• Network: NBC
  • Series Premiere Date: Sep 19, 2005
User Score
9.1

Universal acclaim- based on 297 Ratings

User score distribution:
  1. Negative: 16 out of 297

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  1. Feb 2, 2015
    7
    This review contains spoilers, click expand to view. Long before creating The Event, the Pate brothers had another show on network TV, Surface. The premise of the show was different and I think people really would have gotten into it if not for the way the show was presented.

    All over the world, people are suddenly seeing sea monsters. The United States Government tries to cover it up, passing the creatures off as a hoax, but that's not good enough for marine biologist, Laura Daughtry (Lake Bell), who is almost killed by one on a deep sea expedition. Together with a scuba expert, who lost his brother, they investigate these creatures, and try to prove just how real they are. At the same time, a young boy in suburban North Carolina has discovered a baby sea monster and has decided to train it and keep it as a pet, leading to some pretty funny and outrageous moments.

    The way this show was presented was really strange and problematic. For 12 episodes, the series just runs around in circles, with the group trying to prove the existence of the mysterious creatures, the government trying to cover up the creatures existence, and this young boy who has decided to keep one as a pet. It isn't until episode 13 where things finally start to take shape. It takes 13 episodes before we even learn about the vast conspiracy behind the whole thing and that's when things really get interesting.

    The sea creatures and special effects were cool, but I'd imagine that most people got bored with it after a few episodes, the way I did. Why not bring in this mysterious group and conspiracy sooner and add a little intrigue to the show? If they had, maybe people would have seen Surface as something more than a badly scripted show, hiding behind it's special effects.

    Lake Bell, an actress I've never really liked, stars as the marine biologist, and was beyond fantastic. This could have easily been a career defining role for her, had the show lasted. Bell is paired with former child star, Jay Ferguson, who I would have been fine with if not for his awful and completely annoying New Orleans accent. Finally, the cast is rounded out by young Carter Jenkins, a kid who has made somewhat of a name for himself. After the excitement of the sea creatures and special effects wore off, it was Jenkins antics with little nimrod that kept the show watchable. Jenkins was terrific and if it wasn't for this angle of the show, I probably wouldn't have even made it to 13 episodes.

    Surface was a show with potential, but the writers waited far to long to release their bombshells and conspiracies, leading to an audience that tuned out after a couple of episodes. Thankfully, the Pate brothers learned from their mistakes and came back with The Event, a terrific show that gained a cult following. While The Event didn't make the cut either, it was certainly much more enjoyable than Surface ever was.
    Expand
  2. Aug 23, 2013
    3
    So you love science fiction? And your heart cries out for family-friendly heart warming sci-fi horror? Surface may just be what you're looking for. It's not good, though.
  3. Oct 11, 2010
    7
    Was never given a fair go. Greedy networks treating us fans with contempt. Just pull the plug with no closure. Again. Maybe it's just the shows I like.
  4. Jul 16, 2011
    9
    this show is super fun and campy... all of you who don't like it obviously are just full of hate it like syfy original movie but marginally better cg and acting
    really solid "monster movie" score too just enjoy it fools!
  5. LisaB
    Mar 4, 2006
    10
    Fantastic Show which caught my eye considering i rarely watch TV, however i have trouble finding it again as the last two times it has been on a different times and this week it is on neither of the previously times and seem to have disappeared altogether. When the bloody hell is it on again please!
  6. Pixel
    Mar 1, 2006
    9
    It started of slow and fairly corny but then grew into this amazing story that kept us guessing. The last episode was truely on of the best things I've ever seen on TV, I'm still trying to get my heart rate back down. Here's hoping for season 2 and a DVD release soon.
