Episode 1245: Sunset at Collinwood

“You’ve had too many victims! It’s over for you!”

Morgan Collins, the self-proclaimed god-emperor of the great estate at Collinwood, has learned that his emotionally explosive wife, who he had always feared was cheating on him with his cousin, was actually cheating on him with his cousin, to the extent that she is currently pregnant with her lover’s child.

Driven mad by this betrayal, in addition to the general background madness of being a Collins in the first place, Morgan has locked up Barnabas and Angelique in the cursed room that plagues this parallel hell. Everyone who spends a night in that room either dies or goes insane, at the pleasure of an angry ancestor who’s determined to spoil everyone’s fun. So far, the trapped lovers have been alternately possessed and throttled, but the evil wizard running the no-escape room hasn’t gone in for the kill.

As dawn approaches, Morgan strides down the hall towards the sealed portal, with a six-shooter in his hand. When he opens the door, if he finds that the couple has managed to survive the night, then he’s just going to shoot them, and take his revenge the old-fashioned way.

So I’ve got some hard news for Morgan this morning: opening that door is not going to benefit you in any way. Letting Barnabas out of a box is what got us into this mess in the first place.

At least, that was the start of this story for me, as a sixth grader on a spring afternoon in 1982. This was the image that caught my attention in TV Guide, this silly-but-haunting picture of a man unleashing something on the world that we didn’t expect, and had never seen before.

The image is black and white and grainy, because this is a screenshot, rather than a publicity photo like all the other ads in TV Guide. The Dark Shadows production team didn’t take a special photo of this moment, because at the time, they didn’t know how important it was. So to my sixth-grade eyes, this ad felt like something that was set apart from regular television, a glimpse into another world.

The ad copy had something of a mixed message. It makes the show sound scary — Barnabas “preys upon the innocent victims of Collinsport” in”the eerie world of Dark Shadows“, featuring “Gothic suspense and intrigue.”

But it also makes it clear that the show is funny, calling it “biting satire in a different vein,” and that’s probably what caught my eye at the time. By sixth grade, I’d been watching The Muppet Show for years and I’d recently started watching Monty Python, so I knew that “satire” was something that I loved. But that’s not a great description of the show, and looking back at it, it feels like this ad was specifically tuned to what I needed to hear.

Young Danny, give this a try, WNBC said, beckoning to me. It’s slow and weird, and you’re not going to understand what the characters are talking about for the first few weeks — nobody told me that this was actually ten months into the show — but at some point, this is going to be funny, and you’re going to love it. And it was, and I did.

And here we are, more than a thousand episodes later, and the show still beckons successfully. They’re calling me back for one last afternoon together, and if they’re not planning to provide the biting satire today, then I suppose it’s up to me.

Today is Friday, April 2nd, 2021 — exactly 50 years since ABC broadcast the final episode of Dark Shadows — and now it’s my job to wrap all this up in a box and file it away in the secret records room, with all of my secret records. But mystery boxes don’t close easily; that’s one of the main things about them. You open up a mystery box, and those consequences are yours to keep.

That’s why we’re here on the last day of Dark Shadows, ending the series in a dank underground mausoleum, with eccentric millionaire Barnabas Collins locked in a romantic clinch with his ex-wife, the evil sorceress and soap vixen Angelique, flanked by two carcasses from the seventeenth century, rather than what this should have been, according to the original plan: governess Victoria Winters and her faithful husband Burke, finally unlocking the mystery of where she came from, and who she has become. Opening a mystery box is funny that way.

And yes, obviously, this is Barnabas and Angelique; we didn’t buy that “Bramwell and Catherine” charade for a second. They didn’t drag us all the way down here to the secret records room to celebrate the happiness of a pair of hypothetical parallel descendants. If these characters were played by any other actors than Jonathan Frid and Lara Parker, it would be the most disappointing series finale of all time, rather than what it is, which is maybe the fourth most disappointing.

Dark Shadows began with Barnabas’ hand reaching up out of that coffin to grab our throats and get our attention — at least, it started that way for me, and for most of the people who have ever watched the show — so it has to end here, with Barnabas eagerly embracing the woman who has caused the most suffering to his family and community.

