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TV Series With a Dark Side

Updated on June 20, 2018
NessMovieReviews profile image

Gotta love a good series. New and old, I binge watch so many that I would drown if they were made of water. Here's a bunch I love.

One of the best single season shows to air. #BrainDead #MaryElizabethWinstead
One of the best single season shows to air. #BrainDead #MaryElizabethWinstead | Source

How Do You Find a New Series to Watch?

Perhaps you are looking for something new to watch. Maybe you haven't spent as much time googling "scary series, horror series, upcoming horror series, series that are scary, new scary series and, scary series I may have missed" as I have.

Braindead is my favorite from this list and it got canned after one season. The Knick and Aftermath got canned after one or two seasons but does that make it a dud? I don't think so! The Knick especially was powerful and extremely binge-worthy.

Most of this list of 7 series found on platforms like Netflix and Stan. Perhaps you have found and watched a few of these and it's possible you've heard of others too. If you are unsure whether to watch something from this list lets see if I can convince you it's worth your time.

'Black Mirror'

Genre: Sci-Fi |Phychological Thriller.

What's it About?

It’s an anthology series, so it’s a bunch of short stories instead of one big story. Think American Horror Story style where the theme's been linked but the plots are different.

Black Mirror is all about technology. Get it? Black Mirror? Anyway, the first episode is pretty out there. I won't fill you in on the plot too because it's better to not know too much.

The story concerns a member of the royal family who's been kidnapped and the British Prime Minister gets targeted personally and viciously with an extraordinary ransom request to set her free. He doesn’t want to fulfill the request, the public doesn't think he will go through with it and until a severed finger turns up, no one even thinks the kidnapper is legit. Will he do what the kidnapper asks?

Series Info

This series has released 4 seasons and all are available on Netflix.

There's even an episode directed by Jodie Foster called ArkAngel.

Season 3 saw a dramatic change with the series being commissioned by Netflix so the change from British actors in the first two seasons to some American actors for three and four is said to cause waves in its overall popularity.

A point of interest is that the series creator Charlie Brooker has said that each episode gets set in its own world which somehow makes it a little easier to navigate.

My Thoughts on 'Black Mirror'

The first episode literally had me on the edge of my seat in suspense. I can see why it won awards and received a lot of praise. The topic within the plot is wacko and could be off-putting to some, but trust me, they aren't all like that.

Like other anthologies of this style, there are episodes you love or hate and the good thing is, you can just move to the next one before too long if the episode is not to your taste.

It’s different and smart and sometimes off-putting but I have definitely found some episodes that I adored and some that didn't appeal. Black Mirror's been compared to the Twilight Zone from the 60’s. You could throw it in the same basket with Masters of Horror (2005-2007) too. They are both separate stories with a general theme and some are completely oddball.

Watch it on Netflix or buy it from Amazon Prime.

Trailer Season 4 of Black Mirror— Episode 1 Ark Angel

Aftermath—There are muscly men, toting machine guns.

Buy this series on Amazon.com
Buy this series on Amazon.com | Source

Do you like zombies? Meet Skinwalkers and Fever-Heads

'Aftermath'

Genre: Sci-fi/apocalypse

What's it About?

Anne Heche (mum,) James Tupper from Revenge (dad,) Taylor Hickson from Deadpool (daughter), and two other sons are the Copeland family. It’s the end of the world as we know it and a meteor has crashed into Earth. The first episode introduces you to this kind of boring, if not disjointed family hiding in their house, coming to terms with a sudden onset of tsunami's, earthquakes and storms. This series begins one of the Copelands gets grabbed by a SkinWalker. The remaining Copeland family members set off in their camper van to find her.

You meet Skin Walkers who are like zombies if zombies could fly and possess people. Fever Heads, who are again replicas of zombies without the flesh-eating skin rot and instead have a gun and a touch of madness.

