October is right around the corner, a time for dark and dreary things, the month of Halloween, my favorite time of the year. In order to celebrate the occasion, we have decided to make it the focus of a top 10 list. So for this week’s Top 10 Tuesday, we explore TV shows to binge in October. A couple of prerequisites to note, we are only counting shows that are easily available to stream, and have not included episodic anthologies, as they are not something you binge.
10. The Returned (Available on Netflix)
This French exploration (called Les Revenants in France) of the zombie craze takes a very different approach to the undead. In a small mountain town, people who have died are returning, people from different times, all returning as if nothing ever happened. The Returned chills with it’s mystery more than with events. Why are they back? Why this town? As those questions are posed, some of the returnees begin to exhibit strange behaviors.
09. American Horror Story (Available on Netflix)
This seasonal anthology can be a bit hit or miss, but when it hits, it is rather epic. Personally, I am a fan of the 1st season, Murder House, and the third season, Coven. On the other hand, I felt that the second season, Asylum, was a mess, and the 4th season, Freak Show, a travesty. Thankfully, as a seasonal anthology, the good seasons are not marred by the bad.
08. Being Human (Available on Netflix)
First let me clarify that I am referring to the British version of Being Human. While the American version is fine in its own right, the British series is superior. Unfortunately, the final 2 seasons of the series take a pretty steep decline in quality. Thankfully, the first 3 seasons are great television that stand fairly well on their own. In particular I enjoyed the story of the series second season.
07. Tokyo Ghoul (Available on Hulu)
There are a few good horror anime I could pick, but I decided to limit myself to 1. That being the case, I chose Tokyo Ghoul. Though the second season diverged too far from the source material, to its detriment, the first season is a truly compelling horror story about the humanity of a man who finds himself transformed into something that eats men. Drawn into the culture of other ghouls, our hero, Kaneki, must learn what it means to be a ghoul, while holding on to what he knows is right, as a human.
06. Twin Peaks (Available on Netflix)
This cult classic will not be everyone. Some aspects of the series have simply not aged well, and others are so strange and disorienting in the way they blend creepiness and humor that they will simply go misunderstood by many viewers. That being said, Twin Peaks is considered a classic for a reason. David Lynch is a strange guy, and an artistic genius, and Twin Peaks is perhaps his best remembered property, so grab a slice of pie and a cup of coffee, and just take it all in. As an added bonus, the series is coming back to TV soon, on Showtime, and is currently in production.
05. Supernatural (Available on Netflix)
The second half of our list is kicked off by the Winchester boys, Sam and Dean, who travel America in a 1967 Chevy Impala, listening to classic hard rock and metal. Oh, and they also hunt down and kill supernatural entities, like Vampires, Werewolves, and Demons. Searching for their father, who in turn is searching for the monster that killed their mother, the Winchesters remain on the road, hustling pool and committing credit card fraud, in order fund their monster slaying duties. Supernatural told a complete story in 5 seasons, before adding another 5 for good measure. Season 11 premieres this October. Supernatural excels at mixing meta humor, family drama, and violent horror.
04. The Strain (Available on Hulu)
While season 2 is close to completion on FX, Season 1 of this vampire series can be found on Hulu. Based on a book by Director Guillermo Del Toro (Pacific Rim, Blade 2, Hell Boy), The Strain’s vampires don’t exactly sparkle in the sun. In fact, The Strain is thematically closer to a zombie series than it is to a vampire series. The vampires are not charming, they are ugly, and deformed. Their bodies have been changed dramatically, most notably with the presence of a giant snake like tongue that latches onto people, infecting them with worms which turn them as well. The series is one of many shows produced by the currently prolific Carlton Cuse, following his time on LOST.
03. The Walking Dead (Available on Netflix)
I almost didn’t put this series on our list. You might wonder why a series that I almost didn’t include, managed to rank 3rd. The answer is simple, I just assume everyone who sees this list has already watched all of The Walking Dead. Routinely beating out Sunday Night Football in Nielsen’s ratings, The Walking Dead is the biggest show in American cable history. That being said, I shouldn’t assume that everyone has already seen it, nor should I rule out the desire to rewatch the series, for those who have. While I have some issues with the wavering quality of the series. No other horror series will match it in budget and spectacle. With the occasional great episodes sprinkled throughout, the series remains highly watchable.
02. Buffy the Vampire Slayer (Available on Netflix)
If you didn’t see this coming, then you are likely the exact person this series is on the list for. Widely considered one of the best shows in television history, Buffy the Vampire Slayer was the launching pad for Creator and Showrunner Joss Whedon’s ascent to Nerd God (or maybe snake like demon). The series follows blonde Cheerleader Buffy Summers, the current Slayer, a position bestowed to only 1 woman, upon the death of her predecessor, and lasting until she dies. Buffy moves to Sunnydale with her mother, having previously awakened to her role as the Slayer in Los Angeles. Unfortunately, and unknown to Buffy, Sunnydale is the location of giant Hellmouth in which all manner of horrors spring forth. Buffy, along with her new Watcher, and new friends, face the challenges spawned from the Hellmouth in order to protect the people on Sunnydale from unspeakable horrors. This classic series, ran 7 seasons, and inspired nearly every genre series that followed.
01. Hannibal (Available on Amazon Prime Instant Video)
Bryan Fuller’s 3 season adaptation of the relationship between FBI Profiler Will Graham and Serial Killer Hannibal Lecter (characters from the Thomas Harris novel Red Dragon) is, simply put, one of the best TV shows I have ever seen. With its often esoteric writing and surreal presentation, Hannibal mystifies and shocks and equal measure. The combination of horrific violence (it is utterly shocking that this show aired on network TV), beautiful imagery (including but not limited to the presentation of humans as food) , and whimsical phrasing make Hannibal an experience like no other in TV history. Fans of the characters might be reluctant to try the series, for fear that it won’t live up to previous adaptations. Those fans are wrong. Hannibal surpasses the quality of previous adaptations by a healthy margin. Danish Actor Mads Mikkelsen is positively Luciferian in his take on Lecter, while Hugh Dancy’s introspective and troubled Graham is easily the best portrayal of the character. Here at TVEnthusiast, we love Hannibal, and it is our hope that you will too.
What shows do you plan to binge watch this October? Tell us in our comments, and stay tuned to TVEnthusiast for more coverage of all of your favorite shows.