One thing that we ought to get straight is that this is not the optimal outcome, for anyone. Barnabas and Angelique are the most self-centered, reckless and fundamentally toxic people that this fictional world has ever seen. By my calculations,* Barnabas and Angelique have murdered at least 36 people, including each other. If they’re united now, that means that their destructive tendencies will be directed outward, towards everyone else. Barnabas and Angelique ending up together isn’t a happy ending, it’s a crisis.

So this is the way the world ends: not with a bang, but a rooster. Barnabas and Angelique can tell that it’s nearly dawn somehow, down here among the dead men, in a secret basement crypt that nobody at Collinwood even knew was here until a couple weeks ago. The unresting spirit of Brutus Collins has apparently been tormenting these two sporadically throughout the evening, although they don’t mention if it got any more interesting than the weak-sauce torments that we witnessed in the previous episode.

What we saw yesterday was Angelique suddenly saying that she’s Amanda and trying to stab herself, and then Barnabas staggering around pretending that he’s choking, and in each case, the antidote was for the other person to say, No, [insert name]! You must fight him! Fight him! and then the sufferer would fight him, and the feeling would pass. That’s going to happen again over the next few minutes, with the same results, which makes me wonder how Brutus ever managed to murder any of the previous contestants. Did it not occur to any of them to fight him? That would have been the first thing I tried.

But Barnabas is convinced that they’ve managed to survive against the most desperate odds, because their love is so strong that it can defeat momentary lapses in concentration. I agree that they’re into each other, and they certainly love themselves more than anybody else does, but this has hardly been the epic battle that they’re currently congratulating themselves over. There wasn’t even a spelling test. Brutus Collins has had a hundred and sixty years to come up with immunity challenges, and it appears that he came up with two and then got distracted.

Gazing adoringly into his beloved’s eyes, Barnabas says, “I have money now. We will leave here. We will not harm anyone by doing that. It would be far worse for Morgan, if you were to stay here and play out the mockery of your marriage.”

The spectral laughter of their chromakey adversary echoes through the chamber. “Plans!” Brutus chuckles. “Plans!” So yeah, that tracks. For Brutus, “I’m rich now, let’s go somewhere and be rich people” is a carefully constructed roadmap. This is a guy who took the corpses of the two people that he hated most, injected them with some kind of occult cryogenic juice concentrate, and left them lying out in the open in the middle of his secret lair, so that he could spend eternity glaring at them and thinking about what jerks they were. How different life would be for these people, if he’d known that going somewhere and coasting on privilege was an option.

And then the saddest thing in the world happens.

“Amanda…” Brutus pleads, “Come to me! Forgive me! That is all I want, your forgiveness!”

Momentarily carried away with the cosplay, Angelique smiles and says, “You still love me, Brutus?”

“I have never stopped loving you!” Brutus declares. “Come to me! We shall share eternity…”

So I don’t know what to do with that level of mess. Is that actually what this has been about, all this time? It appears that Brutus wants to share eternity with the woman who’s lying on a slab literally three steps from where he’s standing, because he installed her there, for eternity. That’s why he’s been tormenting his own descendants for a century and a half. Honestly, sometimes I think I will never understand white people.

There’s another moment of half-hearted choking from Barnabas, and then they hear the triumphant crow of Convenient Rooster, broadcasting all the way underground to this windowless chamber that is not specifically close to a farm.

“I will never come to you, Brutus!” cries Angelique. “We will bury these bodies in holy ground, and Amanda will at last have peace. Now go, Brutus, before someone drops a house on you too!”

“You’ve won!” Brutus wails, as he melts away. “What a world, what a world! Who would have thought a good little girl like you could destroy my beautiful wickedness…”

Relieved, the happy couple embrace, although now they have to go and find some holy ground and bury those dusty mannequins. It serves her right, for shooting her mouth off like that.

Speaking of shooting, Morgan’s upstairs at the entrance portal, just waiting for these two to emerge. This means six more weeks of winter.

