There’s nothing quite like a good mind bending television show when relaxing between two trips or after a whole day of city sightseeing. Not only do you care about what goes on between the characters, you care about what is going on in the plot! Nothing sucks you in quite like a good mind-bender—especially within the worlds of science fiction and horror. Here are five of our favorite television mind-bending shows (spoiler free! Promise!):

If you haven’t yet, you must watch Lost. The writers and creators of this fantastic and intriguing show worked really hard to keep it from being the Gilligan’s Island of the new millennium. The pilot for this show was one of the most expensive to make in television history, but the effort certainly paid off! Every episode brings just another degree of “what the heck is going on?!?” while keeping enough continuity to keep you invested.

Flash Forward
This show is created by the creators of Lost and asks an interesting question: what if you did know the future, but only a part of it? The show plays with the concepts of destiny and free will better than any other has done before it. Is the future written in stone? Can the characters keep it from happening? Do they want to? If one person changes his destiny does that change the destiny of everybody else? These are the things that keep you watching one episode after the next.

The Prisoner
We don’t mean the modern version of this show. We are talking about the original version that so confounded viewers the stations airing it were flooded with angry letters. The main character wakes up in “The Village” but doesn’t know how he got there, who he is or why he keeps having visions from another life—is it his? How did he get to where he is now? Every episode tells you a little bit more but you definitely won’t see a lot of the best moments coming!

Battlestar Galactica
Go for the “reboot” or “retelling” of the story that aired on the Sci-Fi channel. After being attacked by the “Cylons,” the last of humanity is stranded in space so they set off in search of the fabled “Earth”, hoping it will be their new home. Sounds simple enough but there’s a twist: the enemy looks just like everybody else…which begs the question: who do you trust? One thing is for certain, you won’t be able to stop watching until you’ve seen the whole thing.

Though this one isn’t mind-bendy in the “wow I didn’t see that one coming” sense, it definitely messes with your mind in a “what is he going to do next?” sense. This show, based around Dexter a man who murders almost for fun is violent and often horrific but somehow—in spite of all of the blood, Dexter is a sympathetic character.

Obviously there are other shows that provide their own excitement and mind bendiness (Twilight Zone? The early years of X-Files?) but these are some of the best and most worthy of your time. Is this list missing your favorite mind-bender? List it below!

Lifecruiser Love Mind-Benders

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