Culture, fashion, and public opinion are a cycle. Things come and things go…and then they return again. It true of most things in our culture – well except maybe Velcro wallets, but then again, who knows? I grew up watching television. In the 70’s there were plenty of “dark” things to watch. And by dark I refer to horror, thrillers, and Sc-Fi. But tastes change and shows like the Nightstalker and Creature Feature fell out of fashion. Over time television became “reality” shows and although the guilty pleasure of voyeurism and the thrill of watching “train wreck” lives lives on, the cycle spins again.
Darkness is back…and it’s back in a big way. The Fall television line-up reads like a wall in the Horror Hall of Fame. The list of horror, dark thrillers, and Sci-Fi productions have never been so lengthy. It appears that the national viewing audience has a taste…and that taste is for blood. It pleases me greatly that the main stream’s preference have aligned with the stuff that horror fans love.
Even the peripheral of “darkness” is a wonderful shade of fantasy gray with programs such as Arrow, Shield, and dark, if not mindless drama like Pretty Little Liars and the upcoming Ravenwoods. Network, Cable, Netflix and the Premiums are ensuring that the fans of “darkness” have plenty to keep both their plates and their DVRs full this season.
Here’s a quick look at the returning and the new programs for the Fall of 2013 (in no particular order) –
1. Supernatural – Sam and Dean continue their demon hunting. The Winchester boys were popular before any other ‘supernatural’ type shows were being broadcast. I love the CW – they don’t cancel a show just because it only gets 5 million views.
2. Vampire Diaries – okay kind of Twilight, but a decent vampire, witch, werewolf drama.
3. The Originals – a new CW spin off of Vampire Diaries.
4. American Horror Story – Probably the best, oddest show on television. Each season is a new story line and this year it’s Coven.
5. Walking Dead – AMCs hit comic book come to life zombie drama – if you’re not watching, you should.
6. Bates Motel – Okay I thought this was going to be terrible – Far from it. A&E hit a home run checking viewers in to this crazy freak show.
7. The Following – If you like your pycho’s mixed with dark conspiracy, this is the show to watch.
8. Sleepy Hollow – Good ole’ Bob Crane winds up in modern times chasing the headless horseman. I have no idea how they will continue this story line beyond a season – but I’m game.
9. Dracula – A new one this year and a return to the life and times of the original Count.
10. Blacklist – Imprisoned serial killer offers to help the FBI but will only work with the young female agent – hmm Silence of the Lambs for television?
11. The 100 – CW is being a little secretive on this dystopian story line. We know humans are few and that they reside on a space station. A group of troubled teens are sent back to earth…allegedly has a Lost theme to it – lets hope a better ending.
12. The Tomorrow People – A group of teens discover they are the first in humanity’s evolution.
13. Being Human – A ghost, a werewolf and a vampire walk into a house…seriously that is the story line and it’s in its fourth season.
So that’s the list so far. An incredible number of “dark” shows, supported by several “made for television” mini-dramas and movies in the same vein. I am not certain “why” the powers that be have jumped on board the “horror” wagon. It may be related to the fact that young females (under the age of 24) are driving sales and viewership of all things horror. Where there are female fans there are tons of advertising dollars. Regardless, I’m not complaining. I love horror and I love the opportunity to have options beyond Reality shows about love, cooking, restaurants, tattoos, singing, dancing blah blah blah. Well except for Discovery’s Naked and Afraid but at least even a bad episode includes a naked butt.