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Dark TV

September 1, 2015

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I f TV is a reflection of our culture over the past two to three years (typically a show is in development for that time) then as a whole, much of society is scared, full of despair and angry. How could such a statement be made, you might ask? A look at this past Summer’s and this Fall’s new crop of TV shows should be self explanatory. Here is a list of our favorite dark TV shows on our ‘Heart of Darkness’ Scale.

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MR. ROBOT [USA network] In a show by writer, director, producer, Sam Esmail; this nihilistic cyber-punk thriller follows a mentally unstable cybersecurity worker-by-day and cyber hacker-by-night in a battle of drugs, mental illness, a corrupt world and a broken financial system. This does not even mention the killing, bondage, strangulation, prison break, rape, incest, child porn, illegal toxic chemical dumping, animal cruelty, to name a few.

HEART OF DARKNESS SCALE: 11 out of 10 (extra point for literally naming the main corporation EVIL CORP)

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DARK MATTER [Sy-Fy network] is a sci-fi thriller set in a world were corrupt corporations control a series of planets battling for ultimate supremacy employing espionage and hiring space mercenaries so evil and bad that their minds were wiped clean to keep them from knowing how bad they were. Although dark, we subtract points because the show is really partly upbeat questioning the nature of people and if they can change (for the better).

HEART OF DARKNESS SCALE: 6 out of 10

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KILL JOYS [Sy-Fy network] is a interplanetary bounty-hunting drama following three neutral guns-for hire in a world of corrupt and all powerful corporations. Kill joys bounce from planet to planet stealing, deceiving, fighting, and ultimately doing whatever is necessary to fulfill their ‘warrant.’ This one features killing, beating, genocide, torture, class warfare, drinking, drugs, poverty and more. The ½ point is awarded for the post apocalyptic set designs that capture the mood of the show and take some points away for the chance that some of the character actually may find love.

HEART OF DARKNESS SCALE: 7 -1/2 out of 10

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TYRANT [FX network] has started to make a name for themselves as a network willing to get real and in this drama, a Middle East country is controlled by a series of unstable dictators and their dynasty. It features extreme inequality, senseless killings, beating to death with bear hands, blowing up their own mother, a civil war, chemical gassing of women and children, hanging, brutal executions, pushing chair bound people off a building roof, anti-gay and that is just the beginning.

HEART OF DARKNESS SCALE: 8-1/2 out of 10 (Only loses points for how distractingly good looking the lead character)

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THE BASTARD EXECUTIONER (FX network) by Ken Sutter, the creator of Sons of Anarchy, developed a new period drama for FX network set in the brutal medieval ages. It follows a man forced to kill as an executioner and promises plenty of blood.

HEART OF DARKNESS SCALE: 7 out of 10 (based on extended trailers)

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BLINDSPOT [NBC network] is from Greg Berlanti, the man behind the TV series Arrow and The Flash comes a dark drama about a Bourne Identity-like fem fatale covered in tattoos (like prison break?) and with mind wiped (like dark matter?) She is helped by Sullivan Stapleton, half the super stud duo of Strike Back. This loses dark points for its beautiful cast and being on a network less willing to go there.

HEART OF DARKNESS SCALE: 5 out of 10 (based on extended trailers)

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Z-NATION [Sy-Fy Network] returns for a second season on the Sy-Fy Network. The show continues to slash and dash through the US and its infected citizens in a post apocalyptic zombie world. While dark to the core it loses points for the fun over-the-top comedy (which is one of the best parts of the show and what made Sy-Fy’s Sharknado so popular.

HEART OF DARKNESS SCALE: 7 out of 10 (based on last season)

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HEROES REBORN [NBC network] picks up a few years after where the original Heroes left off. The show will have the same improbable super-humans (even with a few guest appearance by the original cast) and again pits them against a rogue all powerful evil corporation and a bigoted world against enhanced humans. Points lost for the network unwilling to go there.

HEART OF DARKNESS SCALE: 5 out of 10 (based on extended trailers)

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DARK TV: Is TV Tapping into America’s Fear, Despair & Anti-Corporate Anger?

DARK TV: Is TV Tapping into America’s Fear, Despair & Anti-Corporate Anger?

DARK TV: Is TV Tapping into America’s Fear, Despair & Anti-Corporate Anger?

DARK TV: Is TV Tapping into America’s Fear, Despair & Anti-Corporate Anger?

DARK TV: Is TV Tapping into America’s Fear, Despair & Anti-Corporate Anger?

DARK TV: Is TV Tapping into America’s Fear, Despair & Anti-Corporate Anger?

DARK TV: Is TV Tapping into America’s Fear, Despair & Anti-Corporate Anger?

DARK TV: Is TV Tapping into America’s Fear, Despair & Anti-Corporate Anger?Cr: Ollie Upton/FX

DARK TV: Is TV Tapping into America’s Fear, Despair & Anti-Corporate Anger?

DARK TV: Is TV Tapping into America’s Fear, Despair & Anti-Corporate Anger?

DARK TV: Is TV Tapping into America’s Fear, Despair & Anti-Corporate Anger?

DARK TV: Is TV Tapping into America’s Fear, Despair & Anti-Corporate Anger?

DARK TV: Is TV Tapping into America’s Fear, Despair & Anti-Corporate Anger?

DARK TV: Is TV Tapping into America’s Fear, Despair & Anti-Corporate Anger?

DARK TV: Is TV Tapping into America’s Fear, Despair & Anti-Corporate Anger?

DARK TV: Is TV Tapping into America’s Fear, Despair & Anti-Corporate Anger?

DARK TV: Is TV Tapping into America’s Fear, Despair & Anti-Corporate Anger?

DARK TV: Is TV Tapping into America’s Fear, Despair & Anti-Corporate Anger?


About the author: Bill Indursky
Bill Indursky is an architect, trend expert, and digital entrepreneur. He is the former founder of V&M (Vintage & Modern (2006-2013)) and the current founder of Design Life Network (DLN). DLN is a MAGAZINE + DESIGN AGENCY + MARKETPLACE + TV CHANNEL promoting inspiring design of all eras online and on TV.


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