Series Info

Season 1 released in December 2016 on Canadian network Space but was later canceled due to lower than average viewers. At the end of Season 1, Aftermath had an average of 594 000 viewers which was low enough to boot it. There is no Season 2 of Aftermath. I still think this show had promise and would love to see it return.

My Thoughts on Aftermath

Look, I'm not going to lie... It has its flaws, yes it does. It also has its haters which you can see very clearly when you Google reviews for this show but it also has its fans which are growing even still. Some viewers felt networks should have promoted it more. Many found they'd just discovered it and liked it then it was gone.

I'm in the middle, I didn't hate it, I didn't love it. I like apocalypse scenarios and I like spin-off zombies shows and I like gun-toting madmen in tutus. Due to its less than perfect acting and a few characters, you may fail to warm to it may grate on you if that kind of thing isn't something you can get past but I still think it's worth seeing… you might like Aftermath if you liked Fear the Walking Dead which I put in the same league as both feature unlikable characters.

Watch it on the Scfy.com and buy it on Amazon.

When this surgery is though, I will write a love poem to this machine.

Dr Thackery

'The Knick'

Genre: A Medical drama that is pretty darn dark.

What's it About?

The show, set in the 1900’s, around The Knickerbocker Hospital and centers on the chief surgeon John Thackery. Back then, they dabbled in cocaine and opium, not understanding the ramifications of using...they just thought it was a bit of all right.

Doctors and staff didn’t protect themselves from the radiation that comes from an x-ray machine, Typhoid Mary is a person with a business that makes food for parties and racism was as prevalent as eyelashes on a horse. It’s a fairly blood-filled series obviously, due to its setting but let's be honest, it’s a hospital so you kind of expect that. You can see the improvements medical science has grown into by today's standards and I found it all very fascinating while at the same time being totally engrossed in the stories.

I loved Cornelia— a woman in a white male-dominated world who runs the hospitals' welfare office. I also loved Dr. Algernon, a smart well-spoken black surgeon. Of course, I adored Dr. Thackery, even if I would have had no issues having him fall down a ditch in a cocaine-filled haze so I to get to see more episodes.

Series Info

One of the Executive producers is Michael Sugar of The OA.

It premiered on Cinemax and it ended on Cinemax and apparently, it’s all Clive Owen’s fault. He is the lead character Dr. Thackery and Clive decided he wouldn’t do a third season. If it were me, I would have killed him off and replaced him with a new doctor from out-of-town yonder somewhere. He may have been a central character, however, there is room to introduce a new scandal. Just bring in a new character and bring the show back to life. Dumb, dumb Clive Owen, there's always that one person that has to ruin it for everybody else.

'The Knick' drew inspiration from an actual medical guru from the same time period William Stewart Halsted, who had similar medical discoveries in his hospital The Johns Hopkins Hospital, he also played around with Cocaine like Dr. Thackery (but for reals) to experiment its use as an anesthetic.

My Thoughts on 'The Knick'

I'm annoyed that this was canceled. It's a fantastic series, that I would happily watch many more seasons. I thought medical dramas were all the rage!

My mom's a nurse, and I have heard it all. I watched both seasons and thought someone with a smidgen of medical knowledge would really love this series. The first episode was a bit full on topic wise. You will know what I mean after you watch it.

If you haven’t picked up that I liked this a lot, then maybe I haven’t made myself clear, it’s great! Sometimes I found myself reflecting on just how some modern medical techniques and practices perhaps came about. I was very much into a few if not all the characters. If you don’t like blood or surgery or topics which make you unsettled, then this definitely isn’t for you. Sometimes I put my hands over my eyes when they cut into people. This series is definitely worth being uncomfortable for.

The story lines are great and I think the characters are very likable and I also believe the acting is fantastic.

Imagine if an experiment was being done on you which involved dying over and over again. That's just one premise of The OA.
Imagine if an experiment was being done on you which involved dying over and over again. That's just one premise of The OA. | Source

'The OA'

Genre: Supernatural Drama | Mystery. Parts are dark so it's on this list.

