There are many great things about anthology series, which are predominantly based on the horror or sci-fi genres; on top of providing viewers with many different storylines and characters, this category of TV shows makes the process to start watching easier since it takes the pressure off the audience’s shoulders to actually go through all of the episodes.
Although anthology shows likeThe White Lotus are very (rightfully) talked-about right now, this storytelling structure is not a new one. Though it is true that television is always evolving, and we, viewers, get to watch it first-hand, it has been decades since TV first experimented with the method. On Reddit, users share their favorite shows that fit into the category, from the underrated anthology series Oats Studios to the fan-favorite Black Mirror.
10 ‘Oats Studios’ (2017 – )
Created by Oscar-nominated director Neill Blomkamp, Oats Studios is a sci-fi horror anthology studio brought to life in order to deliver to audiences a series of experimental short films revolving around post-apocalyptic worlds as well as nightmarish narratives.
While these short films aren’t widely popular (even though they feature well-known faces, like Alien‘s legendary action hero Sigourney Weaver), they make for incredible watches, at least according to Reddit. “Only problem I have with some of them is they seem to end right before the climax of the story,” a now-deleted Reddit account wrote.
9 ‘The Outer Limits’ (1963 – 1965)
In this decades-old fantasy horror series, audiences were introduced to a different sci-fi premise with a different cast each week. The themes the series features revolve around time travel and space, tackling human evolution, and examining the nature of man.
“The Outer Limits. Old but has some cool premises,” Gunmeta1 commented. No doubt that the original The Outer Limits makes for a very fun watch, especially considering how groundbreaking and progressive of a television series it is for the time. Still, a Redditor couldn’t help mentioning that the “90s version rocks.”
8 ‘Tales from The Loop’ (2020)
Nathaniel Halpern‘s mind-bending science fiction drama series follows a group of townspeople as they experience an altered version of reality thanks to “The Loop,” a machine built to analyze the many mysteries of our gigantic universe. Each episode follows a different person or a group of people, depicting their experiences with the revolutionary engine.
It’s clear that users on Reddit believe that Tales from the Loop is a fun, intriguing watch (and very likely to appeal to Black Mirror fans). “It is basically a MUCH slower and dramatic version of Black Mirror. The final episode is perfect,” sergiocamposnt wrote, proceeding to explain how the series is not totally anthological given that all episodes are connected.
7 ‘Room 104’ (2017 – 2020)
In HBO’s diverting Room 104, viewers are introduced to several different guests of an outwardly cheap American motel. The anthology series narrates the different and compelling short stories of the assorted people that pass through.
Created by Mark Duplass and Jay Duplass, this electrifying and engaging series, much like the one just mentioned, is the perfect watch for Black Mirror enthusiasts. “Also, Years and Years, and Made for Love are kind of Black Mirror-ish. Both on HBO,” Squirrel_Master82 highlighted some of Room 104‘s best episodes in a comment.
6 ‘Inside No. 9’ (2014 – )
A very enthralling and genre-bending anthology series, British comedy crime by Steve Pemberton and Reece Shearsmith, Inside No. 9 takes place in a different household (always No. 9’s) each week, presenting audiences with different captivating and, at times, disturbing stories that blend elements of comedy and horror.
On the platform, the series, which counts on a good dose of familiar faces, is among the most mentioned of the genre. “Came here for this. It’s hard to find in the US but it is so good,” washufeezee commented. “Thanks for the suggestion! I can’t stop watching,” another Redditor added.
5 ‘American Horror Story’ (2011 – )
While American Horror Story does not feature a different narrative in every episode, each season revolves around a different theme, a self-contained storyline, and characters. The series was created by Brad Falchuk and Ryan Murphy and remains a widely popular show of the horror genre, having even earned a few deserved Emmys.
Just like anyone who saw the show would probably agree, Redditors believe that the anthology series is definitely worth a look, and part of what makes it so charming and accessible is its stand-alone storylines. According to safiax0813, the best AHS seasons are “1-3,” with season 2 being “the best of the best.”
4 ‘Electric Dreams’ (2017 – 2018)
Taking place in the aftermath of the nuclear war, Electric Dreams takes viewers through an absorbing journey based on the Postmodernism works of Philip K. Dick, which range from science fiction to paranoid fiction.
Featuring a talented cast — including Richard Madden, Bryan Cranston, and Steve Buscemi — on top of equally enthralling visuals, the Steve Barron anthology show is a must-watch. On the website, a Reddit user explains that “each episode is based on a PKD short story.” In a reply, another Redditor confessed that they wished “they’d make more of those.”
3 ‘Love, Death & Robots’ (2019 – )
This stylish animated TV series of shorts by Tim Miller (with David Fincher as an executive producer) depicts the aftermath of mankind’s fall, where three robots wander through a post-apocalyptic town as they attempt to understand the minds of the humans that previously inhabited it.
“Love Death and Robots is decent,” shivers_96 wrote. Although the high-rated show counts on several good reviews from audience members, some users agree that the second season was, unfortunately, disappointing, including itsrhyno2. “Yes it’s so dumbed down and lost its edginess,” a Reddit user agreed.
2 ‘The Twilight Zone’ (1959 – 1964)
Just like The Outer Limits, Rod Serling‘s The Twilight Zone was a very groundbreaking and innovative series given the time it was released. The 1959 surrealist series revolves around ordinary people who undergo extraordinary experiences, including time and space travel and alien invasions.
In addition to the compelling and creative themes it tackles, the series is also known for revolutionizing television, having had a huge impact on popular culture, and standing the test of time throughout the years. “Original Twilight Zone series still holds up today,” Chimp_Meat_Taco said.
1 ‘Black Mirror’ (2011 – )
Netflix’s hit sci-fi series Black Mirror, which was inspired by the blueprint The Twilight Zone, is among the best of its genre. It offers audience members a good number of mind-blowing, thought-provoking individual stories mostly all related to highly advanced technology that is used to comment on contemporary social issues.
There is no denying that the Charlie Brooker show is quite beloved (for very good reason) and undoubtedly paved way for incredible pieces of science fiction in television. Proof of that is how users on Reddit specifically look for shows that are “like Black Mirror“, including mekalavishnu, whose Reddit post inspired this list.
NEXT: TV Shows We’d Like to See Become Anthology Series Like ‘The White Lotus’