  7. GinE
    Jun 30, 2006
    10
    They cancel a show because the reviewers say "they did not like it" but they'll keep reality crap on TV that make normal people hate their lives. Good Job you dumb jerks. My whole family loved the show which is rare
  8. DENISER
    Jul 3, 2006
    10
    I love this Show; every week my 5 kids and I would sit in the living room just to see what was going to happened that week... and that's rare..It unique; exciting; you laugh you cry it all in one. It's not the same old boring shows & plots they give every week... We want more....you guys are awesome ;finally something we look forward to seeing....Thank You; Denise & my kids
  9. VincentP
    Nov 10, 2005
    9
    Sometimes I like a show that I can sit back and enjoy. This is one of them. I notice a lot of my friends and some people I don't know spend hours discussing the events of each episode. To me that is the sign of a successful series. I notice a lot of the reviewers don't like it much, that is another sign of a successful series. I only hope the Pate brothers keep the script tight Sometimes I like a show that I can sit back and enjoy. This is one of them. I notice a lot of my friends and some people I don't know spend hours discussing the events of each episode. To me that is the sign of a successful series. I notice a lot of the reviewers don't like it much, that is another sign of a successful series. I only hope the Pate brothers keep the script tight and don't have too many contradictions like the X-Files did, for instance. Give us good and interesting clues, make sure there are logical answers to situations like the crew disappearing from the Topeka, etc. At least this show gives us something each episode not like Invasion. Expand
  10. RobertM
    Nov 9, 2005
    10
    Lake Bell. Need I say more?
  11. KathyV
    Nov 30, 2006
    10
    Very interesting show. I can't believe they cancelled it. I guess shows with imagination don't make it on TV any more.
  12. JoeM
    Jan 30, 2006
    9
    Awesome show! I can't wait for each episode every week. If you like Sci-fi, but down to earth style, you will love surface!
  13. DaigoV
    Feb 6, 2006
    10
    Surface is... misterious, appealing, exciting. A good mix of Sci-fi and drama, it really appeals an audience that is widely ignored by most commercial free TV. I offer Two Toes way UP!
  14. CarmenH
    Feb 9, 2006
    10
    Great show that caught my eye.
  15. RebeccaF
    Apr 9, 2006
    10
    I love this show so much it is a great thriller it kept me on the edge of my seat at some points in the show!!! I can't wait until next season!!!
  16. lesliec
    Jul 14, 2006
    10
    kept the tension going throughout. humorous too.
  17. HaleyS
    Jul 25, 2006
    10
    I loved this show it kept you on the edge of your seat.And I absolutly loved how the season ended. I'm real mad because now I'll never get to know what happened.
  18. MarkC
    Jul 3, 2006
    8
    My family and I really enjoyed this show, and I'd still like to know how the saga ends.
  19. RyanM
    Jul 6, 2006
    10
    Surface is one of the better sci-fi shows out right now
  20. DonnaMarieM
    Aug 21, 2006
    10
    From Ireland - downloaded it on Itunes - best show ever had my family addicted. Have to bring it back would be stupid not too, best thing since xfiles.
  21. PaulL
    Sep 9, 2006
    10
    NBC needs to fire those in charge of cancelling surface. Great show---bring it back please!
  22. LindaS
    Jan 4, 2007
    10
    I didn't know it was canceled. I was hoping to see it as a mid season replacement. Now, I'm sad. Please bring it back.
  23. AdrianH.
    May 27, 2007
    10
    Absolutely fantasic, an original story line that breaks the boundries of scifi and the family, a must for any family with teenage kids and parents alike
  24. chancew
    Nov 9, 2005
    2
    This show just doesn't work for me. I find the characters unbelievable, and the story just seems to be going in silly directions.
  25. JohnM
    Oct 19, 2005
    10
    It took a few episodes, but I think this one has passed the other sci-fi-ish offerings on TV this year. As more of the stopry starts to emerge, this show is just getting better and better
  26. GM
    Oct 20, 2005
    9
    This is an excellent show. The best of the new sci-fi offerings. Much better than all the reality garbage that litters TV today. Unlike Invasion, where we are yet to see what the darn creatures look like, this show reveals a bit more of the creatures each episode. While it does borrow from other scifi movies, the overall story is quite original.
  27. ScottR
    Dec 6, 2005
    9
    There's essentially three different story lines working at all times on this show. (1) the government cover-up, (2) the sexy protagonist & pal trying to figure out what's going on, and (3) the teenager who adopts an infant creature. Although #3 is a stinker, #1 and #2 are very good. I highly recommend it!
  28. jodym
    Oct 20, 2005
    9
    this is easily one of the best shows this season. who gives a flying ^%^&*()^& what the critics think. they obviously have no idea what good is.
  29. marshallm
    Oct 9, 2005
    3
    it's so cheesy that it's not even funny, dont watch it, go see " war of the worlds" in theatres, or watch "invasion", both alot better then this stuff.