What's it About?

Critics say it somewhat similar to a film the writers of The OA wrote called The Sound of My Voice (2011). This could be a clue as one of the characters is from the future. The OA, aka Prairie Johnson, tells a long story to a group of people she rounds up after turning up in her hometown on a bridge, has been missing for some time.

The group consort in the middle of the night, in an abandoned house in the street. In part of her explanation of how she came back, Prairie tells them that she was held captive in 'cage' elaborately set up containing other people who had also been captured. Together they were all stowed under a house in the wilderness and used as test bunnies.

As for the rest of the story, I really can’t explain more than that without ruining the series for someone who hasn't watched it.

Series Info

The writers (who are also on the executive producer’s team) are Zal Batmanglij and Brit Marling and they reckon they came up with it in 2012 and wrote the story based on each other’s reactions to the parts they each wrote… then they presented it to Brad Pitt’s – Plan B Entertainment network.

Because season two is not released yet. I have to say, I’m still unsure where the series' is headed. Who is the OA? It has finally been confirmed by Netflix and will be returning in February 2018. It’s a Netflix original as they like to call it. It’s new and it's sparkly. Season two shall be officially called Part II which tells us a lot.

My Thoughts on 'The OA'

The OA gets compared with Stranger Things, but it isn't like that. There isn’t another series like the OA and Stranger Things has the same vibe that this has.

If you like that other dimension scenario, you may like this too. Drawing similarities to a few movies I have seen, people get abducted and kept imprisoned in a ‘cage.’ Where it goes from here is anyone’s guess.

Some of it seems a bit fantastical though. I did catch myself smiling a little from time to time during certain scenes in her hometown when she starts to teach her new friends her hidden talent. You’ll see what I mean if you watch it. If you don’t want to watch it, read a few reviews on IMDb and you will see some clear explanations of some of the weirder things that happen in the show.

So far though, it has me wanting more. The weird dance moves make me suspicious it’s going to go a bit loopy. Maybe take an avenue I’m not too fond of. Could Prairie come from the future or be an alien? Maybe she will turn into Neo from the Matrix? This would make me unhappy and I can’t be sure based solely on the season finale and the story so far.

I like it 90% of the time and I smirk at it 5% of the time. The remainder I flat-out have no idea what they are doing. I am however very curious to watch the next season but sometimes I wish they had left them all in that cage and gone a more horror route than the sci-fi weirdness it seems to have been tracking towards.

See it on Netflix.

Want to do the 5 dance moves featured in the OA? Learn them here

Wiley, how do you cope with a baby when the world is possibly ending?
Wiley, how do you cope with a baby when the world is possibly ending? | Source

'Between'

Genre: Sci-Fi | Apocalypse.

What's it About?

Set in a small town called Pretty Lake, people start dropping like flies from a mysterious illness. The illness only applies if you turn 22 or are older than 22. So, unless you are already dead because you're over 22, its “happy birthday to you, happy birthday to you” blow out your candles and face plant the table dead type illness.

Jeannette McCurdy (of iCarly TV series) is one of the main lead characters that appear on the series as a girl called Wiley who is pregnant and keeping tight-lipped about the baby daddy. There are large bonfires for the dead and plenty of Lord of the Flies similarities in context. What if there no adults left in town at all?

Series Info

I like this series but it was announced as canceled at the beginning of 2018.

My Thoughts on 'Between'

The end of season 2 ties up nicely, however, there was plenty of room to continue the series in a different setting. I would like to know more and would like to see them go and do a prelude to the third season.

If you read the comments in the forums, some say it’s like Under the Dome with no older generation. A military built fence surrounds the town instead of an invisible force field but I disagree. I’m more inclined to think you may like it if you liked Contagion.

Watch it on Netflix and Sidereel.com.

