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Why Syfy Wins With Its Viral Series, Helix

Helix, the Syfy series, has me super creeped out, but it has been a binge watching marathon for me.

Helix on SyFy!

So I was invited to create a posting about a genre I don't normally write about, and I was intrigued by the idea. I went through a personality quiz and it was on the button with my fandom being video games, and explained that I should post about superheroes but seeing as that is my secondary comfort zone I decided to switch it up and look at writing something that would normally not cross my radar.

Sci-Fi Horror Thriller-Drama - Helix

Let me begin by saying that I am without a doubt one of the biggest chickens when it comes to things that are frightening. I don't ride roller coasters. I don't go through haunted corn mazes. I don't do haunted houses. I won't watch horror movies in the dark. I still sprint up the stairs late at night when I turn the lights out. I use my phone to look around corners if I'm alone in the house. I leave lights on at night just so I can see what's coming to get me.

With that said, starting Helix on Netflix with no persuasion was a big step for me.

Yay me!

But I digress. Helix has been a binge watching marathon for me. I started watching and even with how creeped out I was, I couldn't stop watching it and this is why.

In a vast expanse of conformity, Helix stands out.

What I mean by that is that, it has been a long time since SyFy has had a truly original show. After the WWE invaded SyFy and the reality bug bit - there was nothing out there that had the breathe of fresh air feel to it. It was reality TV this, supernatural thriller that or wrestling. That was all the content that I could find. It all revolved around the same concepts and it seemed like there was no end to the downward spiral. Until Helix popped up and began its viral outbreak.

Normally a show revolving around the CDC exploring an outbreak would be zombies or some supernatural force but Helix strays from the common thread and actually bases the show on some genuine science.

Tasked with investigating a viral outbreak at an arctic bioresearch facility only to discover the the wide reaching effect of the genetic research the facility had been doing. The engineering has created viral strains: one is fatal with no cure, the other creates violent zombie-like "Vectors" as the show calls them.


We later discover that the infected & cured have gained other abilities, stemming from their genetic modification. They are quasi-immortal. They are extremely strong, as well as having control over the uncured.

I'm not sure about you, but that's an uncommon story line. It's not vampires. It's not werewolves. Its not angels & demons. It's not actually supernatural. I have nothing against those shows, but that premise seems to be more prevalent for a show to venture into lately.

There is actual character depth written into the story.

We are introduced to the main team for the CDC and as the series progresses there's more backstory than any of the initial characters will admit.

A marriage destroyed by infidelity. A pair of brothers at odds with eachother. A budding romance. A father & son with issues. A director with deep dark secrets. A military man who may not be all he seems to be. And those are just the bare bones of it all. These plot lines on top of the viral outbreak that we learn about as the story progresses.

Every character that we are introduced to seems to be carrying a deep secret, which adds to the mystery and leaves you questioning where the line between good and bad is drawn. Their development is also built into my next point.

It isn't Lost, but I certainly got lost in the story.

As I binge-watched episode after episode I noticed some familiarity to another show that I loved, Lost. It makes sense that I noticed what I did seeing as Exec. Producer Steven Maeda was a writer for Lost. No matter your opinion on the ending of Lost, the truth is that the writers wrote one hell of story that brought you to the end of the episode asking for more, and Helix does the same thing. I got to the end of the first episode and was begging for more.

The twists and turns that the writers lay into each episode are phenomenal. Each episode built upon the last and grows the overarching mythology and the story slowly gets more intricate. It's a beautiful connection between the narrative and the mystery of the unknown.

The story easily progresses with the use of hallucinations rather than flashbacks of Lost to delve into the character backgrounds as I stated above. The intriguing part of using hallucinations is that by using that element it adds a certain sense of doubt of reality. Is the hallucination 100% accurate as to what happened in the past or is this vision purely inconsequential? - It just adds to the mystery of the show.

Honestly, this was quite interesting to review/dissect something that I haven't tried yet on Moviepilot. Props to the team for thinking outside of the box on this one.

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Why Syfy Wins With Its Viral Series, Helix
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