“So you have ended the curse, Bramwell,” says the gun-wielding goon, “and I guess you want some sort of gratitude from everyone. Well, you’re not going to get it — or her!”

Without further delay, Morgan pulls the trigger and nails Barnabas in the left shoulder, in the same place that he shot him a month ago, in their duel. Melanie and Kendrick were recently wounded in the shoulder, too; it’s been a bad month for shoulders.

After that, everybody still acts like Morgan has another round in the chamber, although with that kind of gun you’d need to reload the primer and gunpowder before taking another shot, and by that time, everyone else could run and get their own murder weapons from the community chest. Still, it’s drama, I suppose, and you can’t deflate two villains in a row just by shutting your eyes and hoping.

So Morgan was the curse, after all, just as we suspected. On the whole, soap operas are supposed to be interloper-friendly environments, because they’re designed to run forever, and if you’ve got a strong love triangle situation, then you try to keep that going for as long as you can keep the audience’s attention. But Morgan has interloped at just the wrong time, when inspiration failed, and everyone on the show was sick of figuring out new things to do.

The day is saved by Julia Hoffman and Willie Loomis, who come running with the rest of their woodland friends, but who are they saving it for? We didn’t ask for an ending like this, so far removed from the show as we loved it. There’s a few more minutes of shouting and secret panels, but the thing that we really want — to go back somehow, to the afternoons that we loved — that isn’t an option anymore.

They say that every ending is a new beginning, but you know how I feel about “They“, and their advice. Sometimes an ending is just an ending. You run home from school, and the thing you’re running home for isn’t there anymore. Now you’re just running.

Plans, plans… what does Morgan think that he’s doing, anyway? How does this end, for him? He shoots his rival, and then he climbs up onto the roof, to hurl the woman that he loves over the edge, to a messy death on the rocks below. And then what?

So I have a theory about time.

When we lose someone or something that we love, it feels like they’re gone forever, like everything that you had and did can crumble into ash, leaving nothing behind.

But time is kind. Time seals up your happiest moments, and protects them. It’s all there, somewhere, preserved by time, and kept safe forever.

It happened. The beautiful and unlikely things that you did, that brought you joy and purpose — as long as it happened once, then it will always have happened. Even if someone wanted to take it away from you, even if they tried, they can’t touch it. This is now a universe where that happened, and there’s nothing that anyone can do about it. It can’t be destroyed. It just needs to happen once.

People think that time is their enemy, that each tick of the clock takes them closer to defeat and grief and the heat death of the universe. It’s not true. Time is the kindest thing that we know.

“Everything will be different,” Melanie says, cured of her madness and heading toward the door. “You’ll see.” And she’s right. Everything is always different, especially on this show.

“Yes,” Flora allows. “But it’ll never be the same. Without Justin… without Gabriel… with Morgan as he is. And I will go on remembering, for the rest of my life, and wishing things were different. Brutus Collins had his curious revenge.”

“Tell me, mother,” Melanie urges. “Tell me everything that has happened.”

Well, it’s hard to imagine telling Melanie everything; it’s six hundred hours long, plus the fanzines and audio dramas. We can go back and play it all again, and remember how it felt, but it’s not the same. It was all about surprise, about opening the mystery box and not knowing what kind of crazy would emerge. It belongs to other people, now.

So we find ourselves here, up on the roof, dangling over the precipice for the final time, concluding the high-wire act that we volunteered for, so many years ago. The curse is broken, and everything is different, and pretty soon we won’t have to look at Morgan anymore.

“If we have turned you into the person that you are now, I’m sorry,” Barnabas shouts into the wind. “We’ve all made many mistakes, we cannot make any more! Let us go in peace!”

And yes, of course they turned us into the person that we are now. At least, they did for me, and there is no need to apologize.

For the first and last time, Dark Shadows will indulge in the sentimental, ending the show with the villain vanquished and two couples united. They hint for a moment that the horror show will go on, with the last-minute twist of an unexpected vampire bite, but then they back off, with an unconvincing logical explanation and a promise that all will be well.