#BrainDead #BestShowEver
#BrainDead #BestShowEver | Source

If you havent seen Brain Dead, you haven't lived

'BrainDead'

Genre: It’s listed as political satire which it is, but with a sci-fi horror twist

What's it About?

Braindead begins with Laurel and her brother who's a Senator (played by Danny Pino of Law and Order SVU and Cold Case.) Laurel, played by Mary Elizabeth Winstead of Final Destination 3, Black Christmas, Death Proof, The Thing, 10 Cloverfield Lane… the list goes on… she’s cool and a great actress and I couldn’t get enough of her.

So a meteor lands on Earth and inside are space aliens or space ants or space bugs as the show dictates and these guys infect you by eating half your brain. In some cases these little critters make your head explode, yes that’s right, exploding heads!! In some cases there is no explosion, only a newly found obsession with vegetable juice and with a song called “you might think” by The Cars as well as a sudden predisposition to deafness in one ear and a loss of balance.

Series Info

BrainDead has 13 episodes and released in July 2015 on CBS and premiered June 2016, I discovered it on Stan just this year.

It originally had four seasons planned, however, CBS canceled it after season one. So there’s no more (unless we band together and start a petition to bring it back.)

Robert and Michael King are writing for a spin-off of The Good Wife and the hope of anymore has definitely been dashed for now. I still have my fingers crossed.

My Thoughts on 'BrainDead'

On the face of it, I have no idea why I watched it, but this little baby had me hooked from the first episode. It has a catchy intro song that changes as the story progresses sung by a guy playing guitar and a melody reminiscent of Colin Hay in Scrubs. Each song at for each episode recaps the previous episode and I just loved that.

I think everyone should watch this because clever and funny and simply great. I’m so very sad there is no more to see. It ties up nicely at the end of season one, where you can see that it could do more (like it originally planned) but doesn't have to. I could watch this show forever and ever. The writers were going to begin the next season in a new city which would have been awesome. I would do cartwheels if I heard it was coming back and relaunching like it intended to.

The same writers of The Good Wife penned Braindead. Some websites say that this show actually has hints of some of the subplots there. I’ve never seen The Good Wife, so I don’t know, but I almost want to give it a crack based on how good this was.

BrainDead is reminiscent of a body snatchers theme. It has great acting, great characters, and hilarious plot lines. All these ingredients are sticky taped together into a fabulous clever, one season series. I've seen this compared with Santa Clarita Diet. I’m a zombie fan and this was much better than Santa Clarita Diet. Well, the first season anyway.

Watch it on Stan, TenPlay, and www.globaltv.com.

Which series had the highest viewers?

 
 
 
Brain Dead
4.59 million
 
Helix
1.8 million
 
Black Mirror
2.07 million
 
Aftermath
594,000
 
Between
3.2 million
 
The Knick
1.8 million
 
The OA
Neflix no want us to know
 
I still have no idea how Brain Dead is canceled with start up viewers like that! It boggles my mind, I think that space bugs got to the network people and ate their brains.

How can you not LOVE this intro song to BrainDead?

Which of these series have you NOT seen and want to?

See results
Helix, where the "zombies" have black stuff on their faces instead of blood
Helix, where the "zombies" have black stuff on their faces instead of blood | Source

'Helix'

Genre: Horror | Sci-Fi |Thriller.

What's it About?

The CDC gets called away from the city to investigate a mystery virus in the Arctic. Immediately they begin rummaging around the facility together looking for clues and using test monkeys and test rats. The leader of the CDC, Dr. Faragut is harping on about how these screeching, vein-ey, black-eyed monsters are patients and needed alive. The virus sends some of its hosts a little loopy (before turning them into monsters) who then want nothing more than to cover your mouth with theirs and pour in the viscous black liquid to make you one of them.

Dr. Hiroshi (leader of the Arctic station) is covering something up and he has weird silver eyes…what is he?

The monsters, named Vectors seem to answer to no-one... or do they? There are a few character back stories to keep track of and of course the odd romance and by odd I mean—it's a bit strange.

