In short, I just find them more creative than other serialized programming. Typically, they employ more writers behind-the-scenes as they have a wealth of script ideas that have to be prepared for shooting in a single season. Whereas a routine drama or comedy has one team of writers committed to character arcs and season-long events, these scribes get to essentially craft a bottle story: something entirely independent from other tales and has to stand or fall on its own merits. Granted, a stinker or two might slip through the creation process, but I’ve found that the dedication all players bring to this single event helps to get the best out of most people. In the long run, it’s a win-win for viewers.
Sadly, there aren’t many anthologies that focus on Science Fiction, and I suspect that’s likely because the cost-prohibitive nature of special effects pushes investors and producers to the more serialized efforts. Shows like Star Trek, Stargate, and Babylon 5 may incorporate some long-form elements to the stories they bring to life; but the huge cost-saving plus for most of them is that they get to re-use short effects sequences that may have been costly to create, thereby keeping an achievable budget within reach. There are exemptions to this rule, but generally speaking this is one trick that’s worked to genre’s benefit.
Still, thank goodness that anthologies haven’t gone out of style.
Amazon.com has produced one or two that I’m aware of. The BBC and Netflix have also given the format new life for their paying customers. Recently, I learned that Shudder – a streaming outlet focusing on Horror and Fantasy (with a darker edge) – has brought Creepshow to life in a similar fashion; and I’m thrilled that they’ve provided me with a Blu-ray disc of their second season. I’ve just begun watching these episodes – which thus far I’ve found quite good – and I think I’ll be penning individual reviews as time permits across the course of this visual journey.
Though I’ll get up a review regarding the entire season at a later date, you can watch this space on the SciFiHistory.Net MainPage blog for some episode reflections starting shortly. I hope you enjoy what I have to say as much as I’m enjoying these quirky tales!
In the interests of fairness, I’m pleased to disclose that the fine folks at RLJE Films and Shudder provided me with a Blu-ray disc of Creepshow: Season 2 by request for the expressed purposes of completing this review; and their contribution to me in no way, shape, or form influenced my opinion of it.