That’s not the real ending, of course. Yes, the mystery box is sealed up once more, but that’s just so that we can hand it on to the next person, like the sixth-grader in 1982 who has no idea what’s going to happen next.

Barnabas Collins steps out of ABC Studio 16 and into the future, as he does in this picture: triumphant, unapologetic, and eager, as always, to scare more children.

The end.


Thank you so much for reading this blog. I can’t tell you how much it means to me that you have accompanied me on this insane journey, and allowed me to accompany you on your own journey through Dark Shadows.

I’m going to save some final words for the Zoom party tonight, and then I’ll post more here for everyone who can’t make it.

But I want to tell everyone that yes, I’m done writing about Dark Shadows, but I’m not done with writing by a long shot. There will be a next big project that I’ve been thinking about for the last couple of years, and I’m really excited to get started on it.

The new project won’t be related to Dark Shadows at all, but if you like this blog, then you will like the next one. It’s about the history of another slice of popular culture — how it started, how it evolved, and where it went, traveling forwards through time with lots of side trips and surprises. It’ll be a similar structure and feel to this blog; I’ll be taking all of the things that I’ve learned here, and that’s the starting point for the new project, with a story that’s bigger and more ambitious.

I’m planning to start publishing new blog posts in the fall; there’s a lot to do, before I’m ready to launch the new project. When it starts, I’ll post an announcement here on the blog, and on the Facebook and Twitter accounts, so stay subscribed or just check back in fall 2021.

I’ll see many of you at the party tonight. I love you, and thank you.


Dark Shadows bloopers to watch out for:

Morgan shouts “Brutus!” before the ghost appears.

Bramwell shouts at Brutus, “No, you’ve destroyed too often!”

When Brutus’ ghost disappears for the last time, there’s a movement on the right side of the screen — the stagehand giving Bramwell and Catherine their cue to react.

When Kendrick embraces Melanie, some of her hair sticks to his lips. He turns it into a cute moment, touching and kissing the lock of hair.

On the roof, Morgan goes to the door to shout for Bramwell. When Catherine rushes over, the wall shakes.

When Morgan goes over the balcony, a studio light is visible at the top of the screen.

Julia tells Flora that she should be grateful to Bramwell and Catherine: “If they hadn’t — if they hadn’t broken the curse, none of this would have happened.” What?

In act 4, panning down from the foyer clock, the boom mic makes one last unscheduled appearance.

As the camera focuses on Barnabas’ portrait for the final narration, you can hear footsteps in the studio.


*Footnote:

This is my calculation of the number of people that Barnabas and Angelique have killed on the show, including the Parallel Time Angelique.

Barnabas: Jason McGuire, Dave Woodard, Jeremiah Collins, Angelique Collins, Ruby Tate, Suki Forbes, Maude Browning, Abigail Collins, Reverend Trask, Nathan Forbes, Crystal Cabot, Dirk Wilkins, Sophie Baker, Carl Collins, Istvan, Audrey, Megan Todd, Sky Rumson, Cyrus Longworth, 1995 sheriff, Unnamed woman in 1840, Lamar Trask.

Angelique: Barnabas Collins, Sarah Collins, Naomi Collins, Josette DuPres, Bathia Mapes, Dr. Eric Lang, Tom Jennings, Roxanne Drew, Charles Dawson.

PT Angelique: Alexis Collins, Fred Block, Larry Chase, Will Loomis, Roger Collins.

Dark Shadows episode guide

— Danny Horn

78 thoughts on “Episode 1245: Sunset at Collinwood

  1. THANK YOU DANNY!! This has made the madness that was 2020 bearable as I’ve been able to dive into the series like never before (I watch two episodes on my lunch break, possibly more in the evening – I’m only on Episode 830-ish as of today). This blog has been informative, insightful, and funny! I’m exited for your new projects!

  2. It’s been a blast sharing this journey with you, Danny!

    I have something of a milestone to celebrate this afternoon. At 4pm, I will complete MY journey of watching all 1225 episodes on their 50th anniversary date! While I’d been through most of the series before, this is my first time all the way through, and I managed to remain faithful to the anniversary dates for nearly five years!

