“Why isn’t she here? Because she’s vanished.”
So I guess it’s true — you start out thinking that the past was a golden age, but then you go back for a visit, and it’s just one disappointment after another. Plus, after a while they accuse you of witchcraft and execute you.
Writing this blog every day has been my own uncertain and frightening journey into the past, back to my younger days when I watched one episode of Dark Shadows a day, in order and without fast-forwarding, because it was on television and DVDs didn’t exist yet. And the way I remembered it, 1795 was the perfect jewel of a storyline — tragic and hand-crafted and brilliant. I’d completely forgotten that it goes into unexcused overtime like this.
And here I am, sentenced to watch episode after episode about Vicki’s witchcraft trial, which is just spinning in circles and refuses to end. It seems like every witness gets to come back for a bonus round, with more accusations and objections and pointless sidebars at the bench. Well, I can’t take it any more; I’m going for the Backup Plan instead. Episode overruled!
Continue reading Episode 436: Quivering with Emotion
“If you want to destroy someone, destroy me!”
So bat-bitten bad boy Barnabas Collins is upstairs dying, although it seems like more of an aerobic experience than you’d expect.
He’s standing at his bedroom door, calling for Josette. She’s already standing right next to him, so it’s not clear what else she can do to help. Apparently, this is what the show is like now, just sweating and yelling and chaos.
Continue reading Episode 408: A Compromising Physician
“I do not understand any more than you do.”
Okay, here’s a health tip: If you ever have an overnight layover in Martinique, don’t make out with the crazy girl.
Seriously. The girl is out of her mind. At the moment, she’s got a handkerchief wrapped around the neck of Barnabas’ wooden toy soldier, and she’s choking the life out of it. This is apparently going to teach Barnabas a lesson about treating people with respect. It might also partly be about leaving a tip for the maid when you check out of a hotel. It’s kind of an abstract lesson.
Now, this was an unusual Friday cliffhanger, because we know that Barnabas became a vampire, so he couldn’t have died from action-figure-based asphyxiation. Or maybe he could have. There’s a serious question raised today, which is: How does time travel work?
Continue reading Episode 371: Damn the Torpedoes
“Now, look here. There is no such thing as a mystery in science.”
You think you’re having a hard day? Try being Dr. Woodard for a minute. He made several house calls, examined the patient, asked questions, ran tests, played with his glasses and organized an impromptu blood transfusion. Then his patient was kidnapped right out of the hospital, and he doesn’t even have a diagnosis.
And now Burke comes into the office — without an appointment, thank you — and demands answers. This is what health care used to be like, just everybody scolding each other.
Continue reading Episode 242: A Mystery in Science
“How did you happen to come by these wounds in your throat?”
Maggie’s not feeling very well after her trip to the graveyard last week, and by not feeling well I mean she’s unconscious and somebody’s perforated her jugular vein. Sam and Joe hover around her bed, fretting and recapping. A dog howls, and Maggie starts moaning restlessly.
For a minute, it looks like the entire episode is going to be Sam and Joe standing around looking at Maggie. (Spoiler alert: That kind of is the entire episode.)
Continue reading Episode 231: Bedside Manners
“Things are getting deeper and deeper, and people are saying and doing things for no reason at all!”
Maggie’s overslept again; she’s been out all night consorting with demons. It’s actually not clear what Barnabas and Maggie have been getting up to. We don’t see much on screen — for all we know, they could be going to nightclubs and working their way through the Kama Sutra.
However. At a certain point we’re just watching a girl sleep.
Continue reading Episode 229: Thirst World Problems
“You look ghastly, Loomis. I mean this only as a compliment to your histrionic talents.”
It’s morning at Collinwood, and hey! Willie’s back. Now Jason’s angry, Willie collapses, and there’s a very good chance that we might end up doing the last three episodes all over again.
Continue reading Episode 219: Addled Quacks
“It’s almost as if this arm had been drained of blood.”
Yes, Jason is examining Willie’s bandaged wrist, and that’s his brilliant diagnosis, because Jason is clearly a well-known arm-blood specialist. How does a person go about losing blood just in his arm?
Continue reading Episode 217: Not Enough Vampire in Your Vampire Show