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A Little Mystery Goes A Long Way

Christina McLaughlin, Managing Editor

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Every year, a new television show arrives and becomes an instant smash hit, earning media buzz, awards, and enough viewers to extend them into a second season. It seems that this year is taking this idea to the next level with new shows premiering that feature one central theme- mystery and drama.

This once untouched territory has become top-tier real estate for most prime time channels. This craving from the public for mystery, drama, and the deeper, darker side of television began with American Horror Story, which premiered on FX in 2011, but didn’t entirely catch the public and media’s eye until well into its third and fourth seasons.

As AHS got the ball rolling, it’s core audience starting looking for other similar shows. This past summer, Netflix became a forefront of their own and released Stranger Things, a seemingly awkward and eerie show that became a hit almost overnight and led to binge-watching throughout the United States in a matter of days after it’s release.

Interestingly enough, television isn’t the only media form presenting this craze, Hollywood and Indie Films have taken up the idea too! In the past year, Hollywood brought us The Girl on the Train, Nerve, The Curse of Sleeping Beauty, and Hail! Cesar.

With most media forms noticing this sudden popularity and craving for mysteries and all things dark and gloomy, most studios ran to the screenwriters to see what they could cook up, and it seems like they were very successful. 2017 seems to be the year of mystery and dark and dangerous TV, and here is why.

1. Stranger Things: Season 2

Returning for its second season, Stranger Things will continue to follow Dustin, Eleven, Mike, and Lucas on their journey. According to a sources, this season takes place a year after Will returns from the “upside down.” With that incredible teaser trailer release during the Super Bowl, it is confirmed that this season will be released on Halloween and available for binging on Netflix.

2. Riverdale

Based on characters from the Archie Comics, this new show follows red-headed teen Archie Andrews and his friends in the small town of Riverdale. But there’s a catch: one of their peers died in a tragic accident. As the mystery unfolds, more secrets are revealed and it’s obvious that there’s a lot more to Riverdale than it being just a typical suburban town. After it’s premiere on The CW, it seems this show has a promising future.

3. A Series of Unfortunate Events

This series, released in early February and created by Mark Hudis, follows the lives of the Baudelaire Orphans, Violet, Klaus, and Sunny, as they try and find a forever home and properly mourn the death of their parents. Following the storyline of the children’s book series of the same name that is written by Lemony Snicket and narrated through the author’s words, we start to see that this show has many twists and turns, which makes it a must watch on Netflix.

4. 13 Reasons Why

Based on a novel written by Jay Asher and executive produced by Selena Gomez, 13 Reasons Why is set to be released on Netflix March 31. Set for a 13 episode season, viewers will see Clay Jensen discover cassette tapes recorded by his crush, Hannah Baker. Soon he finds out that these thirteen tapes correspond to her thirteen reasons for committing suicide. 13 Reasons Why is a dark and dreary series that will bring to life teenage angst and a view of what’s it’s truly like to grow up in the 21st century.

5. Ironfist

Netflix is back at it again! Iron Fist will follow the Marvel superhero of the same name trying to get back on his feet and take over his family business after being out of the public eye for 15 years and presumed dead. Throughout the series, we will slowly discover his backstory and his sketchy past as he rediscovers his roots. Following the timeline of the Marvel Cinematic Universe, this show is perfect for an early spring binge-a-thon on March 17.

6. Big Little Lies

A mini-crime series on HBO, Big Little Lies is brought to screen by David E. Kelley and is based on the book of the same name and stars Reese Witherspoon, Shailene Woodley. and Nicole Kidman as first-grade mothers. Don’t judge a book by it’s cover! These seemingly perfect suburban mothers have a lot of skeletons in their closets, which seem to lead to a gruesome murder.

7. Taboo

Released on Jan. 7 on two networks, FX and BBC One, this seemingly AHS copycat is actually just the opposite. In Taboo, we follow an adventurer starting his own shipping business back in the 1800’s. Starring Tom Hardy, we see that this adventurer has tons of enemies and starting this shipping company is only part of the drama. Not to mention, the extremely dark-toned characters and overall artistically gloomy look.

8. Beyond

Freeform released this bad-boy on Jan. 2, and it follows the life of Holden Matthews, a teen who suffered a 12-year coma and woke up to a whole new world of abilities. There are many questions to answer for Holden, such as what made him go into a coma and where to go from there, which only scratch the surface of what lies ahead in this series.

9. The OA

Starting it second season this year, The OA follows the mysterious reappearance of a missing person, Prarie Johnson, who had been missing for seven years. She now can see despite her being blind when she went missing and now calls herself “The OA.” There are many unanswered questions in this series, which makes it equally interesting and enjoyable to watch. Johnson’s newfound powers place this show in more of a supernatural mystery genre. Nonetheless, the darkness of this show could be compared to Stranger Things, another series supported on the Netflix Original platform.

10. Hunted

Considered “The Most Elaborate Game of Hide & Seek” by their home network, CBS, this reality TV series is definitely going to be a gamechanger. In this show, 9 groups of two in an “Amazing Race” type of setting must attempt to go completely under the radar in this technological fully developed world. Their competitors are advanced investigators who will try and use state-of-the-art technology to track these groups down. If they are successful, they win a $250,000 grand prize. This show may not be all mystery, however you will want to understand and learn how hard it is to be stealthy in our digital age.

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A Little Mystery Goes A Long Way