    I’m looking forward to a six week respite for now, but then will plunge back in for another dip with episode 1, you guessed it, right around the last week in June.

    Thanks for making it twice as enjoyable. Needless to say, I will be revisiting your journey once the mysterious box is opened.

  3. You did it!! Thank you so much for this blog — super entertaining. You rock — looking forward to your next project!!

    P.S. happy make a donation in your honor to a charity of your choice (maybe the Red Cross is the most appropriate one for DS). Thanks again!!!

  4. Bravo. Thank you so much for doing this. I enjoyed checking in with the blog as I made my way through the Barnabas era of DS. Your loving but biting (ahem) commentary always added another fun dimension to my viewing experience.

    I tried the early, pre-Barnabas episodes, but honestly lost interest quickly, so I can’t blame you for not doing the “early days”. Best of luck on your next project!

  5. DARK SHADOWS BLOG
    SEPTEMBER 2013 – APRIL 2021
    RIP

    Thanks, Danny. I’ll stay tuned, for your next project.

    Barney & Angie shacking up – works for me. Those of us who were enamored with Parker and identified with Frid’s character, enjoyed a nice little vicarious lovefest.

    Or if we thought that Maggie was the hottie but felt bad about Angelique’s Unrequited Love, then we got some closure. 30+ dead people be damned ; what have they ever done for us, during their short lives?

    Of course, it does require one to empathize with the misunderstood vampire, to feel good about their eventual union. But, hey – we can attribute nobility to leaders who sanction & assist bombing in Yemen, kill untold numbers in Afghy and Syria, and try to extradite journalists who expose war crimes so those journalists can be tortured & imprisoned for life. If our brains can disregard massive Death & Destruction in the real world and feel good about one sadistic leader over another, then surely we can trick ourselves into believing that Barny & Angie are Saints driven to inhumanity by circumstances.

    Doesn’t matter – thanks for the entertainment and memories, Danny. I hope you address Stoke’s ending monologue, in your final comments.

    Love & Best Wishes,

    DC

    1. thank you, DC, for putting that Of course paragraph into print. it’s so rare one encounters a person willing to face that kind of honesty here in the stolen homeland. you did my heart good.

    1. Yes, he does. If he had, I wonder if Curtis would have been willing to pay for the editing time.

  6. Danny, a millions thanks for this incredible blog. When I think back on where DS went wrong and lead to it’s own demise was not bringing Count Petofi 70 years into the future at the conclusion of the 1897 plotline. Looking forward to your upcoming blog on the 11,136 episodes of OLTL!

  7. Danny,
    Thank you, thank you, thank you. This blog was a Herculean task for you, and you provided so much pleasure to your readers. I feel bittersweet today with the completion of the blog, but was so happy to hear you’ll be starting a new project soon.

  8. Thank you for this wonderful blog! Now that it’s finished I hope you don’t intend to delete it. I’m still only on episode 899 of my re-watch, but even though I can’t be at the Zoom party I figured I’d take this quick trip to the future–which for you is actually the present–to say how much I’ve enjoyed reading this blog along with each episode, including all the insightful comments by your readers. In fact, it has enhanced my viewing experience so much that when I return to my present/your past, I will not only continue to watch and read until I reach this post once again (assuming I live that long, and the blog is still up), once I have done so I’ll happily travel through time once again, all the way back to episode/post 210: Opening the Box! Kudos, Danny. ❤

        1. courtleymanor, thank you for asking him about that! what a relief!; i also can’t attend tonight, (though i’ll be there in spirit.) i’m also back in time, having recently alit in 1795; revisiting his blog a second time through in company with my diet of an episode a day. mayhaps we’ll bump into each other at some or other parallel point. yay unsquared.

          1. It’s funny to me that people would be worried about that; it would never have occurred to me that would be a question. I wrote all this stuff, I want people to read it!

