If you asked me what my favorite TV horror is I’d say Kolchak: The Night Stalker.
If you asked me to name my top five, I’d have to strain to do it.
For a fan of horror movies and horror stories and a writer of horror stories, you’d think I’d be attracted immediately to any television show with a hint of horror and as it turns out…I’m not.
That’s right. For whatever reason, I’m not a big fan of TV horror.
Once again, this confession is not a slight on the quality of such programming. It’s just that it doesn’t seem to be my bag…and it should be. These are the kinds of shows that should be tailor-made for me, and yet I find myself to be rather meh on the idea of even watching them.
The list of horror TV shows that I found has some questionable entries, but to be fair, much of the horror TV ends up crossing over with other genres, quite often with Sci-Fi. And there are shows like that -namely the ’60s Twilight Zone and the ’60s The Outer Limits– that qualify as both Sci-Fi and horror and in that case, they’d make my top five list. Thriller and Alfred Hitchcock Presents are good, but to me they’re more suspense than horror and that keeps them off of my list even though you could argue that suspense is integral to horror. Somehow The Munsters and The Addams Family made the list and I just can’t accept that. Yes, one is a family of classic monsters and the other is the antithesis of suburbia, but come on.
I will accept Scooby-Doo, Where Are You!, though. Maybe it’s a cartoon mystery, but some of the fake whatsits those meddling kids were dealing with were terrifying to the right age group. Kids deserve their horror, too. Put that one on my list.
I don’t think my disinterest has to do with the heavier censoring involved in most television. As much as I love slashers, my horror doesn’t have to have gore. I like the quiet, unsettling, psychological horror, too. Hauntings are a low-key favorite of mine. But make it 42-55 minutes for 20-30 episodes and I’m less than enthused.
That’s my only guess for why I’m not drawn to TV horror more. I must prefer it in one large chunk, be it movie or book or short story, rather than be repeatedly exposed to it over a number of weeks.
And I know what you’re thinking. “Just binge it!” I totally could. I did that with the first season of Stranger Things, which I enjoyed. But that was also apparently enough. I’ve never felt compelled to watch any of the other seasons.
By no means am I completely writing off this TV genre. It will perhaps take me a little more effort to find the gems in it that I like since I’m not naturally drawn to it. But I will find them. Most likely by stumbling over them on some late night rerun schedule, like I did with Night Gallery. That one can go on my list, too.
Like I said, it took some work, but I made my top five.