10 Confusing TV Shows That Nobody Understands

Who needs plot when you can can have secret robots, alternate universes, and Vince Vaughn's koans?

Westworld HBO

Whether they're dark and gritty cop procedurals or warm fuzzy family sitcoms, one thing most TV shows have in common is a pretty easy to understand structure.

You don't need to be a script writer to know that most shows follow a clear three act structure, feature one or two primary protagonists, and usually have a main plot for the week's story to follow along with a less important subplot as its B-story. This predictability makes most shows easier to follow and saves viewers who may have missed an instalment here or there from being hopelessly lost.

Then there are the shows on this list.

Disregarding structure either as an audacious decision by the creators or simply because they couldn't be bothered learning the rules, these shows are nigh on impossible to fully comprehend.

Some are bogged down by byzantine backstory, some are mystery which hide missing pieces from the viewer in order to limit what it's possible to work out. Some are beloved for their complexity and the enigmas hidden in their depths, whereas some are adored more for their characters and the impossible-to-follow plotting is an element fans resent or try to ignore.

Whatever the case, these ten shows have one thing in common: like so many moody teens, no one gets them.

10. Stranger Things

Westworld HBO

At first glance, Netflix hit Stranger Things may seem like an odd inclusion on this list.

After all, compared to the byzantine plots of Westworld or the trippy free association madness of Twin Peaks, the Duffer Brothers' mega successful coming of age sci fi mystery may seem fairly easy to follow.

But for anyone actually looking to make sense of its knotty, convoluted backstory, the show is surprisingly hard to make sense of.

Where the slow burn debut season followed a fairly genre standard government cover up of an alternate dimension, the second series started to loop in elements of possession (sort of), government programs to control those with telekinetic abilities, and demon dogs coming from said alternate dimension.

Meanwhile the divisive third instalment saw the Russian government involved in experiments almost identical to those of the shadowy American organisations, complicating things further. Are the two nations working together? Is it a coincidence? Is the Upside Down hell? Are demagorgons demons, or aliens, or...

In this post: 
Posted On: 

Cathal Gunning hasn't written a bio just yet, but if they had... it would appear here.