  9. What a wrap-up. I am wiping a tear from my aged eye and thanking you for bringing it ALL back. Your final pronouncements recall Prospero in The Tempest–as read (pretty well, actually) by Jonathan Frid on the immortal Dark Shadows LP.

    One last thing: Two weeks ago at this time, I was heading for Medgar Evers College in Brooklyn to receive my second Pfizer vaccine shot. At 4 p.m. EDT, it will be exactly 14 days since my shot–meaning then and only then I’ll be fully protected against this virus.

    Fifty years ago–at 4 p.m. EDT–my 11-year-old self sat down to watch the last episode of my beloved Dark Shadows. Coincidence? I THINK NOT.

    Something ends, something begins. You have many more stories in you, laddie–and a few books I hope, too.

  10. Danny, after all the years of laughter and joy your blog has brought, you made me tear up today! Reading the words “The end.” really brought home how much you accomplished with this strange and frightening journey into the past. Thank you doesn’t seem like it says enough, but it’s the best I can do. Much love to you and yours! I can’t wait to see what you launch in the fall!

  11. Congratulations, Danny! You made it! Thank you. There were days during this plague when the only sound I made was when I laughed at your blog. Your wit kept me entertained; your insights made me think and your knowledge made me appreciate this show even more.
    I realized recently that my best friend in high school and I bonded over Dark Shadows. She lived only two blocks from school so I went to her house to watch. She introduced me to my late husband so I owe the trajectory of the past 45 years of my life directly to Dark Shadows and primitive broadcasting technology! I think I need to thank the creators of this wonderful, insane, fascinating dark fairy tale for that. We wouldn’t have found each other without you.
    “Never without you.”

  12. thank you, Danny, from the more or less bidden, hidden depths of my heart. way too modest a phrase for the myriad thanks i’d nigh express, but then, that’s the wraps on saying i love you, too. and likewise, what with all those laugh out loud ripplings, deft heartfelt touches, informative asides and brilliantly imaginative tangents you’ve gone and exposed, congratulations on achieving this particular herculean masterwork. i eagerly anticipate the next unfolding. as i’ve no doubt chimed, time and time again, our dearest Danny, i’d follow you anywhere!

  13. The blog is an achievement, Danny. Take pride. Like Dark Shadows itself, the oxymoron of a chaotic visionary soap opera, you took the blog form and elevated it into something that can never be satisfactorily described, but dearly treasured.

  14. Thank you Danny for this wonderful blog.It helped me remember when I did run home from school to watch my favorite show.

    I’m looking forward to whatever you move onto from here.

  15. Thank you for getting me through a pandemic. I look forward to your future work, happy to know it continues!

  16. I echo the sentiments that have been so perfectly stated in the comments above. Thank you, Danny, for the extraordinary amount of work you put into this blog; it is quite a labor of love. Thank you for honoring this series so many of us have cherished for decades while presenting your entertaining and levity-filled insights on everything that made Dark Shadows such an unique “can’t look away” phenomenon.

    This final entry from you is so poignant. Thank you for that. And how beautiful is this sentiment you expressed: “Time is the kindest thing that we know.”

    I look forward to the Zoom call tonight and can’t wait for your next project. You’re a real gem, Danny Horn!

  17. See you tonight (I got ahead of myself and set up last for it) and can’t believe you watched the whole thing and these fantastic notes. These should be required reading prior to viewing just to appreciate all the nuances missed back when I watched the original airings.

  18. Thank you Danny. Your writing is always entertaining and educational. Thank you to all the commentators, too. It was a wonderful group effort. See you all tonight.

  19. I must be the very latest (last) Danny Horn/DS fan to have fallen into this utterly brilliant and magical rabbit hole that is this blog.
    Last but not least in my heart felt appreciation for your Hurculean effort!

    Congratulations, it is masterful on so many levels.

    THANK YOU for sharing your talent with us!
    I’m echoing every post of kudos to you & mad love for your work.

    Wishing you great success at everything to which you turn your hand.

    PS favorite line? ” I must MOVE, I must ACT” (Barnabas)
    Interpreted as taught by D. Horn?
    “I must MOVE like I’m ACTING!
    I must ACT like I’m moving!!!”

