While most of your favorite tv shows or movies happen to be an anthology, you probably aren’t even aware of this yet. So, let’s break the suspense and get into what makes up the DNA of an anthology series.
Typically, an anthology refers to a series wherein the episodes are unrelated. While the overarching theme is the same, each episode has a different storyline, cast, and in some cases, a different director and scriptwriter.
If you’ve stumbled upon popular shows such as The Twilight Zone (1959 -1964), Black Mirror (2011- 2019), American Horror Story (2011 – present), or True Detective (2014 – 2019), you’re probably well aware of this format, even if you don’t know what it’s called yet.
In fact, people loved The Twilight Zone to the point that it served as inspiration for two reboots, a feature film, a board game, a magazine, and graphic novels. Yes, you read that right. It’s pretty safe to say that fans of the genre aren’t getting over it anytime soon.
These cult classics paved the way for off-beat and creative anthology series that continue to amaze us today. If these series don’t ring a bell, then maybe it’s time to brush up on these classics and change your life! Caution: Once you hop on the anthology train, there’s no going back.
Why are Anthologies so Infectious?
For those of you that have an appetite for horror, sci-fi, romance, or thrillers, we’ve got you covered. Wouldn’t it be great if you got to experience multiple plots/stories based on your favorite genre or category? And wouldn’t it be even better if you could pick which episode to watch first, based on the plot? An anthology gives you just that!
An anthology series is highly addictive and keeps you constantly hooked. Without a chronological order to the series, you can watch any episode you gravitate towards – without the commitment of following the storyline of a usual tv show.
The switch in the cast, plot, and setting keeps the story exciting and engaging, keeping you on your toes. You never know what to expect with each episode since most of them come with a fair share of twists and turns, enough to make a Scorsese fan wide-eyed.
You get the best of both worlds with an anthology series. There’s enough content to binge without getting utterly bored. Moreover, you probably don’t want to commit to long movies or repetitive tv shows.
On the flip side, let’s try to understand the appeal of anthologies from a scriptwriter’s perspective, shall we? Now, imagine that you’re a scriptwriter or director; wouldn’t you want the freedom to showcase your creative expression to the fullest?
Anthology series allow talented writers, directors, and cinematographers to experiment with absurd concepts and abstract storytelling. The output is a beautiful culmination of short stories that strike a chord with the audience.
Speaking of absurd concepts, first up on the list is a series that will most likely take your breath away. And if we’re being completely honest, bizarre seems like an understatement in this case.
So, without further ado, here’s a list of binge-worthy anthology series you need to get behind! And yes, you can thank us later.
Created by the Duplass Brothers, this series is a must-watch. Have you ever watched a movie or show that almost felt like a whimsical dream? Room 104 is a series that encapsulates the absurdity of life itself. The series is a true mixed bag of Romance, Comedy, Drama, Dystopia, Horror, and almost any genre under the sun. It’s honestly nothing short of a fever dream!
Here’s where it gets really bizarre. Every episode throughout four seasons is shot in the same motel room. Room 104. This dingy and eerie motel room happens to be the only common thread between all the episodes.
The series follows no chronological order and has episodes spanning across various decades. The ‘Room’ acts as a blank canvas for each story, and the possibilities within those four walls are unbelievably endless. Each guest or pair of guests at the motel room brings their own peculiar story into the narrative, making each episode drastically different from the other.
If you thought Shutter Island or Fight Club were mind-bending, then you’re in for a treat. Although these movies are iconic and genuinely unmatched, Room 104 is undoubtedly out of the ordinary.
You can expect to see bizarre concepts which are sure to keep you glued to the screen for hours.
For all the sappy rom-com buffs out there, grab a box of tissues and a tub of your favorite ice cream. It’s time to binge! Quite literally.
What started off as a column in the New York Times, the series is a romance anthology inspired by the newspaper’s popular column ‘Modern Love.’ The column features essays written by real people and inspired by their stories. A real tear-jerker, this series covers the ins and outs of any human relationship. You can tell that these episodes are inspired by people’s lives and their journey to finding love and building connections.
