I don’t really like to watch scary things. The first real horror type genre flick I ever watched was The Ring when I was in high school. I enjoyed the roller-coaster feelings that the movie provided but not enough to put myself through that many more times. Since becoming a parent and discovering more respect for my very limited personal time, I refuse to waste time watching something that I am not going to outright love. So scary movies are completely off the table.
That’s not to say that the things that I watch never scare me. I’m a huge fan of whodunnit television. I remember catching bits and pieces of Law & Order as my Mom would watch it. When I was old enough to control the flicker and started having minimal supervision I would start watching full rerun episodes myself (2pm during my pre-teen summers). One year, my best friend and I rang in a new year watching a Law & Order marathon.
I’m still a huge fan of those serialized mystery shows. At one time or another I’ve been obsessed with shows like CSI, Criminal Minds, Crossing Jordan, Sherlock, The Mentalist, Elementary, Numbers, Lie To Me, and Bones.
Over the weekend, I was binge watching Season 9 of Bones on Netflix while cleaning the kitchen and making cookies. Unlike some other shows in the genre, I feel pretty comfortable keeping the show on with children running around. There’s usually only a few gruesome moments at the beginning of each show, but the rest of it is fairly tame and boring to a four- or a two-year-old. Unfortunately, Cameron caught sight of one of the opening sequences and asked me what “that scary thing” was.
I explained to Cameron that the show wasn’t scary to Mommy. And it honestly isn’t. The corpses and skeletons depicted in the show are so beyond the realm of my normal that it doesn’t seem real enough to frighten. I definitely want to protect my children from seeing these images because they are not things that they should be thinking about, but for me, I’m confident that I can enjoy my show without constantly feeling scared while watching it.
But that’s not to say that these shows don’t scare me.
It is never the crime that gets to me. It is the characters that leave my heart thumping. Some of the shows currently on my watch rotation have had some seriously scary recurring bad guys in recent seasons. The serial killer Christopher Pelant in Bones is a doozy. I was watching Bones in bed one night and I thought I had enough energy left for one more episode. When I read in the description that the episode included the character Pelant, I turned off my tablet. I knew that watching an episode with that specific character in it before bed could leave me with nightmares.
I don’t watch these type of shows for the super scary bad guys who leave me curled up in a fetal position in bed, but I have to say that they do make me want to keep watching, somehow. The horribly scary bad characters are so effective because they are created so well. They don’t only torment the fictional characters on the show. They seep into the viewer’s psyche as well. And I have to admit that when they do that, that’s good television.
In the spirit of Halloween, which television shows have recurring villains that entirely creep you out?
I am a member of Netflix’s Stream Team and as such I have been compensated with a complementary Netflix subscription and a few other perks. The stories and opinions are all my own and have not been bought.