    I MUST thank you again. XO

  20. I’m only in 1840. I expect I will be back here when I reach the end.
    Let’s remember there is a difference between indefinitely and forever as Vicki must have said.

    Before my first viewing of dark shadows – which started around 1998 maybe and ended around 2002 – I read synopses of the episodes from Judy Phillips and her gang which I can no longer find anywhere on the internet as I found them back then.

    If anyone knows where those might now live or what they were called, please let us know?

    Back then there was no way to watch the show, except via my friend Kay’s tapes – no DVDs no streaming television shows. And my internet connection was over a phone line.

    Once I finished reading every episode, some synopses extremely short, and some mid-sized and quite funny, but nothing like Danny’s at all (still enough to keep me holding on) I wanted to watch the show itself, and very soon Syfy channel announced it would be begin running it again.

    Still my wonderful friend Kay taped it, and even paused the commercials when the promos for The Day After started upsetting me.

    I got it in chunks and finished it in 2002. I tried a couple of times to watch it again but only made it to around 500.

    In the past I don’t know how many years I have watched it on Amazon Prime. And somewhere just before 1897 I started following along with the blog, again in chunks. I’m currently around episode 1124, but a few episodes behind on the blog. Then I will have to circle back around to pick up the middle. Because I started again where Danny started and made it to 1795 and then gave up again.

    If all goes well technologically I will be there tonight. My brother is putting off installing a new router so that I can be there. He already knew Thursday would not be good because that’s Grey’s Anatomy night.

    Thank you for all of this wonderfulness. My friend and I read it to each other over the phone and sometimes I read it to my brother who doesn’t know a thing about the show but finds it funny nevertheless. (He has spent too many years in TV Tropes, and he reads House and Chuck and The West Wing fanfiction. Sometimes more than once. Yet I cannot get him to watch any television this year -he spends his evenings watching old TV commercials on Youtube)

    I did watch a little bit of Dark Shadows when I was a kid back in 1969 until the day my father caught me – also in 1969.

    At least two different streaming services are trying to sell me horror series because of dark shadows, but the closest they will ever get is Buffy. And for a similar reason – the funny. I have always been sucked into Dark Shadows by the funny (except in 69 when it was Quentin)

    Thank you for getting me through the leviathans.

  21. PS – I have to skip the Facebook House of dark shadows page Friday nights viewing party which is currently in the Maggie kidnapping story, in order to come. No fears, it will still be there tomorrow albeit without the commentary of the rest of the gang.

    Anyone feel free to join us next week, Friday at 8:00 p.m. Eastern. We are hoping that since it is a premiere and not a “watch party” per se, it will not cease when Facebook cancels watch parties after April 16th.
    Join us, it’s fun. Four episodes, no commercials, no captions, and all the comments are typed, and everyone keeps asking when Jason is going to die, but if someone wants a music box, the next person will tell them to try eBay. I haven’t had so much group fun since our Dark Shadows Sim back on AOL in 2000, Where at least our story lines always had a resolution.

  22. Was hoping to attend zoom party tonight, but only sent request yesterday – probably too late to get the link 😓 😦

  23. Congrats, Danny!!

    I’m so excited we’ll get to tag along from the beginning on your next project.

    I wonder if any of the commenters have been here from the start?

    Ready to party like episode 280!

  24. Danny, this blog is awesome! You have a way of describing the indescribable.

    This blog has inspired me to restart the show when Jason McGuire shows up… the lead up to Barnabas’ release. I wish I was able to read your hilarious comments on them.

  25. Danny,

    I’m only on #730, but your blog has been a faithful companion through COVID Times. It’s made me snicker, ponder, laugh and take my hat off to your cleverness. I can’t wait to hear what new ventures you have up your sleeve.
    I have been a Barnabus fan since 2nd grade. An Edwardian coat like B’s was on my Christmas list for years. My exasperated Mother would ask, “and just where do you think I am going to get one?” That question annoyed me. I thought a person could ask for such things and they could just be made manifest.
    My favorite moment on dark shadows, was when Julia turned the tables on Barnabas and said “ I’ve been waiting for you for a long time.” It was such a feminist thing to happen in an era when that was rare.