  30. JeffF
    Jan 10, 2006
    10
    The Best show!!!!!!!! Better than Lost and all the others. The critics are out of touch with good entertainment and impossible to please so to hell with them.
  31. CheryleM
    Nov 8, 2006
    10
    I can't believe they cancelled 1 of the best shows.. I really looked forward to seeing this show every week. I'm really disappointed in the network for letting this show go !!! How stupid can you be !!!!
  32. JessicaN
    Jan 19, 2006
    10
    I love this show. All the people who spewed vitriol on the show must have only seen one episode or part of one episode. And since when is Speilbergian an insult?
  33. AP
    Jan 3, 2006
    9
    What do the critics know? Of course it's far fetched and at times, most of the time, unbelievable, after all it's Sci-fi! I recommend it, it's a good watch for the entire family.
  34. mickes
    Jan 3, 2006
    10
    Awsome show!, i never miss an episode, so cool!
  35. amys
    Oct 6, 2006
    10
    I loved this show !!!!!!! I know when the critics don't like something then the program will be great! This goes for everything -- tv, movies, plays, etc. what world do they live in? BRING BACK SURFACE!!!! As usual we are left wondering what next was going to happen
  36. BEttyeR
    Oct 7, 2006
    10
    Best Sci-Fi I have seen. What a shame not to continue, all newspaers were neg and those who watched week after week were positive.
  37. DuaneS
    Feb 1, 2006
    9
    Love the show. Look forward to each new episode. Beats the hell out of "reality shows". The critics take all the fun out of story telling. They get too artsy fartsy and don't just take things for what they are. I think this is great entertainment! Hope it stays on for as long as possible.
  38. MinaH
    Feb 4, 2006
    10
    Ignore the know-it all, seen-it-all critics and professional cynics. "Surface" has great storytelling and is consistently well acted and written. This is a great deep sea mystery/conspiracy yarn that maintains multiple suspenseful storylines with just the right mix of action and human drama. Lake Bell is (surprise!) terrific.
  39. CharlesK
    Feb 7, 2006
    10
    Surface and Battlestar Galactica are the two best shows on television.
  40. ChrisA
    Mar 10, 2006
    10
    Awsome show, I hope there's a second season.
  41. Danielfromthedeep
    Mar 26, 2006
    9
    Intriguing episode after episode, one of the best scifi shows around!!
  42. mikec
    Mar 30, 2006
    10
    I loved the show. It was the best i have seen in a long time. I hope it comes back on
  43. MistyF
    Mar 30, 2006
    10
    I love this show!! Its refreshing and something NEW!! I'm just hoping that they bring it back for a second season.
  44. AprylT
    Mar 30, 2006
    10
    My family really enjoyed this television series, we are huge sci-fi fans. We would like to know when this show will be back for it's next season.
  45. NikkiW
    Apr 1, 2006
    10
    I can't wait untill the second season!
  46. KelT
    May 1, 2006
    10
    I finally saw all 15 episodes and I just love it!! It's definitely one of the best sci-fi shows around!
  47. tinah
    May 2, 2006
    10
    Unique and interesting. The networks no longer give a show a chance. They run a couple of episodes these days and then cancel the show. This show needs to be given a second chance.
  48. DavidR
    May 6, 2006
    10
    Great show-not at all like the other boring shows on NBC. Keep it!
  49. JERMAINEB
    May 8, 2006
    10
    one good show!!!!!!!!!!!!
  50. GregP
    Jun 17, 2006
    10
    I watched this series again on Universal HD and loved it. I WANT MORE!!!!!
  51. MichaelB
    Jun 25, 2006
    10
    My son and I watched this show every week. It was fun and I wish that Nimrod was coming back.
  52. RobertE
    Jul 10, 2006
    10
    great show... moving plot, doesn't cheat me with cheap cliff-hangers... the plot and plot tension between episodes are legitimate to the story... they do an excellent job of suspending reality and nothing ever happens that makes me say "wait, that's not consistent with what happened earlier" hope we have a season 2
  53. kimn
    Jul 11, 2006
    10
    the show was great you get pulled in by the story its so refreshing to see something other than the usual shows in which typical critics find interesting
  54. rong
    Jul 11, 2006
    9
    I think that critics look too hard for what's wrong, instead of giving it a chance first. all of my family and friends loved this show, and were disappointed when it was canned. what a shame. i still hold out hope. the plot has a lot of potential, the effects are good, and the characters are genuine people you root for.
