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Fandom Friday: 5 best horror shows to marathon on New Year's Day

With the holidays officially over and that snoopy Elf on a Shelf returned to his cardboard imprisonment for yet another year, we here at The Community have turned our attention to the inevitable television-palooza that is New Year’s Day. Sure, you could watch yet another marathon of Law & Order, but if you are ready to replace holiday cheer with something a bit edgier, then read on!

This past year in horror was a smorgasbord of unholy couplings and boundary-pushing gore. Running the gamut from sidewalk-encrusted zombies to shapeshifting werewolves to aesthetically aware serial killers, there was a depth and variety to how television depicted horror. Below are our nominees for those horror shows most in demand of a marathon rewatch.

Norma and Norman


Objective Reason to Watch
You’d be hard-pressed to find a character more synonymous with horror than Norman Bates. But this origin story of Psycho‘s renowned killer isn’t simply a Hitchockian retread. Adopting at times the same languid introspection found in film noir, Bates Motel works because while we know how the story ends, what is most gripping is how a human monster evolves in the first place. Not surprisingly, the show has a whole lot to say about what lurks beneath the facades of idyllic, Main Street USA—and the people whose seemingly good intentions belie their true evil nature. The end result is a shockingly effective look at whether true evil is born or bred.

Fan-Flailing Reason to Watch
Norman’s relationship with Emma is a sweet counter to Norma’s manipulations. That we know this relationship is destined to end in bloody heartbreak makes it all the more poignant.

Murder Suit


Objective Reason to Watch
As television’s most visceral ode to gore, a marathon of NBC’s Hannibal is not for the faint of heart. Bryan Fuller’s carefully crafted love letter to the Thomas Harris universe is shocking not just for its unflinching explicitness, but also for its unrelenting ability to find the sublime nestled among the horrific. From carefully tailored suits that conceal a sinister functionality to exquisitely imagined dinners comprising the most grotesque of ingredients, Hannibal challenges its audience by suggesting that repulsion is not a universally agreed upon standard, but instead a construct wholly dependent upon circumstance.

Fan-Flailing Reason to Watch
It has been scientifically proven that the addition of Gillian Anderson to a cast makes a show about a million times better. Catch up now before the new season debuts and attempt to draw your own conclusions about Dr. Du Maurier’s questionable relationship to Hannibal Lecter.

Shelley returns


Objective Reason to Watch
As a show that is well aware of its horror roots, Hemlock Grove is not a program that relies upon a continuous series of “shock and awe” moments to captivate its audience. Rather, the creative team behind this horror-supernatural hybrid takes a page from classic film and trusts the audience to derive its chills and thrills not only from its graphic shocks, but also from a horror that is more cerebral. In a time when almost every drama feels the need to end each episode on a cliffhanger, the approach is a narrative gamble that pays off in surprisingly fulfilling ways.

Fan-Flailing Reason to Watch
Executive producer and horror mastermind Eli Roth’s knowledge of the genre has resulted in some truly inspired homages and callbacks that any horror fan worth his or her salt will want to try to locate in each episode. Think of it has a bloodier, campier version of I Spy.

Laura Palmer Body Bag


Objective Reason to Watch
The only show on this list currently not still in production, Twin Peaks is essential viewing for any fan of televised horror. And with the announcement that the show will be coming back for a nine-episode run in 2016, there has never been a better time to marathon the David Lynch masterpiece. With a violence that is almost wholly suggested and selectively gory, Twin Peaks managed the difficult task of locating its horror within the pockets of tranquil suburbia. Its suggestion that what we have to fear comes not from the things that go bump in the night, but instead from our socially constructed safety nets in an uncertain world, triggers fear in a way very few television shows have been able to match.

Fan-Flailing Reason to Watch
To this day, the image of BOB savagely beating Maddie is still the stuff of which nightmares are made.

Carol and Daryl Hug


Objective Reason to Watch
Once dismissed as merely that show about zombies, The Walking Dead has evolved into a pop-culture juggernaut. Surprisingly, though, the true locus of the show’s horror resides not with the undead, but with their human counterparts. This past season’s character-driven episodes showcased a renewed commitment to bold storytelling, and challenged audiences about what it means to be a moral person when society has irrevocably broken down.

Fan-Flailing Reason to Watch
Two words: Melissa McBride. Carol’s journey from abused housewife to damaged hero has been nothing short of stunning. Her tour de force performance in the landmark “The Grove” is a stunning reminder of the power of storytelling. That the Emmys failed to take note of her performance this year is an unforgivable slight made even more infuriating when rewatching the show as a whole.

TV Families | EW.com
Mark Harris
February 23, 1990 AT 05:00 AM EST

The Bradys are back, with a passel of 90’s hassles. Do they represent the typical American Family? Did they ever? Who does? Stare and compare!