With the theme predominantly being romance, this show is not for the cynical. While exploring the complexities of modern relationships, the show takes you through the protagonist’s journey into figuring out themselves and facing their vulnerabilities head-on.
From a woman who finds solace in her apartment doorman to strangers who meet on a train as they head back during the first lockdown, Modern Love is a culmination of beautiful stories that are sure to sate the hopeless romantic in you.
In a world where we don’t stop and stare for a minute, Modern Love offers a glimpse into the intimacy and innocence that still exists between people. It tells the tale of love from a fresh perspective while exploring the themes of loss, childhood love, heartbreak, identity crisis, love at first sight, and much more.
So, if you’ve exhausted your rom-com list or can’t seem to get over Love Actually and The Notebook, then Modern Love is the perfect anthology that is sure to spark some waterworks.
If you’re still waiting for the next season of Black Mirror, or you’re generally a sucker for sci-fi and can’t get enough of the genre, you’ve come to the right place. Based on the mid-1950s short stories written by prominent science fiction writer Philip K Dick, Electric Dreams makes you question the concept of ‘reality’ itself.
The show starts off with a banger. The first episode sets the tone for the twists and elaborate concepts that make each story an immersive experience. The series navigates through people’s lives in a futuristic tech-enabled world and how humanity is adapting to it. Although the series is slightly more optimistic about the future than Black Mirror, you can still expect a good scoop of dystopia.
The episodes explore concepts like psychic connections, alternate realities, surveillance, telepathy, and the list goes on. But, we don’t want to spoil it for you. So, if the plot intrigued you so far and you’re ready to dive into this dystopian fiction, then go grab a tub of popcorn and get ready for this epic jaw-dropper of a series!
Based on the work of the incredible screenwriter, director, filmmaker, and author Satyajit Ray, Ray is an Indian anthology series that you simply cannot skip. With just four episodes available to stream, the series explores themes of drama, comedy, and betrayal while maintaining an almost eerie setting throughout.
A psychological thriller with hints of satire, comedy, and drama makes Ray a rather intriguing watch. Based on four of Ray’s classics, Forget Me Not, Behrupiya, Hungama Hai Kyon Barpa, and Spotlight, the themes of ego, revenge, envy, and deception are explored in all their glory.
The star-studded cast featuring Ali Fazal, Manoj Bajpayee, Kay Kay Menon, and Harshvardhan Kapoor lend themselves perfectly to the overall theme of surrealism. All of them do justice to the strong characters inspired by Ray’s work.
So, if this one came as a ‘ray’ of hope for you, then we’re glad we could help!
An eight-part anthology series, the Romanoffs is quite an off-beat show. It centers around the lives of people across the globe who believe themselves to be descendants of the Romanovs. The reigning imperial house of Russia in power from 1613 to 1917. The show brings forth the concept of how people tend to cling to their identities in such a divided world.
Interestingly, the show’s plot of being descendants of a royal family is never at the forefront. Rather each episode has drastically different narratives with only the belief of being a Romanov tying them together. The episodes explore the lives of a spiteful elderly aristocrat, a struggling actress, a couple in a loveless marriage, an idealistic reporter who falls for his subject, a woman confronted with every lie she’s told, and much more.
Each episode explores the journey of the protagonists and how they must confront the roadblocks in life to get by.
If these short anthology stories are your cup of tea, then R-series is something you should binge next. With a never-ending catalog of short series under Comedy, Drama, Romance, and Bollywood, there is something for everyone!
For all the creators out there, have you ever seen a movie or show and wished that you were a part of it? With R-series, we’ve got you covered! You can create your own original short vertical series from the comfort of your own home.
Now that we’ve established how addictive an anthology series is, you can draw inspiration from a couple of them and create your own mini-series right here on Rizzle! With the abundance of creator tools and features on the app, making your own series has never been easier.
So, what are you waiting for? It’s time to let your creative juices flow! Download the app and get to creating!
If we missed out on any iconic anthology series, leave us a comment with your favourite one, and we’ll surely add that to our watchlist!