This has been a good 10 years for storytellers all over the world. With online streaming services becoming extremely popular. Creators went out of their way to find innovative ways to tell their unique stories, thus giving us content that redefined their genre.
1. The Haunting of Hill House
For far too long, the horror genre had been plagued with elements of biblical horror and jump scares, exorcisms among other things, things that had made it simply boring.
Hill House also had ghosts and ghouls but instead of using them as scare tactics, it used them as punchlines to the cosmic jokes being played on its characters. The show was more of a psychological thriller that kept you on the edge of your seats and set the new benchmark for the horror genre.
Since the inception of storytelling, there have been many docu-drama series. But the problem with fictionalising a real event is that it needs to find that perfect balance between truth and drama.
Craig Mazin’s Chernobyl does exactly that. It explores the deep state bureaucracy that caused the meltdown and then let it get worse, the men and women who risked their lives to save everyone else and more importantly, the residents of Priyapat, who had their lives snatched from them.
Superhero TV had been following a certain formula until his point. And nobody expected anything more than sunshine and rainbows from a Marvel show.
Then Daredevil came crashing through the doors of their presumptions and deadass gave us the best superhero storyline we had seen in a very long time.
Science shows are not meant for people who are not into science if that makes any sense. But you get the gist of it. More often than not they interest people who are already deep into the subject.
But Neil Degrasse Tyson carried forward Carl Sagan’s legacy in the most memorable fashion and made the story of the universe, our story, our history accessible to our little Arts and Commerce minds.
It’s quite difficult to redefine a genre when there are very few examples to look at. But all hail, Phoebe Waller-Bridge! What she did with Fleabag was simple. She brought out a new brand of humour and vulnerability that made us fall in love with her character.
What also made the show so appealing was the fact that it stepped on every stereotype about the women in our lives and debunked them organically, without deviating from the theme of the show.
6. Russian Doll
Again, it’s quite difficult to create a genre of your own, but Natasha Lyonne, Leslye Headland and Amy Poehler have done precisely that making it the only show in the sci-fi slapstick genre.
You laugh every time Nadia dies but it sort of makes you worry if she would figure out the equation before everyone reaches their own true demise.
Again, not many shows can boast of executing the horror-sci-fi genre with the ease that Dark has. Add the elements of a thriller to it and you have the three most volatile genres to work with.
Except, Dark excels in the format. The buildup is slow and can often be a turn-off but then, every episode, it leaves a lit bit of bread crumbs so that you can sniff your way back in for the next episode.
8. Kay & Peele
Sketches have always been a part of comedy routines. But to do it as successfully as Kay & Peele did and the ingenuity they did it with, makes it truly special.
The show tackled social issues like racism, homophobia, among other things but with a twist of its own. Which is why it still stands up, years after it went off air.
9. American Vandal
For those of you who haven’t watched it, I envy you. You can watch this show for the first time again.
Never in the history of television has serious drama and thrillers been mixed with sheer juvenile behaviour. The show is almost serious. That’s the best way to put it. Because you’ve got to watch it yourself.
10. Penny Dreadful
Cast as the lead, Eva Green doesn’t just do her job, she goes through a literal transformation, making her both horrifying and mesmerising at the same time.
With this gruesome series that is located in Victorian London with historically gothic characters like Victor Frankenstein, Henry Jekyll, Dorian Gray, and Van Helsing, creator John Logan simply resurrects the gothic horror genre.
These TV shows are not only great in their own right, but they do the honour of resurrecting, redefining and once or twice giving birth of an entire genre.