Some days you want to retreat into a world that doesn’t have friendly ponies and angst-free heroes. These are the times where you want to be in the grit and the grime and to see some serious hurt being tossed around. When you need the darkness in your soul replenished, throw on these five shows like “24” that aren’t afraid to waterboard a terrorist.


A prison on an island with a doctor that could be a mad scientist is the perfect place to deliver some serious waterboarding. With a secret offsite prison, a mysterious glut of disappearances and some inscrutable keys, “Alcatraz” is ready to take care of your conspiracy needs. Watch his devotion towards his interrogative techniques when he gives one convict a friendly ice-cold bathtub drowning experience in “Paxton Petty."


Considering the amount of bullet wounds, broken bones, and hurt feelings the crew of ISIS inflict upon each other you have to believe they wouldn’t hesitate for a second to waterboard anyone, especially a terrorist. Much like “24” danger abounds from within and without but “Archer” has a higher ratio of laughs to sullenness. In “The Limited”, a Canadian terrorist gets tasered, shot at, and tackled all on his train ride back to Canada. That's really just the tip of the iceberg when it comes to this show, though. There's untold mayhem throughout, directed at damn near everyone!

 Death Valley”

In “Death Valley” the sinister threat in town has fangs, hates sunlight and can mind-control zombies. Usually, that points to vampires, but this time it points to...well, vampires again. After all, they're the hot thing in movies and TV, right? Bryan Callen’s bizarre and excellent character, Captain Dashell, does a little sunshine intervention on a vamp who is intent on bringing his niece over to the dark side in “Tick, Tick, Boom” proving that he’s willing to bring the pain to anyone who feels like slapping around humanity.

“Terra Nova”

Fighting dinosaurs is bad enough. But a terrorist faction of other humans that seeks to sabotage and conquer your group is all but asking to be thrown into an iron maiden or at least hung upside down and tickled ferociously. The Sixers, named after their immigration wave, are not lovey-dovey robin hoods but corporate sponsored mercenaries who aim to strip mine the planet in “Terra Nova”. Using sleep deprivation and drugs in “Vs” on a suspected Sixer spy and saboteur, Commander Taylor is definitely not morally above the tactics you’d find in “24."


Division, the secretive organization that spawned Nikita, is so unafraid of the repercussions of torture that they use it almost as their equivalent of a handshake. “24” could only dream of having Division’s resources and free reign over their mission goals. They even torture their own as they subject Alex to a brutal interrogation in “Resistance." None of that namby-pamby "mercy" that you hear so much about, not on this show.