“Really, my good man, there is more to life than one monster’s power over another’s.”
In today’s episode of ABC-TV’s Dark Shadows, the utterly haunted Collins family of 1841 Parallel Time actually goes ahead and holds the lottery that they’ve been talking about for weeks and weeks, with a dramatic reveal and an off-screen high-speed chase, which should probably be attended to at some point. But the great thing about 1971 Dark Shadows is that even if I take the day off today to talk about something else, they’ll still be there tomorrow, doing more or less the same stuff. That has not always been the case on this show, but is definitely the case now.
So you won’t mind if I allow Gabriel to slip quietly out the door for the day, while I tackle another task that has been personally haunting me for months: the second installment of the Parkerverse continuity.
Continue reading Episode 1212: Once in Every Generation
“People I love haven’t always loved me back.”
Six months ago, in July 1970, the Firesign Theatre released a record called Don’t Crush That Dwarf, Hand Me the Pliers, an avant-garde slice of psychedelic, time-traveling radio comedy that was mostly about a ’50s teen movie spoof called High School Madness. In the spoof, young Peorgie and his pal Mudhead investigate the theft of their school, Morse Science High, by their rivals, Communist Martyrs High School. Infiltrating Commie Martyrs, the two buddies find the mural from their school in a storage room, labeled “Mural: Auditorium, right rear. Heroic Struggle of the Little Guys to Finish the Mural.”
Meanwhile, six months later, as we cross the chasm between 1970 and 1971, that is exactly what lies ahead for Dark Shadows: a 13-week heroic struggle to wrap up this wild, untamed soap opera that has broken free of all ties to civilization as we know it. Dark Shadows has never really been about a girl on a train, a mad family and a lovestruck vampire. It’s about some writers, a mad producer, a cast of eccentric New York stage actors, and a lonely boom mic trying to break into show business, working feverishly on a shoestring budget to produce the strangest possible television show, for as long as they can get away with it. In the three months left between January 1st and April 2nd, they are going to finish this mural or die trying, or both.
Continue reading Time Travel, part 14: It Is What It Is
“Forgive me. Nothing that ever happened here was funny.”
Vicki comes to the Old House looking for David; it’s after dark and he’s probably run straight to the haunted house. Someone comes down the stairs, and she’s relieved when she sees that it’s Barnabas — she thought it might be someone dangerous.
After an awkward silence, Barnabas gestures upstairs, and says, “I was revisiting my ancestral past.” Naturally, Vicki doesn’t say anything. How do you respond when someone tells you that he’s revisiting his ancestral past?
Continue reading Episode 214: Very Much Alive