15th: iZombie (2015 – present, The CW)
iZombie is a dark comedy TV series inspired by the DC Comics series with the same name. Produced by Rob Thomas and with the leading role belonging to Rose McIver, the series presents the life and after life of Olivia “Liv” Moore. After being attacked and bitten at a boat party she did not want to attend in the first place, the medical resident Liv Moore becomes a zombie.
With her life turned to 180°, Liv quits her job, breaks up with her fiancé and begins a solitary life as a coroner’s assistant in a morgue. But soon her boss the medical examiner Ravi Chakrabarti (Rahul Kohli) reveals that he knows what she is and when the detective Clive Babinaux (Malcolm Goodwin) needs help solving some strange case, the brain eater is more than willing to help and give her after life a purpose.
The funny and the morbid
With a title like iZombie, the main character’s being a pun – Liv Moore is a word play meaning “live more” -, the constant pop culture references and even with the comic book style sequences, it is quite obvious that iZombie is a comedy. But what makes it dark and the reason why it is on our list is that between the jokes and word plays there are plenty of scare factors. If one thing is scary, that is a zombie and this TV series is slowly accumulating more and more zombies in its story line. And of course, zombies need brains to compensate for their damaged ones and in order to preserve their humanity and sense.
So you are going to see Liv quite often eating some noodles with hot sauce and brain pieces in it. And while Liv is the nice sweet zombie of the series – except for the moments when she goes full zombie mode -, there is also Blaine DeBeers (David Anders) whose drug started the zombie outbreak in the first place and who is currently raising an army of disgusting zombies who are already causing a lot of damage.
Fresh from the oven
Although it is still young and fresh with only 6 episodes so far and 13 planned for the first season, iZombie looks more than promising. While trying to maintain its humour and maybe introduce some love triangles and real life dramas, it also follows its path in the crime and horror genres just very well. All we can hope is that it will get renewed for a second season and possibly a longer one because we just can’t get enough of brains. So, if you have not started watching this series, you should definitely give it a try. And if you don’t become a zombie yourself, at least watch out your brain!
14th: Ravenswood (2013 – 2014, ABC Family)
Ravenswood is the spin-off of the popular series Pretty Little Liars. Produced by the Pretty Little Liars team, Marlene King, Joseph Dougherty and Oliver Goldstick, the story starts from the special Halloween episode of the original series’ fourth season.
After Caleb Rivers (Tyler Blackburn) meets Miranda Collins (Nicole Gale Anderson) on the bus to Ravenswood, between the rogues a pure friendship starts blooming. So when Caleb’s girlfriend Hanna Marin (Ashley Benson) asks him to stay in Ravenswood and help Miranda find her long lost family, he accepts.
Planning to stay just for a couple of days, his plans get changed as he was not expecting for him to discover the tombstone of one of his ancestors who happens to be identical to him and has the same name as he does. But digging in the town’s past comes with a price and the one to pay it is Miranda who dies and becomes a ghost.
Deathly Little Secrets
The night Miranda died, the two were not alone. Their other three companions – Remy Beaumont (Britne Oldford) and the twins Luke (Brett Dier) and Olivia (Merritt Patterson) Matheson were also in the car that crashed into the water. The poor Miranda was at first the only one who saw the ghostly figure that almost cost everybody’s lives, but soon every single one of them is caught in a web of lies and secrets as Ravenswood is not your average little town.
More ghosts, trapped souls, a terrible curse of the ancestors for the descendants, betrayals, family killing family, haunted seers, macabre clues discovered through sleep walking, corpses and skeletons hidden inside the walls and life in a funeral house – Ravenswood has everything a horror addict could desire.
The Raven vs. The Rose
While Ravenswood looked very promising, its originality and the fact that it was way too different from Pretty Little Liars did not please the fans of the original show.
Especially due to the fact that the fan-favourite couple Hanna – Caleb was separated for the sake of the spin-off and that a potential romantic relationship was being built between Caleb and Miranda, the fans on which the producers were counting on boycotted the series. With low ratings and people begging for Caleb to leave the creepy Ravenswood and Miranda for the secretive yet less paranormal Rosewood and get back with Hanna.
