Welcome to the mojjo, in this article we will talk about “TV Shows You Should Absolutely Never Watch By Yourself.’ Some of these popular TV series are too scary to watch without a companion. Others are just terribly, horribly sad. Bottom line? You should definitely phone a friend to keep you company before you start binging any of these shows. After all, misery loves company.
It’s hard to imagine something scarier than a television series based on the works of horror master Stephen King. Hulu’s Castle Rock draws on many of King’s locations, tales, and characters combined into one creepy series starring André Holland as a criminal attorney, Melanie Lynskey as a real estate agent who can read minds, and Bill Skarsgård as a Shawshank inmate who claims to be from an alternate dimension.
With references to King’s works The Green Mile, Misery, The Shining, and many, many more, Castle Rock seeks to capture a certain signature horror that King is known for. It’s not always jump-in-your-seat scary, but the showrunners have lovingly adapted the mood and feel of King’s work. Particular acclaim has been given to the episode “The Queen,” which focuses on a character played by the fabulous Sissy Spacek.
It might be a bit more sad than scary, but hey, watching sad things alone isn’t a great idea, either. Like many other popular horror series, Castle Rock is adopting an anthology format, albeit one with storylines that might carry over from season to season. In July 2018, co-showrunner Dustin Thomason told The Hollywood Reporter:
“Each season is going to be its own self-contained story: beginning, middle and end. But I think that just as the books do, we want to surprise viewers with the ways in which the stories intersect.”
Based on the novel of the same name by Gillian Flynn, HBO’s Sharp Objects stars Amy Adams as crime reporter Camille Parker. After struggling for years with alcoholism and self-harm, Camille returns to her hometown to report on the murders of two young girls.
Patricia Clarkson plays Camille’s cold and distant mother. In addition to telling a gripping story, Sharp Objects acts as a study in depression. Camille’s flashbacks are blurry, disjointed, and untrustworthy. Her self-harm is heartbreaking, and her line of work only contributes to her inability to dig out of a hole that keeps her trapped in her own troubled mind.
What makes Sharp Objects all the more tragic is how very real it can be. Unlike shows that deal with supernatural elements, Camille’s story is one grounded in reality, and experienced by real people every day. Her isolation and fractured family life make for a difficult watch for anyone with a troubled past. Camille might be alone, but make sure you’re not without a friendly hand to squeeze when when the tension gets a little too high.
The X-Files still definitely has that X factor when it comes to being scary, particularly in the early seasons. David Duchovny and Gillian Anderson star as FBI agents Fox Mulder and Dana Scully, who are tasked with investigating the bureau’s unexplainable cases. Their investigations lead them to a long series-spanning arc involving alien abductions and colonization, but the real frights come from the show’s “monster of the week” episodes.
Take, for example, the early season one episodes “Squeeze” and “Tooms,” which tell the tale of a man who can stretch his body to squeeze through small spaces. He makes a nest of his own bile to hibernate and resurface every few decades to murder his victims.
Then there’s “Home,” an episode that has been called one of the most frightening of the series, and was forbidden from being replayed on Fox when the series turned to reruns. The less you know the better, but trust us when we say it’s truly terrifying on a whole buttload of levels.
AMC’s The Terror has been described as a horror thriller disguised as a period drama. The inaugural season was based on Dan Simmons’ 2007 bestselling novel of the same name and stars Mad Men’s Jared Harris as Captain Francis Crozier, whose 19th century Arctic exploration turns deadly.
When the Arctic freezes and two giant seafaring ships are trapped in ice, a mysterious menace begins killing off the sailors one by one. But it’s not clear if the menace is supernatural, human, or if the sailors are simply going mad. What’s more frightening than not knowing if the horrible things happening around you are real?
In June 2018, Variety reported that The Terror had been renewed for a second season, which will reportedly be set on the west coast of the U.S. during World War II and focus on a Japanese-American community. Star Trek’s George Takei is set to appear as a series regular, portraying a former fishing captain and an elder figure in his community.
Collider reports that Takei, who spent part of his childhood in a Japanese internment camp, will also be acting as a consultant to ensure “the accuracy of historical events and storytelling.”
The Haunting of Hill House
Netflix’s The Haunting of Hill House is a loose adaptation of the 1959 novel of the same name by horror fiction master Shirley Jackson. It takes place in multiple time periods and follows a set of siblings, the Crain children, whose lives are forever affected by some seriously frightening and raumatic events at a mansion known as Hill House.
TV Line recently voted the episode “The Bent-Neck Lady”, which explores the very real horrors of sleep paralysis, as the Best Single Episode of Television in the Drama category for the entirety of 2018. That ought to give you an idea of how powerful the show can be. To top it all off, it sounds like Hill House might be going the anthology route. Creator Mike Flanagan told Entertainment Weekly:
“I don’t want to speculate too much about season two… What I will say, though, is that as far as I’ve ever been concerned with this, the story of the Crain family is told. It’s done.”
American Horror Story
It might seem odd that Ryan Murphy, the creator of the happy musical high school dramedy Glee, could also be responsible for FX’s American Horror Story, one of the most frightening shows on television. American Horror Story’s anthology framework allows for a different setting every season. Some are scarier than others, some even flirt with the horror comedy genre. But all of them have their moments.
It all depends on what really makes you jump. Whether it’s witches, scary clowns, haunted houses, or even politics, there’s probably an American Horror Story season that is tailor made to set off your worst nightmares.
And the repertory casting puts actors like Sarah Paulson, Evan Peters, Kathy Bates, Taissa Farmiga, and Jessica Lange, among many others in different roles every season, which allows them to stretch their creepiest acting muscles. If anything, it provides audiences with the comfort of some familiar faces throughout all of that unfamiliar darkness.
Aside from kitchen appliances coming to life, taking over the world, and enslaving humanity, you probably haven’t thought much about how the technology you depend on has the potential to create your very own personal hellscape. Enter Black Mirror, a British import acquired by Netflix, which aims to torture us with tech.
Created by Charlie Booker, Black Mirror tells its tales in single-episode formats, kind of like The Twilight Zone or The Outer Limits. Much like those shows, some are more disturbing or frightening than others. Some are downright uplifting, such as “San Junipero,” starring Gugu Mbatha-Raw and Mackenzie Davis as a young couple who find happiness in a virtual afterlife.
Some, on the other hand, are straight-up laugh-out-loud hilarious, in a disturbing kind of way, of course. Take, for example, the Bryce Dallas Howard-led “Nosedive,” which digs its claws into our dangerous obsession with social media and the dystopia it could inspire.
Still, the vast majority of the episodes are downright terrifying, like the coincidentally named “White Bear” and “White Christmas,” which both present a criminal justice system in which perpetrators are imprisoned and tortured inside realities that aren’t exactly what they seem.
The Chilling Adventures of Sabrina
Let’s get one thing straight: While this Netflix series and its early ’90s sitcom counterpart both take inspiration from the pages of Archie Comics’ Sabrina the Teenage Witch, this adaptation definitely embraces the “chilling” part of its title. Starring Mad Men’s Kiernan Shipka, The Chilling Adventures of Sabrina focuses on the 16-year-old title character, who must reconcile her status as half-witch, half-human.
In addition to trying to decide between pledging allegiance to the Dark Lord Satan and hanging out with her very human boyfriend, Sabrina also battles literal demons that threaten the way of life she’s always known. What’s really scary for one person might be totally fine for someone else, but Sabrina definitely has a creep factor that will make you wish you weren’t alone, particularly when it comes to the whole Satan thing. That’s one creepy take on everybody’s favorite fallen angel.