Tonight, ABC premieres their attempt at the paranormal in primetime with 666 Park Avenue. I’m debating if I should give this show a shot or pass it up. I have some reservations about mainstream tv’s treatment of the scary. When certain genre’s get the mainstream treatment, something always seems to be missing.
The first mainstream paranormal show I really loved and watched The X-Files, which was on FOX (somewhat of a rebel in terms mainstream, free tv). The X-Files was an excellent show that made me “Want to Believe.” Fox Mulder and Dana Scully were a perfect match for each other – the hardcore believer vs. the staunch doubter. Each week Mulder and Scully would investigate cases that lived on the edge of reason and put a little bit of question in the viewers head to make them wonder if aliens or some other force could actually be true. Yes, the last two seasons of the X-Files were disappointing, with Mulder no longer a regular character, but The X-Files will always be a superb paranormal show to judge others off of.
I think NBC does a good job with Grimm – not quite complete paranormal, but a good effort at something outside the normal realm of scripted shows. Of course there is FX’s American Horror Story, which premiered last season and kept viewers wanting more each week. AHS did an excellent job of really scaring the view. There were times when I knew I couldn’t go to bed after watching an episode because I knew I would have nightmares. AMC’s The Walking Dead (based off of the comic book) does a great job at making zombies scary and the anticipated third season premieres in mid-October. The CW has The Vampire Diaries, which is surprisingly good, considering how bad the books are. And there is BBC America’s Bedlam, which I find particularly spooky and throughly enjoyable.
All of these shows are stiff competition for 666 Park Ave. Given it’s on ABC, which seems to have a strong family focus to its programming, I’m hedging my bet that the show will be Okay at best. I don’t have much hope that it will contain the disturbing scary quality of AHS or Bedlam, and doubt the risque factor will be high. I think I’ll record it and see if it’s worth the time, but don’t have much faith (I don’t Want to Believe). Anyone else out there have hope for mainstream paranormal?