Pop Culture

We Need More Suspenseful Television

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?

By Catherine

Catherine is a Southern California based freelance writer, whose work has appeared in everything from the New York Times to Entertainment Weekly. The highlight of her life (so far) was being featured on MSNBC for a story she wrote on Hello Kitty wines...she knew one day her love of all things HK would come in handy.

6 replies on “We Need More Suspenseful Television”

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!

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