13th: 666 Park Avenue (2012 – 2013, ABC)
666 Park Avenue is a supernatural drama series based on Gabriella Pierce’s eponymous novel. The story follows the not so pleasant adventures of the new managers of The Drake hotel, Jane van Veen (Rachael Tyler) and Henry Martin (Dave Annable).
Things seem more than normal in the beginning, but slowly the couple discovers that the building and some of its tenants are possibly possessed by some demonic force. Now it is Jane and Henry’s job to uncover The Drake building’s dark secrets and to discover what is behind the mysterious owners’ Gavin Doran (Terry O’Quinn) and Olivia (Vanessa Williams) perfect image.
I can’t get more obvious
With a title like 666 Park Avenue, you can’t expect anything else but creepiness and phantoms rooming around. Jane’s strange dreams don’t even compare to what she later experiences. Tenants covered in blood, killer humans and elevators, vacuum-like walls, dead that won’t stay dead, crowds of demons, hypnosis, premonitions, mental time travelling and a dragon mosaic which has a deeper meaning and role than a decorative one.
Dealing with such things and with their lives becoming a living nightmare, Jane and Henry somehow manage to do their jobs well as well as discovering more about their own pasts and developing their romantic relationship.
When a hurricane ruins your sets, it might is a sign and for 666 Park Avenue it surely was. In 2012 Hurricane Sandy hit New York City and damaged the sets of this series. As if it were not enough, a Christian activist group protested against this series and tried to boycott it. And while, these issues did not actually harm the network’s decision, the poor audience that perceived the bad time slot did affect it. Despite its good reviews, well-written intriguing story and fan base, ABC preferred to cancel it after one season. Well… maybe one day some other network will pick it up and make it shine once again and for more than 13 episodes.
12th: Grimm (2011 – present, NBC)
Grimm is a fantasy detective television series loosely based on the famous Brothers Grimm’s fairytales. Following the life of Nicholas “Nick” Burkhardt as he discovers his ability to see monsters called “Wesen” – monsters similar to those from the fairy tales and legends – and his destiny of slaying those Wesen who are a threat to humans and others like them.
With his life divided between his plain existence as a homicide detective and the long-time boyfriend of the sweet veterinary Juliette Silverton (Bitsie Tulloch) and his duty as a Grimm, must bear the burden of keeping secret the existence of the new discovered supernatural world.
Wesen and Grimm
While Nick is a nice guy with a strong moral code, the Grimms before him were not so nice. In order to protect the humans, they did not hesitate slaying any kind of Wesen, evil or not, dangerous or not, inducing fear in the entire supernatural community. After such treatment, it is no wonder that some creatures still hold grudges.
So now Nick has to deal with the frightening cruel Lebensauger, Lowen,Siegbarste, Skalenzahne, Spinnetod, Wendigo and especially the Hexenbiest and Zauberbiest, with AdalindSchade (Claire Coffee) being the worst of them.
But there are not only demonic Wesen who love chaos and give us goose bumps when they show their real grotesque appearances. Some are nice and adorable like Eisbiber, Willahara and Seelengut because of their origins – let’s face it! How scary can a beaver and a hare be? At the same time, Nick gets support from some creatures such as the Fuchsbau Rosalee Calvert (Bree Turner) and the Blutbad Monroe (Silas Weir Mitchell).
The cultural diversity does not apply only on the human characters. The supernatural creatures are also of different backgrounds. While most Wesen are of German origins, there are also Hispanic and South American legendary creatures such as La Llorona and El Cucuy, the Kenyan Jinnamuru Xunte, the Egyptian Anubis, the Filipino Aswang, the Greek Kallinkantzaros, the Russian Koschie, the French Luisant-Pêcheur and Malin Fatal, the Arabian Manticore, the Ojibwe Indian Mishipeshu and many others.
With the series increasing popularity, we can only hope to see more and more fantastic and scary Wesen. If not, well… the current ones are doing great job so far.