Feeling as though there's something missing in the lives, four ordinary people stumble across a puzzle hiding just beyond the veil of everyday life, and their eyes are opened to a world of possibility and magic.
Few networks have navigated the 'Golden Age of Television' as well as AMC, with smash hits 'Breaking Bad', 'Mad Men', 'Hell on Wheels', and 'The Walking Dead'; a bit on the serious side, but hey, better to do one thing well.
In his 2007 TED Talk, JJ Abrams discussed the "mystery box": a box of magic tricks he bought as a kid that he has yet to open, because the mystery is more exciting than the knowledge of what is inside. These shows follow people trying to open the mystery box, usually in a world of missing persons, time travel, and alternate realities.
Bryan Fuller pioneered a style that tackle serious topics in a lighthearted way. His characters are mainly wholesome and quirky (Hannibal no and yes), and the shows often include supernatural elements and a vivid visual style. Think dark comedies with a lighthearted touch. This is a list of shows by Fuller (Pushing Daisies, American Gods) or with the same vibe (Good Omens, A Series of Unfortunate Events)
The characters in these series experience reality differently than most people--they talk to the dead, see psychedelic visions, or are trapped in time, they may be suffering from mental illness or recovering from trauma, but also see things that others miss and probe deep existential issues.
These shows build on elements of Twin Peaks--evil bubbling underneath an apparently wholesome small town, detective work, surrealism, some horror, and undertones of the supernatural--all with a nod to David Lynch's distinctive style.