There was a time where TV was considered the lesser relative to cinema. It's safe to say that time is over. The strict censorships that once made TV a far lighter medium than film have been eased considerably over the years. Many creators have revelled in taking advantage of the loosened restraints.
Critics and viewers alike usually consider the 21st century to be the golden age of TV. Everything from Mad Men to Game of Thrones have provided entertainment milestones. Intense dramatic series over the years have provided tense, hard-hitting thrills and spills, frequently managing to shock and disturb viewers in equal measure.
Numerous series seem to live for the power of the shock factor, going out of their way to incite visceral reactions in their audiences. In many cases, creative teams employ the slow burn to build tension before finally beating you over the head with the worst they have to offer. Other moments just come out of nowhere and leave you bowled over in your seat.
From murder to mayhem to graphic injury, TV's proven to be just a relentless as the medium of film in throwing unforgettable video nasties our way.
10. American Horror Story: Murder House - The Westfield High Massacre
While not the goriest of AHS moments, this scene remains the series' most infamous. Aired a year before Sandy Hook, the scene took inspiration from the Columbine massacre. Ravaged by critics and audiences alike at the time for its perceived tastelessness, the scene has taken on a different reputation in recent years.
Mercilessly realistic, the Piggy Piggy episode provided viewers with a major plot twist. Tate, seemingly a good-natured teen on his way to being Violet's love interest, is in fact a psychotic killer.
None of Tate's 15 victims are given much room for development. While they do get additional appearance as ghosts, they mostly serve as high school stereotypes. The fear is not in our connection to them but in the hard-hitting nature of the crimes they fall victim to.
The slanting camera angles and curious use of sound alters ramp up the scene's creep factor. Reminiscent of an old slasher flick, the manner of filming leaves us wondering if we're meant to treat this as the terrible display it is or simply the latest in a long line of over the top set pieces from the series.
10 years later, it's as timely as ever due to a spate of similar real life crimes and some of the largest debates on gun control in US history.