  26. One more blooper: At 6:55 when Morgan and Catherine are running down the hallway, Lara Parker is laughing. Or trying not to.

  27. Danny – thank you for all the work you put into this.

    You’ve been an amazing comrade to have on my strange and frightening journey through this half-century old program. You helped me understand some key things when I started watching Dark Shadows couple of years ago – especially on the nature of serialized narratives in general and soap operas in particular – that have really deepened my appreciation of the show.

    It will be a long time before I’m able to read this entry, as I’m watching the show sooo sloowly and am still in 1897. What you’ve done is nothing short of a feat. And just so damn good.

    Thanks again!

  28. I loved your comments over the past few years. Sorry I missed the Zoom call. I accidently deleted the entry instructions. Thanks for all you’ve done, Danny.

  29. Thank you for everything Danny. I found this blog shortly after my mother passed away and it gave me comfort to read about the show I so vividly remembered watching in my childhood home. Best wishes to you and look forward to your future endeavors. Also long live the Eagle Hill caretaker 😀

  30. Thank you! We found this halfway through our viewing of the series. So helpful & hilarious! Glad to finish with you.

  31. I’ve synchronized with a friend who’s watching for the 1st time but he’s 51 years behind so I won’t read this post again until NEXT April 2nd. Loved Presidents Selby & Obama & the rest of the 1st Parallel Time entry. Wish I could find the Zoom meeting but it’s probably not to be. What’s next, Doctor Who?

    1. I’m hoping for Wild Wild West Every Day 😉 but since he said Doctor Who’s been thoroughly blogged, my guess is Star Trek Every Day, but that might take the rest of his life to complete. 😀

  32. I’m trying to remember how I found this blog or at which point I entered… I think someone on a TV forum (TVwoP or PreviouslyTV?) mentioned it in a DS thread…

  33. Adding my thanks to everyone else’s. I’m so glad I discovered this blog. I watched DS when it was new. Thanks for all you have done, Danny. I look forward to your future project.

  34. Thank you for an amazing blog and a lot of laughs and food for thought over the years. You’re a great writer and I hope you are proud of what you have accomplished.

    I look forward to your next endeavor!

  35. Thank you Danny and DS, for saving my sanity during this past year of covid lockdowns. I wish I’d discovered the blog at the same time as the show, I’m not quite caught up, but have greatly enjoyed both the wit and the depth of your posts. It’s rare that I find myself laughing out loud while reading, and your descriptions of the time period when I was thirteen and DS was on the air are spot on. Wish I knew where that Zoom party was happening tonight, but I’m there in spirit congratulating you on a phenomenal piece of writing about one of the most unusual and appealing TV shows ever.

  36. Thank you Danny! Reading your blog has been such joy and a really good giggle. Every time I start a sentence with “Well, they say…”, somehow maniacal laughter seems to just pop out. Thanks again for taking me back to that time and place. (I think I was one of the lost children 🙂 and Dark Shadows was an anchor and a (scary) sanctuary. Looking forward to your new project in the fall.

  37. It’s the morning after the farewell party, and I’m already feeling the loss! Even during Danny’s long hiatus mid-blog, there was always the first-thing-in-the-morning check-in and the hope; now it’s all come to a satisfying end and I’m grateful (the party was the perfect way to go) and–sweetly sad. Good morning, everyone, We’ll always have–if not Paris–Fridspeak, kaijus, and the Sproatnap.

  38. Thanks, Danny, you’ve blogged the show into another kind of immortality with your wit, novel points of view, and wildly interesting vocabulary. Here’s hoping this blog stands for at least a generation, and that you future endeavors are met with success! It’s been a great 7 1/2 years.

  39. Congrats on reaching the end of your strange and terrifying journey, and thank you for creating this epic blog!

    PS – One more body for the pile – Barnabas also killed Nelle Gunston during the Leviathan storyline..

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