A new trend is developing with television shows and I like it! I started noticing the trend with American Horror Story where each season tells a different story. Syfy’s Channel Zero is following this same formula where each installment will be based on “CreepyPasta” stories (which are user generated stories found online). Each series will be told over a span of 6 episodes. I appreciate this brevity; with so many shows to watch it is nice to have a series that will wrap up in a shorter time span.
(Warning: the remainder of this article includes spoilers for Channel Zero: Candle Cove)
The first installments of Channel Zero are based off a story called Candle Cove, written by Kris Straub. The plot centers around a psychiatrist named Mike Painter, played by Paul Schneider, who is obsessed with the events of his childhood. When being interviewed on a talk show, he speaks of losing his twin brother and of the other children that went
missing in 1988. The host brings a phone to the table so Mike can talk to a child going through a similar trauma. As they speak, Mike begins to hear the sounds of a mysterious children’s show that he and his brother watched as kids. Mike wakes up and you’re left wondering if it was a dream.
He returns to his childhood home to investigate the disappearance of his brother and the other missing children. We learn as he visits the local Sheriff, his old time buddy, that the fate of his brother appears to be different than the other children. Everywhere Mike goes, his conversations tend to be awkward, letting you know that his childhood wasn’t normal. The eerie feeling among the adults of the town lends insight into Mike’s unusual childhood, and gets the viewer curious as to what the history is between everyone in this town.
It seems that Mike’s return has awoken the story of Candle Cove, the television show Mike and his brother watched as children. It seems that the children in town are watching the show and during the first episode, a little girl already goes missing. Candle Cove is a creepy TV show of puppets that only children can see; when an adult comes into the room, the screen goes to static. The show has an unsettling effect on the children watching it and it seems the characters aren’t tied to being in the television.
The scenes then start alternating between what is occurring now and what happened back in 1988. The premise of this show does seem very similar to the story IT by Stephen King. I was okay with the similarities because this story also has enough differences to keep the viewer engaged.
Each character with whom Mike comes in contact plays a part in the story and provides a thread that will help unravel the mystery. While the adults in town all turn to each other, it is Mike who knows the kids have the answer to what is going on now, as well as what
happened in the past. During the course of the story, Mike will be forced to learn some hard facts about the past he has forgotten and begin to realize why he is obsessed with finding out what really occurred.
Channel Zero’s first season was well received and they have already been greenlit to move forward with a second season. The second season will follow a “Creepypasta” story written by Brian Russell called No End House, where a group of friends visit a house that is full of disturbing rooms of horror. The series has already signed on Amy Forsyth, who is currently known for her role in The Path, to play the lead, Margot. The second series is set to premier in October 2017 and will continue to be produced/written/run by the talented Nick Antosca.
Channel Zero: Candle Cove finished airing in 2016 and you can catch the entire season on SYFY’s website by logging on with your internet provider.