Creator of “Two Sentence Horror Stories” on the one topic they couldn’t get into the show (video)

Vera Miao’s original vision for “Two Sentence Horror Stories,” the episodic anthology series that recently aired its second season on The CW, was an updated take on “The Twilight Zone” that tackles complex sociopolitical issues of the same way as Rod Sterling’s iconic horror. series did in the ’60s but with more diverse characters and storytellers at its center.

“I didn’t go and present a diverse show, and I don’t consider myself a diverse person,” Miao said during a panel for the show Thursday, as part of TheWrap’s series of Emmys screenings. “[But] I think there’s frankly real untapped potential in the horror genre because literally looking at what the voices are and the points of view and the perspective, I think it opens up a landscape of stories.

Recent episodes include “Ibeji,” which draws on the mythology of the Yoruba religion to tell a story about racism in medicine, and “Elliot,” which focuses on a transgender schoolboy with the magical ability to exact revenge on his enemies.

Miao was joined on the panel by Diana Mogollón SVP and CEO of Stage 13, which produces the show, director “Elliot” Chase Joynt, and writers Melody Cooper and Stephanie Adams-Santos.

“It was essential for me that we didn’t do storytelling regardless of race. I don’t even really know what that is,” Miao said. “It was really about being very specific about who the people are. characters. What is their life like? In what context do they live, and therefore what are the fears and pressures?”

“It was wonderful to walk into a room where there were white, LGBTQ+, Latina, black, and Asian writers. It was a relatively small room and we all worked so well together,” Cooper said. “On this show, even though we all wrote about characters we knew, we all had feedback… We were all working together to create this broader way of seeing horror.”

But at least one burning issue related to race has repeatedly fallen victim to the “process” of television making, Miao said.

“Over several seasons, we’ve tried to actively engage with the issue of police brutality, particularly from an anti-black perspective,” she said. “I’ll be honest, I think these are tough topics because it goes through the typical process people go through when it comes to making television.”

horror stories in two sentences

One of the benefits of an episodic anthology format, however, is that episodes or topics that aren’t picked up for a season can always be revisited later.

“These attempts happened before where we are now and the rise of Black Lives Matter,” Miao said. “I wonder now if those conversations, if they would have been received differently. What if these stories had been understood and taken with a different frame.

Jessica C. Bell