  55. LizzyS
    Jul 1, 2006
    10
    This show is the best show EVER. I never knew they canceled it, i haven't seen anything on it. Me, my mom, and dad watched every week. And the way they ended the first season, i was really looking forward to the second season, I can' t believe the canceled it, it rocked.
  56. Samantha
    Jul 14, 2006
    10
    The first two episodes were a little iffy, but it improved and ended up being my favorite show EVER.
  57. EdwinK
    Jul 17, 2006
    9
    I thought it was good TV entertainment.
  58. ScottH
    Jul 2, 2006
    10
    They don't make good SciFi like this anymore. Enough with reality TV! I want entertainment that doesn't come from the intelligence level of an ape. Please save us from TV retardation!
  59. JeffK
    Jul 6, 2006
    10
    fun, entertaining and suspensful show to watch. Always wondering what's next.
  60. LionelA
    Jul 6, 2006
    9
    The show started off kinda slow but, really picked up after the first 3 episodes. I loved the show. Bring it back.
  61. ReyA
    Jul 9, 2006
    10
    I love this show. I can't believe it's being cancelled. I used to laugh when Jay Leno makes fun of NBC BIg Wigs on why their ratings are bad. Now I agree. What's wrong with this show? It was exciting, had a great plot, focused on current environmental issues. The characters were normal everyday people. I can only hope that another network picks it up.. Pull your heads out I love this show. I can't believe it's being cancelled. I used to laugh when Jay Leno makes fun of NBC BIg Wigs on why their ratings are bad. Now I agree. What's wrong with this show? It was exciting, had a great plot, focused on current environmental issues. The characters were normal everyday people. I can only hope that another network picks it up.. Pull your heads out NBC before it's too late. Renew Surface!!!!!!!!! John Q. Public has spoken. Expand
  62. RobertD
    Aug 15, 2006
    10
    My favorite show last year really pissed if it doesn't come back!!
  63. tomb
    Aug 27, 2006
    10
    one of the better shows along with invasion. never should have been cancelled.
  64. StephanR
    Aug 29, 2006
    10
    It´s fantastic!!
  65. PascalB
    Aug 3, 2006
    10
    Hope that NBC will change there mind and go with a second season. If not it will be really sad... SURFACE is the best sci-fi series i've seen in the past 5 years.
  66. sandrau
    Sep 13, 2006
    10
    Love the show, and I can't stop watching it. There are not too many shows out there that makes you look forward to the followng week to see what's going to happen.
  67. heathera
    Sep 21, 2006
    10
    I'm very disappointed this show was cancelled. My 7-year old and I were waiting all summer for this to come back on.
  68. nathans
    Sep 20, 2006
    10
    this show ws incredible, it kept me on my feet wanting to know what was going ot happen next. i loved how there was one main plot and a whole bunch of sub-plots leaking off the main plot. please bring it back! i really want to know what happens next!
  69. CristinaA
    Sep 27, 2006
    10
    I love SURFACE, bring it back!!!
  70. CraigV
    Jan 30, 2007
    10
    I just watched this on DVD. I cannot believe a TV-Show of this quality even made it to network TV - and then cancelled. Everything about this show was done right, great acting, effects, pacing, cinematography, EVERYTHING. BRING THIS SHOW BACK!! If not on NBC then some other network, please.
  71. maridyn
    Mar 20, 2007
    10
    Its so captivating that my whole family fell for it! It was so good! It is the best series our family has seen in a long time,to bad we found that out by buying the dvd! WOW now we want more! This show ROCKS! I don't know anyone that could sit through one episode without wanting to see more! This show is a big hit! BRING ON MORE!
  72. juliey
    Apr 21, 2007
    10
    I loved this show and was very disappointed when it was cancelled
  73. TracyF
    Nov 10, 2005
    8
    I think this is pretty good except for the whole Miles story line could have been eliminated, it seems the writers are too focused on Miles relationship with Nimrod. Are they trying to make a child star of Miles ? It also seems that they can't write more interesting dialog for Rich, he seems to say the same things over and over, " My brother is still alive.", " I talk to my brother." I think this is pretty good except for the whole Miles story line could have been eliminated, it seems the writers are too focused on Miles relationship with Nimrod. Are they trying to make a child star of Miles ? It also seems that they can't write more interesting dialog for Rich, he seems to say the same things over and over, " My brother is still alive.", " I talk to my brother." and keeps seeing visions of the hole. Expand
  74. PeteR
    Nov 10, 2005
    9
    it is a great show.. I do like the x-files like story line..
