If you want to learn how to build characters, establish a pervading sense of fear, and tighten the tension until you nearly scream, watch Invasion. This sucker is one creepy television show. I find myself unable to stop watching it even though it pushes my scare button all the way through each episode. It's just something about it. Kudos to the writers.
I think you can learn a lot about writing by watching something well written. If you can separate your writer self from your viewer self, you can see how they introduce a character and layer on the motivation and back story. You can easily see the action/reaction, the scene and sequels from beginning to end.