A highly suspicious character that runs the facility is Dr. Hiroshi played by Hiroyuki Sanada who starred in The Last Ship and Life (2017) which may have been why I thought it was a ship of some kind - seeing as those two movies are on ships. Dr. Hiroshi is in the opening scene chasing down a zombiesque creature with black stuff all over its face.

Series Info

It stars the chick out of Supernatural, Kyra Zagorsky as Dr. Julia Walker, ex-wife of the head of the team of CDC scientists, Dr. Alan Farragut (played by Billy Campbell, from The 4400 and Bram Stokers Dracula.)

This show had lots of promotion and was pumped at Comic-Con. Still, Helix had only 1.8 million viewers for its première. Ultimately, after a second season pushed out in January 2015 with a change of scenery the show still got canceled. They tried, really they did, and they upped the ante and the gore level of season two, to no avail.

My Thoughts on 'Helix'

This series immediately reminded me of The Strain, I became excited. More zombie-like creatures in what looked like a space environment, only it isn’t space, it’s the Arctic… close enough.

The opening scene had me sit attentively because it starts with the team and the CDC running around the city virus busting while crossing over to the Arctic station where Dr. Horoshi is running around after the infected vectors who look pretty scary and like they are going to wreak some havoc. They closely resemble zombies without the death part.

As the episodes wore on, I didn’t much grow fond of many of the cast. I had no connections with many characters. When a central, 'loved' member of the team died I wasn’t overly bothered. Even when the show revealed 'the cutesy romantic interest' had a dire medical affliction, I said 'meh' to the possibility of death.

I kept watching because I like interpretations of the world becoming susceptible to a global epidemic and I think that’s why I like zombies as a theme. This is one take on that possibility but no, I didn’t love it, I tolerated it. Helix started well, but the character development needed more work and the vectors needed more grit to keep me interested. It's a shame that the good stuff didn't outweigh the bad stuff. It’s a good time passer. If there is nothing else on, watch it.

Watch it if you liked Containment or The Strain and see it on Netflix, Syfy, and Tv.com.

© 2017 Mother of Movies and Series Reviews

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    • NessMovieReviews profile imageAUTHOR

      Mother of Movies and Series Reviews 

      7 days ago from Moreton Bay, Queensland

      Thanks Finn. I also loved Wayward Pines. Such a shame that one got canned.

    • wpcooper profile image

      Finn Liam Cooper 

      7 days ago from Los Angeles

      Some interesting series. I gave up television but every once in awhile come across a series and watch it.

      I did this with Breaking Bad and with Wayward Pines - which they cut after two seasons. I am hoping they will bring it back.

      Once I get into a series, I am hooked, but I haven't found one enjoyable in awhile.

      thanks for the recommendations.

    • profile image

      Moral Man 

      6 months ago

      The Night Gallery has an episode about a killer doll which is seen thrown into a fireplace. This isn't the movie I'm looking for. In this Night Gallery episode the doll doesn't speak and resembles a young girl while the movie I'm looking for has a woman mannequin or doll who talks in a very brief scene and resembles a middle aged woman. My memory is very vague. I saw this on TV in 1976 as a child so the movie or TV show I'm looking for is from 1976 or earlier.

      I found a Spanish obscure movie from 1975 called Killing of the Dolls which is about mannequins. This may or may not be the movie I'm looking for. Youtube only has a brief summary, a few photos, and a three minute long trailer from this movie. The entire movie is unavailable. The talking woman mannequin or doll sitting near a fireplace looks a bit like actress Ida Lupino as she appeared in her older years during the 1970s.

    • Fullerman5000 profile image

      Ryan Fuller 

      14 months ago from Louisiana, USA

      I am a sucker for a good series on television as well. I have heard of these but I have never seen them. I will definitely have to check some of these out. I do like sci/fi series also. Thanks for sharing some of your favorite.

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