2010-2011 Rank: New Show
If I had to choose a favorite film genre, it would probably be horror. The problem with horror though is that it doesn’t have much of a presence on television. I imagine it’s difficult to come up with a concept that can be extended past a two hour movie into a full season of television. With that being said, this was a good year for horror television. The Walking Dead, which premiered last season, is probably to thank for that. The 2011/2012 season found two new horror shows entering the airwaves. The first on this list is The River, which was created by Paranormal Activity creator Oren Peli. Like Paranormal Activity, The River’s format is a found-footage/horror theme. The series follows a crew of people looking for a television adventurer who has disappeared in the Amazon. There is a heavy focus on mysticism and magic that provides much of the horror. The River did a good job of bringing decent scares to a network that no doubt limits how far they could go. Sadly the series was only eight episodes long. I didn’t expect this to go many seasons, but they did close out the season with the potential of having more. Oh well.
2010-2011 Rank: New Show
The other horror series this season was American Horror Story. AHS is about a family who moves to California from Boston and unknowingly into a very haunted house. The house seems to have strange powers and anyone who dies in the house ends up being stuck there as ghosts for what appears to be eternity. Add to the fact that many people have died there and that makes for a crowded home. There were many great performances on this series, including Jessica Lange as the neighbor/former resident of the house who knows its secrets, Dylan McDermott as the current owner and Evan Peters as a troubled teen and ghostly resident of the house. AHS gained much positive attention and even won two major Golden Globes (Best Drama Series and Best Supporting Actress for Jessica Lange). Not bad for an uncommon horror-genre series.
2010-2011 Rank: New Show
I didn’t start watching Once Upon a Time until near the end of the season, so I ended up watching all of the episodes in a short period of time. OUaT is a fantasy series in which fairy tale characters have been cursed to live in our world. They are unable to leave their town of Storybrook, ME and they do not know who they really are. The daughter of Snow White, Emma (Jennifer Morrison) was sent to our world as a baby to one day be the fairy tale characters’ savior. As an adult, she is unaware of her past having grown up completely in our world. Emma is brought to Storybrook by her son who she gave up for adoption as a baby. He knows the truth and is trying to help her believe. OUaT follows a similar format with Lost, using flashbacks to focus on specific characters and their past each episode. The show has an original concept and has some well-acted characters, including Morrison’s Emma, the Evil Queen/Regina (Lana Parrilla) and Mr. Gold/Rumpelstiltskin (Robert Carlyle).
2010-2011 Rank: 5 (-)
The fourth (and sadly final) season of Sanctuary was an interesting one. It was a bit inconsistent but to be fair they were trying all kinds of new things throughout the season. Two great characters, Kate Freelander and John Druitt were hardly used…a big negative. Episode themes were all over the place: time travel to the past, parallel-universe future and a musical episode to name a few. The season (and series) did ultimately finish strong with a fairly satisfying series ending. I will miss the characters of Sanctuary, but the ideas seemed to be spreading thin and it’s probably good that they ended how they did. I just hope Amanda Tapping can find another home on television soon.
2010-2011 Rank: 6 (+2)
Season two of The Walking Dead was split into two parts. The first part was a bit calm and unexciting; however the mid-season finale was one of the best moments of the series. It wasn’t a good time for the two children of the show. Sophia went missing and Carl accidentally got shot. The group took up residence on a farm where Carl healed and everyone worked on looking for Sophia. At the end of the first half it was discovered that Sophia was a zombie and had been in the barn where Hershel, the owner of the farm was keeping zombies hoping for a cure. The second part was a bit more exciting and found two major characters killed off. The first was a surprise with Dale being attacked by a zombie and killed. In the second-to-last episode of the season Shane brought Rick out into the woods to kill him, but Rick picked up on it and killed Shane instead. So there was a lot of down time in season two, but season three should pick up the intensity. It looks as if the group is about to take up residence in a prison.
2010-2011 Rank: 4 (+1)
I already talked about this in the top character lists, but season two of Being Human was a difficult time for all three main characters. Aiden is trying to get free of the vampire world but ends up seeing his love killed by her own mother and now he’s buried alive. Josh accidentally turned his girlfriend Nora into a werewolf, she lost their baby and now she wants to be a wolf more than finding a cure. He also got back together with his ex-fiancée, only to watch her get hit by a car and die. Sally learned how to possess, started battling with an inner voice that wants her to be a reaper and ended up reaping herself leaving her in some kind of limbo. Lots of turmoil for the characters that will probably get resolved early in season three.
2010-2011 Rank: Previously Summer Show
As of right now the final season of Eureka still has a few episodes left. The beginning of the season was very exciting with many of the characters stuck in a Matrix where they thought they were living in a future Eureka. Now that things are back to normal (by Eureka’s standards), there are still aftereffects from the Matrix that are causing various troubles. It will be interesting to see how the last few episodes of the series play out. There should be some major effects from the Matrix storyline still to come and that will probably lead to an exciting finale. Farewell to SyFy’s currently longest-running scripted show.
2010-2011 Rank: 1 (-)
The second season of Game of Thrones definitely did not disappoint while retaining its number one spot on my Top Sci-Fi/Fantasy/Horror Shows list from last season. After the death of King Robert in season one and the crowning of Joffrey as the new king it seems that everyone now thinks they have a right to the throne. King Robert’s two brothers are fighting each other for the right, Robb Stark wants to dethrone the Lannisters for revenge of his father’s death and Daenerys Targaryen is trying to get her and her baby dragons across the sea to reclaim the throne that her father once sat in. There’s war everywhere, but the worst is probably yet to come as the White Walkers north of The Wall are about to bring Winter and unleash hell on everyone. Standout performances by Peter Dinklage (Tyrion Lannister), Maisie Williams (Arya Stark) and Emilia Clarke (Daenerys) lead an outstanding ensemble cast that only adds to the incredible writing and content.