Greetings! It is I, Daniel Dockery, of the far future. The sounds that you currently hear are hover crafts, built by Toyotobishi, zipping past million-floor skyscrapers. That smell is the single pill that we take that covers all nutritional value in a day. That woman you see, sleeping peacefully behind me in my space bed? Your current girlfriend.
Just kidding. I’m not from the far future. If I was, all you’d actually hear is me screaming “Robots! Aaggghhhhhhh! Robots!” into a rusty microphone. But, until we can switch our dishwasher’s settings from “Warm Dry” to “Murder Family,” we shouldn’t really worry about what is going to happen in the year One Million. How about the year Now, or the year 2013? Those seem much more manageable.
Television and The Walking Dead, American Horror Story, True Blood, Being Human, Teen Wolf, and The Vampire Diaries all getting good ratings (or at least ratings good enough to warrant multiple seasons), and there are many more horror or at least horror-themed TV shows in the pipeline.are the two most important things in my life right now. When you combine the two, you can get something so awesome that it rules, or so awesome that it comes back around and sucks. Right now, we have shows like
In this article, I’ll explore the shows that I’ve mentioned above, as well as the horror TV shows that will soon, hopefully, lean more toward the first half of the formula I stated in the second sentence of the previous paragraph, rather than the second half.
The Walking Dead, adapted from the hit comic series by Robert Kirkman, has been a powerhouse, netting AMC record ratings and becoming a cultural phenomenon. I usually hesitate to call something a “cultural phenomenon,” but when that many memes are created about a single TV show, you know that it’s something important. The Walking Dead is a special case, as it draws both from its creative team’s own ideas as well as story lines and characters from the comics. Thus, it has roped in not only a television fan base, but the pre-existing comic fan base as well.
This horror show works great in a television format because it sticks to Kirkman’s original idea of it being an ongoing tale, rather than a finite short story, and the focus on human drama helps it to continue, since a viewer can only watch so many arrows to the head before they get bored. (Did I just write that?) With Season 3 currently being produced, one that will introduce not only the sword-wielding fan favorite from the comics, Michonne, but the sadistic big bad, The Governor, too. Hopes are high that it will continue to ride the wave of success.
While the show is often criticized for its pacing and sometimes spotty character development, (in particular, Lori Grimes, whose dialogue on the page seems to be “SCREEEEEEECH! WHERE’S CARL? SCREEEEEECH!”), it has more than enough bad-ass moments to keep audiences hooked. Also, have you seen Merle Dixon with that steampunk-esque attachment to his forearm? Oh, jeez. Could Season 3 just be all about that?
American Horror Story
If you were to ask the average person to describe the plot of the first season of American Horror Story, you’d actually only be asking them for permission to mop up their brains off the floor. I wouldn’t call the series confusing, but American Horror Story doesn’t really follow a traditional narrative arc. However, that hasn’t stopped it from being appreciated and ridiculously creepy at points. Not a lot of details have been spilled about Season 2 of this show, but if it plays out in a similar fashion as Season 1, I’ll probably be engaged by it, simply because I never know what to expect from it and I love its tone and general weirdness. And if it’s nothing like Season 1, well, all the better. I like a show that keeps me guessing.
I’ve been a fan of the original Being Human on BBC for a few years now, and while I think it definitely has the edge on the SyFy series (the six episode British series allow for a more succinct, focused plot line than the American version), it’s definitely a fun show when it starts to head in the right direction. While Season 1 had a few missteps, mainly dealing with plot lines that were unnecessary or simply unfulfilling, it has a great cast and has been steadily improving.
True Blood and The Vampire Diaries
While some would argue that these two shows, as well as the one following this section, aren’t necessarily horror, they do have roots in it. Some call True Blood “a show for people too old for Twilight,” but those people just don’t appreciate gore and vampire sex like they should. True Blood is erotic, violent, and entertaining – and it’s been a pretty strong part of the HBO line-up for the past few years. While it’s an adaptation of the book series by Charlaine Harris, the show has taken on a life of its own. While True Blood has a fairly uncertain future following its upcoming fifth season, it has left a distinct impact in being both a supreme piece of guilty-pleasure entertainment and a legitimately good story.
The Vampire Diaries, while not having the same kind of leeway in terms of what it can get away with, being that its broadcast on The CW, has proven to be relatively compelling as well. Created by Kevin Williamson, writer of Scream and I Know What You Did Last Summer, the show tells a good story and never becomes the program that we all feared it would be, namely Twilight: TV. Just saying that gave me a nosebleed.
Based on the iconic ’80s film of the same name, Teen Wolf has been a success for MTV. The reviews have been generally positive, and the tone of the series has been praised. Rather than try to emulate the charm of the original film, but still maintain homage, the series takes a dramatic turn. It deals with dark humor sometimes, but for the most part it’s a fairly serious show. This is a good formula, as a comedic series based completely on a kid with werewolf powers achieving success in high school would have grown tiresome after a bit.
The following is an example of what Teen Wolf could have been:
Episode 1: Scott tries out for the basketball team. Hilarity ensues.
Episode 2: Scott learns that, in werewolf form, he dances better. Prom’s tomorrow! Hilarity ensues.
Episode 3: Scott’s dog runs away. Will Scott use his werewolf powers to track him down? Also, Scott buys a razor. Hilarity ensues.
Yeah, I’ll take the series we have.
Now find out what the future holds for horror on TV after the jump…