Kind Of Family
TheBradyBunch 1969-74: Blended
The Bradys 1990-: Enormous
Married…With Children 1987-: Postnuclear
Thirtysomething 1987-: Extended
The Flintstones 1960-66: Modern Stone Age

Family Pet
The Brady Bunch: Tiger
The Bradys: Alice
Married…With Children: Buck
Thirtysomething: Grendel
The Flintstones: Dino

Typical Guest Star
The Brady Bunch: Davey Jones
The Bradys: There’s no room
Married…With Children: Sam Kinison
Thirtysomething: Carly Simon
The Flintstones: Ann Margrock

Expression Of Joy
The Brady Bunch: Groovy!
The Bradys: Ritual hugging
Married…With Children: ”Oh, great.”
Thirtysomething: ”Of course I’m happy for you. Really. But what about me? Why does it always have to be about you?
The Flintstones: ”Yabba-dabba doo

Expression Of Rage

The Brady Bunch: ”Hmmm…”
The Bradys: ”If you back away from something you really want, then you’re a quitter!” (the angriest any Brady has ever been)
Married…With Children: ”Aaagh, God, take me from this miserable life!”
Thirtysomething: ”I’m not angry, OK?”
The Flintstones: ”Willllmaaaa!”

Typical Problem
The Brady Bunch: Marcia and her rival both want to be the prom queen.
The Bradys: Bobby gets paralyzed.
Married…With Children: Al doesn’t buy his family Christmas presents.
Thirtysomething: Nancy gets cancer.
The Flintstones: Fred and Barney are staying out too late.

Typical Solution
The Brady Bunch: The prom committee decides to have two queens.
The Bradys: Bobby gets married.
Married…With Children: They hate him.
Thirtysomething: If only we knew…
The Flintstones: Wilma and Betty decide to follow them.

House Style
The Brady Bunch: Conservative but mod, circa ’69
The Bradys: Conservative but mod, circa ’90
Married…With Children: Roach motel
Thirtysomething: Enviable
The Flintstones: Suburban cave

Clothing Style
The Brady Bunch: Early Osmonds
The Bradys: Made in the USA
Married…With Children: Flammable fabrics
Thirtysomething: Eclectic earth tones; nice ties
The Flintstones: One-piece

Most Annoying Character
The Brady Bunch: Alice’s cousin Emma, the substitute housekeeper (too strict)
The Bradys: Marcia’s husband, Wally (chronically unemployable)
Married…With Children: Steve (supercilious)
Thirtysomething: Ellyn (goes through Hope’s drawers, babbles, changes hairstyle every other week, generally mistreats her friends)
The Flintstones: Mr. Slate (bossy)

Attitude Toward Sex
The Brady Bunch: Never heard of it
The Bradys: Omigod — even Cindy does it!
Married…With Children: Peg: Yes. Al: No.
Thirtysomething: They didn’t get all those kids by accident.
The Flintstones: Prehistoric

How Spouses Fight
The Brady Bunch: They don’t.
The Bradys: Infrequently, but it happens
Married…With Children: Tooth and nail
Thirtysomething: They stop talking
The Flintstones: Fred and Barney go bowling while Wilma and Betty max out their charge cards.

How Kids Get Into Trouble
The Brady Bunch: Greg takes a puff of a cigarette.
The Bradys: Carol’s grandson steals her business cards and sticks them in the spokes of Bobby’s wheelchair.
Married…With Children: By committing felonies
Thirtysomething: Ethan plays with a forbidden toy rocket.
The Flintstones: They don’t.

How They’re Punished

The Brady Bunch: ”It’s not what you did, honey — it’s that you couldn’t come to us.”
The Bradys ”Next time, ask.”
Married…With Children: By the authorities
Thirtysomething: It blows up in his face.
The Flintstones: They’re not.

What Family Does For Fun
The Brady Bunch: Takes special three-part vacations to Hawaii and the Grand Canyon
The Bradys: Has flashbacks
Married…With Children: Exchanges insults
Thirtysomething: Talks
The Flintstones: Attends showings of The Monster at the Bedrock Drive-In

Unsolved Mysteries
The Brady Bunch: How exactly did Carol’s first husband and Mike’s first wife die?
The Bradys: What’s with Marcia’s new face and Bobby’s blonde hair
Married…With Children: What kind of hair spray does Peg use?
Thirtysomething: Why did Nancy take Elliot back? What do Gary and Susanna see in each other?
The Flintstones: How does Barney’s shirt stay on if he has no shoulders? Where do Fred and Wilma plug in their TV?

Worst Behavior
The Brady Bunch: The Brady children once made Alice feel under-appreciated.

The Bradys: Marcia’s son Mickey watches Bobby’s car-crash tape for fun.
Married…With Children: The Bundy’s kill their neighbor’s dog.
Thirtysomething: Elliot has an affair and talks about it.
The Flintstones: Characters don’t wear under-clothes.

Best Reason To Watch
The Brady Bunch: This is what life should be.
The Bradys: They’re all grown-ups now!
Married…With Children: Terry Rakolta hates it.
Thirtysomething (Tie) This is your life. This isn’t your life.
The Flintstones: This is what life might have been.

Best Reason Not To Watch
The Brady Bunch: Blurred vision from rerun overdoses.
The Bradys: You’re all grown-ups now.
Married…With Children: She has a point.
Thirtysomething: After a while, you think it’s real.
The Flintstones: The Simpsons

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