Imagine, if you will, a civilization whose economic system just destroys the human mind and turns it into ADD-riddled cheese. And imagine as well, if you will, that in this civilization TV shows possess intertwined stories, absurdly complex lores, boring character development, and tons of character names and relations that viewers must learn in order to enjoy them. What is some poor TV fan (say, an Internet writer with the attention span of a scared kitten) to do in the face of such a cognitive challenge? We submit for your approval, then, an idea, a concept, a genre: the anthology TV series.

Indeed, we now venture into 20 anthology shows, particularly of the horror, sci-fi, suspense, and black comedy variety. Some of them are well-known classic and contemporary representatives of their subgenres, while others might be lesser-known or even obscure shows that might warrant your attention. Your momentary attention, that is. For some of us are never going to learn the names of houses or rings or thrones or ’80s fast food joints – but we can focus for 20 to 40 minutes on a self-contained morality tale involving the dark side of the mind and spooky twists. Take a walk with us, then, through The Strange Stories From the Vault of the Cracked Pictof – okay, we have to work on the name.

Love, Death + Robots

Anthology Shows 20019 - present LOVE, DEATH + ROBOTS The brainchild of David Fincher and Deadpool's Tim Miller, this show features sci-fi and horror stories which are beautifully animated, but can also be anticlimactic bores. Some episodes, though, like Beyond the Aquila Rift, can be particularly creepy and brilliant. CRACKED.COM XBOT 4000

Wikipedia

Thriller

Anthology Shows LER LER HRI 1960 - 1962 THRILLER Stephen King considers this one of the best horror shows ever. Boris Karloff hosted this gothic horror show, and even starred in some episodes. The series was canceled when Alfred Hitchcock pulled strings to not have it compete with his own anthology. CRACKED.COM

Wikipedia

Monsters

Anthology Shows 1988 - 1991 MONSTERS Originally a sequel to the 1983 anthology series Tales from the Darkside, this show ditched sci-fi and fantasy for straight-up creature feature horror. While still way too goofy, some episodes stand out, like the adaptation of Stephen King's short story The Moving Finger, featuring Tom Noonan. CRACKED.COM

Wikipedia

Beyond Belief: Fact or Fiction

Anthology Shows 1997-2002 BEYOND BELIEF: FACT OR FICTION Spooky stories with spooky twists - with the gimmick of having to guess whether the stories were true or fictional. James Brolin hosted the first season, but who are we kidding, the only reason anyone knows this show is Jonathan Frakes' cheesy delivery while telling us поре, false, the story was a fake-the stuff of meme legends. CRACKED.COM

Wikipedia

Amazing Stories

Anthology Shows 1985 - 1987 AMAZING STORIES This was Steven Spielberg's foray into the anthology format. Besides creating the show, he directed several episodes, and his A-list status also brought directors like Martin Scorsese, Robert Zemeckis, Joe Dante, Clint Eastwood, and Tobe Hooper. Despite only lasting two seasons, it was a hit, and more family-friendly than similar shows. CRACKED.COM

Wikipedia

The Outer Limits

Anthology Shows 1963 - 1965 THE OUTER LIMITS The only show of the time that could dream of surpassing The Twilight Zone, The Outer Limits focused more on sci-fi, but kept the suspense and plot twists, and even doubled down on the creatures and sheer horror. It has always lived in the shadow of the better-known show, but it fought the good fight nonetheless. CRACKED.COM

Wikipedia

Join the Cracked Movie Club

Expand your movie and TV brain--get the weekly Cracked Movie Club newsletter!

Forgot Password?