How to make zombies seem fresh again? How about a five-part daily mini-series (Yeah, Torchwood got the idea here) set in the Big Brother house that brought reality TV and horror together in something funnier than 28 Days Later but scarier than Shawn Of The Dead? The only remaining survivors of a zombie apocalypse are the contestants on the closed set of reality show Big Brother. Filmed on the actual Big Brother sets with some of the stars of that show, this is a wonderfully mean-spirited and nerve-fraying miniseries that can't be missed.
Ghost in the Shell: Stand Alone Complex
Cybernetic police officer Motoko Kusanagi keeps New Port City safe from cybercriminals, maniacs and terrorists, using an array of surveillance toys that includes optical camouflage and mini-tanks called tachikomas, while she tries to get to the bottom of the mysterious "Laughing Man" incident. It's been praised as one of the most fully realized cyberpunk futures, and for having the best depiction of cyberspace environments, ever created. Plus, cyborgs with tanks versus mysterious cybercriminals FTW!
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Dark Shadows was an early 1970s soap that started as melodrama but suddenly introduced vampires, witches, and time travel into the plot pretty much out of nowhere. It became an instant cult favorite, with dreamy/tragic Barnabus the vampire at the center of its appeal. Rebooted briefly in the 1990s, Dark Shadows is now slated to become a Tim Burton flick with Johnny Depp rumored to play Barnabus.
One of the many science fiction gateway drugs to come out of the 1980s, Thundercats was a freewheeling mashup of science fiction and fantasy tropes, with the last feline survivors of Thundera settling on Third Earth to escape their Mutant enemies, only to have the Mutants team up with the evil sorcerer Mumm-Ra, who seeks the mystical Eye of Thundera. Granted, it featured plenty of mindless adventures and painful dialogue, but the blend of high technology and high fantasy mesmerized viewers and has left many fans still hoping for a live-action version.
Aeon Flux originally debuted on MTV's Liquid Television as a series of shorts about Aeon Flux, the bondage-clad agent of an anarchist nation battling the forces of the restrictive Bregna government, only to be repeatedly thwarted by her own death. But Aeon eventually got her own half-hour show, where she locked horns (and occasionally naughty bits) with her nemesis Trevor Goodchild in a surreal, disturbing, and yet sexy dystopian future.
After an encounter with a mystical Aztec Bloodstone, Secret Service agents Pete Lattimer and Myka Bering are recruited to work at the Warehouse, a top secret entity that collects and protects dangerous gadgets and artifacts, from an electrical gun designed by Nikola Tesla to a kettle that grants wishes (though an impossible wish yields a ferret). The well-scripted, light-hearted series follows Pete and Myka as they identify and capture artifacts, cope with their eccentric and often cryptic boss Artie, and learn that there's even more to the Warehouse's history than they ever suspected.
Serial Experiments Lain
Shy junior-high school girl Lain is living a quiet life — until she gets an email from her dead classmate Chisa Yomoda, who claims she's not dead, but has just transcended the flesh world and moved to cyberspace. Lain gets drawn into a journey of cyber-discovery, hallucination and weirdness, as she's encouraged to ditch her flesh body and help bring down the walls between our world and the cyber-world. Trippy and bizarre, Serial Experiments may be the best cyberspace-as-drugs show ever.
He-Man And The Masters Of The Universe
He-Man fights on the back of a Tiger with a sword. It doesn't get any more bad ass than that. Plus Adam's fantastical world was pretty fun to watch him prance about in, especially his ridiculous villain muscle man, skull head Skeletor. Eternia was great I'm glad we got to escape to it every week, plus the popularity of He-Man spawned the She-Ra: Princess of Power spin off, so there's a lot to be thankful for.
Holes in the fabric of time start opening up, releasing monsters from other eras into our fragile world. The "monster of the week" stuff, from the crew who gave us Walking With Dinosaurs, is fun — but the tangly conspiracy and sinister games are what make this show shine.
The Big Bang, an industrial accident in the city of Dakota, turns many of the city's residents into powerful metahumans. Though many "Bang Babies" use their newfound powers for evil, quick-witted teenager Virgil Hawkins uses his electromagnetic powers to fight crime, aided by the gadgets built by his genius best friend, Richie. But it's trickier hiding his identity as Static Shock from his widowed father Robert and strong-willed sister Sharon. Even amidst a glut of superhero cartoons, this is one of the most memorable.