Last week, I wrote about the Writers Guild of America’s list of the 101 best-written television shows. I agreed with much of the list, especially the inclusion of The Twilight Zone. Realizing that I hadn’t watched an episode in a very long time, I fell into the rabbit hole that is Wikipedia and YouTube the other day while I was home sick from work, looking up my favorite episodes on Wikipedia to get more info, and then turning to YouTube for clips.
During my research, I discovered that Rod Serling had created a show I had never heard of before: Night Gallery. As host of an anthology series that ran from 1970 to 1973, Serling introduced each segment by standing in front of a creepy painting that showed a scene from the story. According to this website, the tales were all supernatural and had eerie plots, which is right up my alley. Excited, I turned to YouTube, thinking I would be able to watch tons of episodes (or at least clips) easily. I was wrong.
Yes, it’s an old series and those aren’t on YouTube the way new shows are, but I still thought there would be more than what I found: a few clips from one episode, the show’s introduction, and a documentary on the show. That’s it. I am so used to instant gratification online, and knowing that I didn’t have tons of episodes to watch at my disposal really bummed me out.
While I don’t usually go for scary movies or television shows, I love suspense, which is why I enjoyed The Twilight Zone and Alfred Hitchcock Presents so much. It’s probably also why I loved the late, great Southland – it wasn’t supernatural like the other shows, but it had twists and turns and not everything turned out the way you expected. I think we definitely need more programs like this – shows that make you think but at the same time force you to use your imagination and suspend belief. Get on it, Hollywood!
What’s your favorite suspense-filled show?
6 replies on “We Need More Suspenseful Television”
Revolution has been tricking me pretty well, and then so was The Walking Dead. But few others are really getting me.
I think Hannibal is quite suspenseful, but Arrow and Nikita are, too. A lot of shows nowadays seem to incorporate suspense within the storylines.
Considering I finished this week’s episode of Hannibal 30 minutes ago, and my heart is still pounding, I would like to say, yeah it’s pretty suspenseful.
I know! And since the showrunners are very good at making the audience believe that one thing is going to happen, but then blindsiding them with another, I don’t know what could be the outcome next week. So yes, I will admit I’m a little tied up in knots over it.
For me currently, the most suspenseful show on TV is Pretty Little Liars. It came back on Tuesday and I am still digesting what I learned.
Oh my gosh yes! Pretty Little Liars always has me! I used to think maybe that was silly of me, because it’s so fluffy a show but I’ve realized it’s really got its suspenseful moments! Aria’s little daydream sequence had me going!