Top 5 Favorite TV Frights of 2015: Alyse Wax’s List

In a change of pace from our “Top 5 Film” lists, our TV recap writer Alyse Wax chose to chart her five favorite small screen shockers instead…

Everyone else writes up their favorite movies of the year. I have gone with my favorite TV shows because, well, all I do is watch television. I am obsessed with television and frankly, I think television has been better in the last few years than movies. I did not see many movies this years, and those I did see I was not impressed with.

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ASH VS. EVIL DEAD

ASH maintains the over-the-top gore and irreverent humor that made the EVIL DEAD movies classic. Raimi only directed the first episode but his influence is felt throughout the whole series. Bruce Campbell is all-in reprising his role of Ash, and the show really does hinge on his his involvement. This is my favorite new genre show of the year – and I love that there are enough new genre shows to say that this is my favorite.

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HANNIBAL

While season three was not my favorite, HANNIBAL is/was one of the best, most beautiful shows on television. The violence is shown with such beauty and artistry; the relationships are so complex and subtle. I am still mourning the cancellation of the series.

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PENNY DREADFUL

I wasn’t sure about PENNY DREADFUL. Season one was a bit slow until the last couple of episodes, but this year’s second season really secured it as a favorite. Eva Green is phenomenal and fearless; even Josh Hartnett (who I worried would ruin the show) does a good job in his role as the American werewolf. I especially loved Reeve Carney and Jonny Beauchamp’s gender-bending relationship.

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AMERICAN HORROR STORY: HOTEL

I am surprised to find AHS on my list this year. Generally, I find AHS to be a beautiful mess: gorgeous to look at and always pushing the envelope, but not in a productive or even coherent way. But HOTEL has really turned it around. We still have a few more episodes to go in this season, but it is the most coherent season yet. All of the storylines have, so far, had a purpose, or show promise of an eventual resolution. (Unlike, for example, ASYLUM, where there were “beasts” that lived in the forest, just outside the hospital walls, that are addressed at the beginning of the season, then seemingly disappear.) Plus, Lady Gaga has been fabulous. When she was first announced as the star of the season, it felt like this might be stunt casting. But after the first episode, it became clear that she isn’t just a voice.

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THE WALKING DEAD

I find TWD to be occasionally erratic. Seasons will ebb and flow. But the first half of season six was strong. Personally, I didn’t find the massive zombie herd to be particularly exciting, at least not until about halfway through the 2015 batch of episodes. The Wolves were really fascinating, and I think we haven’t seen the last of them. Morgan’s episode was beautiful and engrossing, the kind of episode that should be nominated for an Emmy.

 

Honorable Mention

The episode of ARROW which featured John Constantine. It wasn’t particularly horror-y, but it offers hope that CONSTANTINE may still have a second shot at the small screen.

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