers) and one I hadn’t brought up but goodness it’s been around forever: Supernatural.
Honorable Mentions: Santa Clarita Diet, Penny Dreadful, Black Mirror, The Haunting of Hill House.
What horror shows are you into? New or old? Leave a comment below!