I cannot sit through horror movies. Gore and slasher films are not my thing at all. What I do enjoy — almost to a point of obsession— is watching mystery shows, thrillers, dramas, and true crime. I swear I was a PI in a previous life. Oddly, stories like these are usually based on true events, or at least tend to be more realistic, which arguably makes them scarier than a guy in a mask terrorizing a bunch of teenagers, but oh well.
Compiled here is a shortlist of some of my favorites that you can find on the usual streaming services, including Netflix and Disney+. If you’re not quite ready for Halloween to be over yet, look no further!
- The X-Files
If you enjoy science fiction content about aliens, the supernatural and the occult, or mystery, this is definitely the show for you! Previously available on Netflix, this show was removed, and I only recently noticed it has been added to Disney+. The X-Files is a TV show that aired for 11 seasons beginning in the early 90s. It features two FBI special agents; one, a firm believer of all things paranormal and extraterrestrial, and the other, a medical doctor and a skeptic who are partnered to investigate unsolved cases of unexplained phenomena.
If you like to gush over 90s decor and fashion, there’s a lot of that in this show. I spend at least three minutes per episode in awe of the feathered hair and colorful pantsuits. The show’s content also draws on inspiration from various real-life documentations of these events, which makes it even creepier.
This show is truly a hidden gem for any true crime lover. Mindhunter is set in the 1970s, and follows two partners from the FBI’s Behavioural Crime Unit, as they make strides with the development of criminal profiling. This involves their launch of a project where they interview serial killers to determine their motives and behavioural patterns to better understand why people kill, and to prevent other crimes from happening. What makes this even more interesting is that a lot of the characters interviewed are based on real-life killers, including Charles Manson. I’m surprised more people don’t talk about this show because the writing, acting, and soundtrack are fantastic. This show will reel you in!
However, before watching it, beware: this show is currently on an indefinite hold, as its creators are focusing their efforts on other shows at the moment. They have stated they may revisit the series in the future, but there is currently no date set for a third season’s release.
- Black Mirror
Black Mirror is an anthology series on Netflix that currently has five seasons and an interactive movie experience called Black Mirror: Bandersnatch. This is a different type of show. Every episode is a completely different story by completely different production teams. It gives you the chance to sit down for about an hour per episode, and either binge or take it slowly. It also allows you, as the viewer, to make your own assumptions about what happens before or after the story segment you’re shown. The one commonality with all the episodes is that of near-future technology, and how things can go terribly wrong.
- Don’t F*ck with Cats: Hunting an Internet Killer
This is a limited docu-series recently released on Netflix. This one hits hard for me since it pertains to a true crime story that took place in my hometown. It’s super interesting to watch as a group of acquaintances from the Internet band together to go on an online manhunt for the person committing heinous crimes. I won’t divulge much more than that, because this three-part series does a great job of building up the story. This show, because of its particularly gruesome details, would not be something I recommend to those who are squeamish. Also, don’t try watching this late at night like I did. Needless to say, not much sleep was had that night. This show is immaculate. It’ll keep you glued to your seat, and there is no way to not watch the whole thing in one shot.
- Love, Death & Robots
Last but not least, we have one of my all-time favorites. Love, Death & Robots is another anthology series that quickly became one of my top picks. Ironically, this show shares a producer with Mindhunter, which may explain why it’s taking so long to see new content. This, like Black Mirror, has two seasons of completely different stories every episode. All of the episodes have content that is futuristic or dystopian, and the stories include genres like horror, science fiction, and comedy. The advantage to these is that they are all short stories, and most of them range between ten to twenty minutes. This means you can watch them in any order, use an episode as a short study break, or just sit down and watch something quick when you can’t commit to an entire hour’s worth of TV.
What makes this show extra special is that the entire series is designed by world-class animators, so every show is visually stunning. Some episodes have characters that look almost realistic, while others look as though their movement is tracked by brushstrokes of a paintbrush. This show has stories that are out of the ordinary and I honestly feel like there is no other way to tell them than through animation.
These shows are great for watching alone or with a friend or loved one. They’ll have you contemplating everything you know about life, technology, your safety, and gratitude. If you have any suggestions similar to these shows, or if you want to gush over a show, get in touch with me! Enjoy, and stay safe!