  75. jimh
    Oct 10, 2005
    10
    It's better then Jaws so far, wish they would put it on DVD after awhile, out it with my other shark dvds movies I have
  76. MariaT
    Nov 17, 2005
    10
    The storyline is good and the special effects are fantastic for a TV series.
  77. marcus
    Oct 10, 2005
    10
    this show is extremely awsome.this is a great show.finally some thing to look foward to on mondays
  78. JohnJ
    Oct 10, 2005
    9
    The critics are wrong. Though not a high mark in TV drama it is the best new show of the season. Now that might not be saying much but I find in one of the better over all well done TV shows in some time. Filming, character development, plot lines. Now you have to buy into giant sea monsters but thats what Sci Fi is about.
  79. sharonn
    Nov 3, 2005
    10
    I have not had a TV show captivate me in years the way Surface has managed to do. What a great cast, amazing story line and an awesome concept! I am awaiting next weeks episode with baited breath!
  80. CharlesF
    Oct 14, 2005
    8
    You know, it's funny how this show was so thoroughly slammed by the critics. And yet, all the signs seem to indicate that it will outlive all of the season's other one-word-title-sci-fi dramas. While Threshold and Invasion are already stagnating, this show is a consistent pleasure. Sure, it was created by folks who got their cinematic education exclusively from the likes of You know, it's funny how this show was so thoroughly slammed by the critics. And yet, all the signs seem to indicate that it will outlive all of the season's other one-word-title-sci-fi dramas. While Threshold and Invasion are already stagnating, this show is a consistent pleasure. Sure, it was created by folks who got their cinematic education exclusively from the likes of CLOSE ENCOUNTERS, JAWS and THE ABYSS. But they've learned well, and they've managed to bring a sense of big-screen adventure to the 1-hour TV serial format. The pacing is brisk. The tone is just right, not self-important and not smirky. The dialogue is snappy. The set pieces are unusually imaginative for TV. Add in some very appealing characters (Ferguson's take on Richard Dreyfuss' everyman especially), and you've got a very endearing show. What if the science is bunk? There's always Nova for that, and good as that show is, it doesn't exactly set the pulse racing the way Surface consistently does. Check it out yo'. Expand
  81. SheridanH
    Oct 17, 2005
    9
    Ok so I'm a geek, but this show is fun and inspite what the critics say, worth watching. I've been a fan of Spielbergs for a long time and I look forward to tracking the crators of this show Josh and Jonas Pates careers. Hopefully this show will last a few seasons. Two words for the critics Bah Humbug!
  82. Chris
    Oct 17, 2005
    9
    I think this is one of the better showings of new premiers in a while. It has good dialogue, good character development, and has enough of a story 'spread' to cover a variety of ages. I think Carter Jenkins is doing a great job and should be commended. I have been looking forward to the way the seemingly random sightings and reports have been building to a place where some of I think this is one of the better showings of new premiers in a while. It has good dialogue, good character development, and has enough of a story 'spread' to cover a variety of ages. I think Carter Jenkins is doing a great job and should be commended. I have been looking forward to the way the seemingly random sightings and reports have been building to a place where some of the characters will eventually come together to take this to the next level. Overall I think this is a great show with a lot of merit. Cheesy? I don't think so. I think it delivers exactly what people look for in television... a chance to escape from the everyday mundane into a life of excitement. Surface is definitely much deeper than the critics have given it credit for. Expand
  83. brentM
    Oct 17, 2005
    10
    One of the most entertaining new shows in a long time, hopefully time will tell the critics wrong!!!
  84. JackieL
    Oct 18, 2005
    9
    Great concept, both suspenseful and thought provoking. Characters need to be fleshed out and some gaps to be filled but hopefully the network will let this show grow. Critics missed another one but the fan base should grow and appreciate a good sci fi offering.
