Top 15 Horror Television Shows Of All Time - GMonsterTV

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Top 15 Horror Television Shows Of All Time

It's time again for another Top 10 list. Previously we did the top horror films (see article here) so let's now turn to television shows. A few entries below are crossovers into other genres (such as sci fi or fantasy) but still have horror elements. No "reality" TV shows such as "Ghost Hunters" are listed. And since I couldnt narrow the list down to top 10, I included 15 instead. Do you agree/disagree with my choices? Please leave your picks in the comments section.

15. Dark Shadows- I including this one since it had such an impact on me as a child. "Dark Shadows" aired from 1966 to 1971. Barnabus Collins is a vampire who gets into all manner of soapy drama. Is it the scariest thing you've ever seen? Nope, but it was still creepy fun back then. Plus, I'm all in for vampire romance.. but with attractive vampires, not the freaky rat-looking kind. And yes there was a Johnny Depp/ Tim Burton 2012 movie based on the series but it's more comedic than horror.   

14. Shock Theater- The granddaddy of the horror television genre. "Technically" the show just replayed old horror movies but I'm counting it anyway. These 1940-50s films were my first introduction to horror. Besides Dracula, there was the Wolfman, Frankenstein, the Mummy, the Creature From The Black Lagoon, the Invisible Man and various other creatures (including giant spiders). Sure they're laughable now but to a little kid they were super scary... and I loved them.  

13. The Returned/ Les Revenants (French Version)-  Beginning in 2012 and running for only two seasons, "The Returned" depicts the dead returning to a small community in the French Alps. The deceased and not zombies though. They're just inexplicable back. The show has a horror backdrop and is heavy on the feels. Don't forgot your Kleenex. I loved "The Returned" so much I listed it as my most favorite television show (in any genre) in 2015. See Top TV 2015. It doesnt get much better than that. There is also an American remake called "The Returned" and a show loosely based on the premise called "Resurrection". There is also an Australian version called "Glitch" which is currently airing on NetFlix. Don't be fooled by the imitations. The original is BY FAR the best.  

12. Penny Dreadful- "Penny Dreadful" ran for three season on Showtime and told the story of various tortured souls in Victorian England. We have Dracula, Frankenstein, the Werewolf, Dr Jekyll, Dorian Grey as well as some seriously nasty witches. Eva Green gives a powerful (and severely underappreciated) performance as the tortured Miss Vanessa Ives. I voted her one of the top female characters in television each year the show ran. See 2014 Top Women In Television as one example. The supporting cast of Josh Harnett, Timothy Dalton and Billie Piper, Harry Treadaway and Patti LuPone were also excellent. The production values superb. Too bad Showtime abruptly pulled the plug. "Penny Dreadful" had a few more good seasons left. There were plenty more monsters to explore.  

11. Buffy The Vampire Slayer- "Buffy" was originally a film staring Kristy Swanson in the lead role. "BTVS" the TV series ran from 1997 to 2003 and is currently being remembered during it's 20 year anniversary. Who knew a show about a high school student fighting demons would become such a phenomena? Joss Whedon, that's who. The show's snarky dialogue and pop culture references are as much a part of it's success as the horror element. Let's also not forget about the Buffy spinoff of "Angel" which was no slough either.  

10. Kolchak: The Night Stalker- An oldie but a goodie. "The Night Stalker" ran from 1974 to 1975 and scared the bejesus out of me as a child. Kolchak was a reporter who got into all sorts of craziness during the show's 20 episode run. Let's just forget the attempted 2005 reboot (since everyone else apparently did).  

9. Dexter- When "Dexter" aired on HBO in 2006 there was nothing like it on television. A central character that was a serial killer? How can we possibly root for him? Just fine, thank you. Dexter only killed people that needed killing anyway. As long as he lived by "the code" I was fine with his decisions. In it's eight seasons Dexter confronted some great adversaries. Trinity was my absolute favorite. To this day, if I saw John Lithgow on the street I would run screaming in the other direction. "Dexter" eventually suffered from the same problem as other shows that dont know when to pull the plug. It also had one of the stupidest series finales IN TELEVISION HISTORY. I'm still upset about it. Seriously writers? You couldnt come up with anything better? But dont let the finale taint your memory. "Dexter" was at times brilliant.  

8. True Blood- "True Blood" ran from 2008 to 2014 and told the story of a various supernatural characters in the small town of Bon Temps Louisiana. Sookie Stackhouse serves as the central character around which all others revolve. There are vampires, fairies, werewolves, shapeshifters, werepanthers (no, I didnt know those even existed) a minotaur, you name it. "True Blood" has a decidedly adult flavor which is a refreshing break from the kiddy-horror we were used to. 

"TB" had some great moments in it's seven seasons. My favorite remains Russell Edgington's TV speech. It makes me laugh to this day. Just ignore the later seasons of "True Blood" or you'll be sorely disappointed. 

