Thursday, October 17, 2013

Best Family Friendly Scary TV Series

10. Alfred Hitchcock Presents
I have never seen too much of these but from what I have seen this has great production values with a focus on suspense.  

9. Are You Afraid of the Dark?
The show that the older kids at daycare would always watch that I never wanted to.  Yet somehow doing something else in another room never struck me as an option.  The midnight society setup and the sand over the fire is iconic for kids my age.  I don't remember too many of the stories as stories but I remember plenty of scary clowns, wolves, masked beings, old magicians and pinball machines.  These were basically morality tales where the morals didn't matter, feeling unnerved did.

8. Goosebumps
The other big live-action kids horror anthology.  Based on the best-selling books by R.L. Stine, this series was the reason for the Y7 rating.  Plenty of these were very corny but they had the right affect on kids.  Good production value and use of make-up and puppets.  Never one I sought out to watch, but I never seemed able to escape it.

7. Real Ghostbusters
Should be probably be higher, but this never reran too much when I was growing up.  This series stands on its own apart from the movies and very much has its own identity while using the same premise.  Creative animation and a good ensemble of characters.  From what I've seen this series inspired some awesome toys too.

6. Casper the Friendly Ghost
On one episode of Cheers Norm asks Cliff how Casper finds a friend at the end of every episode but by the next episode he had no friends.  These cartoons are extremely formulaic and are not much on the artistic level.  However the spectre is iconic and well-loved because it really is sincere.  He is a sweet character and his harmless cartoons are great for younger audiences.

5. The Addams Family
One of the best loved sitcoms of all time.  The theme song is great and the characters are iconic.  Just great weirdness from Lurch to Thing to Cousin It.  While the franchise existed before this show all of the movies, cartoons and musical follow the lead of this one.

4. Scooby-Doo, Where Are You?
While the current incarnation Mystery Incorporated has been very well received and I personally loved the short-lived Shaggy and Scooby-Doo, Get a Clue this is the one we all know and love.  It is the definition of formulaic, but the formula works.  There is still heart and fun even though you know what is going to happen.  Even though it may be overplayed too much as a show it does hold up.  Fun characters and legendary TV tropes.

3.  Beetlejuice
When people mention Beetlejuice I always remember this cartoon instead of the movie.  Loved watching reruns of this as a kid.  A lot of funny cartoon gags, entertaining characters, creatively designed visuals and a edge that most cartoons didn't have.  This is often overlooked but as far as Canadian imports and movie adaptations went in the late-eighties and early-nineties this is as good as it gets.

2. The Munsters
Yes I prefer The Munsters to The Addams Family.  Both work as their own series but I have always enjoyed this more.  Mainly because of Fred Gwynn who plays one of the best sincere idiot dads in sitcom history.  Love the look of these characters and the joke never wears thin.  And having a normal niece without any explanation is hilarious.

1. The Twilight Zone
Even if this is sci-fi it always unnerves you.  Rather than being shocking it makes you think.  An incredibly smart series that analyzes the more unfortunate implications of a perfect society and our fears.  To Serve Mankind.  Two.  Terror at 30,000 Feet.  Eye of the Beholder.  In my opinion this is the best TV series of all time.

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