  85. KevinM
    Oct 19, 2005
    5
    Science is all wrong (well, 75% of the time).... the kid plot smells of E.T... the story line mimics Close Encounters... the entertainment is in laughing at the story and the dialogue. Don't get me wrong, its entertaining, but in a train wreck type of way. I think it would be better if they drop Bell's son, and the entire "baby alien" in the hands of spoiled rich kids plot and Science is all wrong (well, 75% of the time).... the kid plot smells of E.T... the story line mimics Close Encounters... the entertainment is in laughing at the story and the dialogue. Don't get me wrong, its entertaining, but in a train wreck type of way. I think it would be better if they drop Bell's son, and the entire "baby alien" in the hands of spoiled rich kids plot and concentrate on the rest of the show. Anyone who thinks this is anything close to a 6+ show doesn't need to be handling a remote control. Expand
  86. JaredProphet
    Oct 21, 2005
    10
    I Love this show. With Lost, Alias, Invasion, Threshold, Night Stalker, Medium, Commander in Cheif... TV IS BACK!!!!!
  87. McFly
    Oct 20, 2005
    5
    This show would be alright if it wasn't for the terrible kiddie parts with the hobbit kid and his skank ho sister. The rest is ok so it gets a 5.
  88. bruced
    Dec 26, 2005
    8
    Great effects. Story line interesting but takes place in too many places. The submarine construction never would work esp at that depth. Savannah is hot like to see her in a more steamy scene. Very good but needs refining....Get rid of the attraction to holes and spinning water...corny
  89. Kastef
    Dec 4, 2005
    4
    The actors on this show have lost the will to act. The raft scenes had me slack jawed in amazment at the bad acting. Good story aside from the stupid owner love pet aspect. VFX slipping alongside the acting.
  90. [Anonymous]
    Oct 6, 2005
    9
    I enjoy this series
  91. Reggie
    Oct 11, 2006
    10
    Great story, great plot, great characters...can't say anything wrong about this show.
  92. ConnieS
    Oct 11, 2006
    10
    Boycott all NBC shows, until Surface comes back. I know I will. Was watching a couple of their new shows. No more NBC, they should have ordered more 1st season, so the story line could have been drawn out more, then to cancel it! Can you say S-T-U-P-I-D???
  93. TanjaM.
    Nov 23, 2006
    10
    It's a really great show. You never know what is going to happen next. All the smug critics cited above are just trying to outdo each other with their 'witty' comments.
  94. SherriH
    Oct 13, 2006
    9
    Please bring Surface back - it was such a great show!!!!!
  95. MaxE
    Dec 24, 2006
    4
    If you're looking for so-called 'sci-fi' miniseries,i prefer you to watch Stargate SG-1.And if you're looking for mysterious and thrill one,i bet you should see LOST or Prison Break .Everything about this show is quite predictable,no stunning scene,..with the pretty silly dialogue..and one more thing..please use high quality FXs..this is sci-fi,rite?
  96. Dan
    Jan 27, 2006
    0
    Suckage. If you want good sci-fi, watch Stargate SG-1, Stargate Atlantis, and/or Battlestar Galactica. On Sci-Fi channel 122 (satellite). New episodes every Friday. Watch it. The Neilson meter will look good if you do.
  97. delm
    Oct 30, 2006
    10
    great show, good plot, good characters, suspenseful. I can't believe they didn't bring it back earlier.
  98. KateD
    Oct 9, 2006
    9
    I'm a lit. teacher and I know this show was flawed, but it was flawed in all the right ways! Big, messy, exciting, compelling, and driven by a fantastic female character. I'm so disappointed it is cancelled.
  99. JayF.
    Feb 19, 2006
    10
    Finally a sci-fi show that is a great combination of the Speilberg films and the old monster movies we all grew up watching.
  100. KatieB
    Feb 19, 2006
    10
    I have been waiting and waiting to catch this show since I first saw the trailer for the beginning of it, but I didn't catch it until now! I've only seen on episode, well into the season and have no idea what's going on, but I am absolutely completely hooked! Brilliant show, and I love the creatures!
Metascore
39

Generally unfavorable reviews - based on 23 Critics

Critic score distribution:
  1. Positive: 1 out of 23
  2. Negative: 12 out of 23
  1. 30
    It's a bland Spielberg wannabe that doesn't succeed in evoking much creepiness or wonder
  2. 12
    The most confusing ensemble drama of the new season.
  3. 40
    Though relentlessly ominous, "Surface" is, so far, only good for surface scares.