7. Hannibal- "Hannibal" aired for three season on NBC ending in 2015. TBH, I was originally skeptical of the series. Who could replace Anthony Hopkins as Hannibal the Cannibal? Mads Mikkelsen that's who. Mads brought an entirely different perspective to the character. He's so good, I consistently voted him the most interesting male character on television. See 2014 Most Intriguing Men as an example. Bryan Fuller turned murder into a weekly art form with this series. I'm still not sure how "Hannibal" got by the NBC censors (but I'm not complaining). Another interesting component of the show is Hannibal's relationships with other characters. He has a friendship/bromance/infatuation/I'm not sure what to call it with FBI agent Will Graham. Does he want to kill Will or kiss him or maybe both? The same goes for Hannibal's therapist/captive/travel companion Dr Bedelia de Maurier. And that's what was so great about "Hannibal". You never EVER knew where anyone stands with the charming demon. Does Hannibal have any actual feelings or is he just looking for his next meal? I keep hoping "Hannibal" will find a venue that's more suited for it-- maybe NetFlix or Amazon? It still has a very loyal fanbase despite being off the air for two years. Hope springs eternal.   

6. Alfred Hitcock Presents- "AHP" ran from 1955 to 1962. For those you who dont know, Hitcock almost single handed created the horror/suspense genre with such films as "Psycho", "The Birds", "Vertigo", and "Rear Window". He was light years ahead of his contemporaries. Let this be a lesson to younger producers/directors, you dont need to show gore to freak people out. Just point them in the right direction and audiences will do a much better job of scaring themselves to death.  

5. Bates Motel- "Bates Motel" recently wrapped it's fifth and final season. Yes, "Bates Motel" owes it all the Hitchock and "Psycho". It has however created a name for itself by elevating the source material (something rarely done well on TV). Everything about this show is brilliant especially the acting of Freddie Highmore and Vera Farmiga. We all know what happens to Norman and Norma in the end. Who knew watching them get there would be such fun? "Bates" is number three on my list of top shows of 2016. See article here

4. American Horror Story- "AHS" has been going strong since 2011. It was the anthology horror show on the air. Ryan Murphy has created some amazingly creative characters and stories. It's hard to pick a best season but I think my favorite is "Asylum" followed by "Freak Show". I also truly appreciate that "AHS" showcases actresses of a certain age including Jessica Lang and Kathy Bates (who are EXCELLENT in everything they do). It has also made Miss Sarah Paulson a household name. I just love her. "American Horror Story" has made FX a destination station. I only have two complaints about the show: 1. While each season starts out strong, Murphy doesnt seem to know how to stick the landing. What should be the finale is typically 2-3 episodes earlier; 2. The last two seasons didnt do it for me. "Hotel" and "Roanoke" don't have the same creative spark as earlier seasons. I know Ryan is busy with other shows. Both "American Crime Story" and "Feud" are wonderful. There's still some life left in "AHS" though so let's not forget the old gal. 

3. The Walking Dead- Unless you've been living under a rock, you know "TWD" (season eight will air in the Fall) is about the zombie apocalypse. Side Note; If such a thing EVER occurs, hiding under a rock might not be such a bad idea. Besides combating zombies, the show has also taught us that the living are FAR more frightening than the dead. If Rick's crew only had the undead to combat, life would be a cake walk. Instead, they've had: the Governor, the cannibals of Terminus and most recently Negan and the Saviors. Those of you who follows my reviews know I have a love/hate relationship with the show in recent years. Dont get me wrong. "TWD" has moments of absolute brilliance. In recent years though it feels the episodes between the premiere and finale are mainly filler. THE FANS EXPECT AND DESERVE MORE FROM THEIR ZOMBIE SHOW. And don't get me started about it's spinoff "Fear The Walking Dead". The show has potential but the jury is still out.

2. The X Files- "X-Files" aired from 1993 to 2002 and has had two spin off movies and five new episodes last year. The show can arguably be considered the daddy of the sci fi TV. There was really nothing before it that dealt regularly with aliens, government conspiracies, and other baddies. It also often crossed into horror territory. I still havent gotten over the inbred family who kept their mother under the bed. Eeeek!!!   I'm hoping for more "X Files" in the future. The truth is still out there. 

1. The Twilight Zone- "Twilight" ran from 1959 to 1964 and features weekly standalone episodes that span both the horror and sci fi genres. Rod Serling and writers created a number of great episodes that are still referenced in pop culture today. The show attempted two later reboots but the original is still the best. Who can forget the pig faced people or William Shatner being tortured by a flying demon at 20,000 feet?

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TV: Heavy On Sci Fi, Horror, Fantasy & Adventure

July 3, 2017

Top 15 Horror Television Shows Of All Time Reviewed by GMonsterTV on 8:15 PM Rating: 5 It's time again for another Top 10 list. Previously we did the top horror films (see article here ) so let's now turn to televis...

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