Tag Archives: idiot

Time Travel, part 7: Here We Go Again

“You know of such things as zippers and machine wash, and you do not even know the year?”

Vampire playboy Barnabas Collins has been out of his box for six weeks now, and to be perfectly honest with you, he has not used his time productively.

Twenty years ago, Barnabas was bound up in chains and sent into cold storage, because ABC Daytime couldn’t think of anything else to do with him. In 1991, he was released for good behavior, and given a sweet prime-time slot on NBC. Yes, I know it’s on Friday nights, but think of all the starving vampires in Africa who don’t even get a show on Fridays.

The way that I understand it, this new iteration of Barnabas is supposed to be a charismatic bloodsucking charm machine, fascinating and sexy and passionate. What we’ve got is more in the area of mopey and spiteful, a self-involved bully who’s unable to form emotional connections with other people. He’s murdered at least four people so far, including a member of the Collins family, and last week he turned another Collins girl into his blood slave, and made her commit crimes that absolutely would have resulted in a prison sentence, if she’d turned out to be any good at it.

Barnabas’ big redeeming feature is supposed to be that he’s pining for girl governess Victoria Winters, who reminds him of his long-lost love Josette. But apart from a couple candlelight dinner dates, he’s hardly even talked to her, and instead he’s been using up all his romance time on blood-fueled makeout sessions with his own descendants.

Fortunately, Dark Shadows comes equipped with a built-in escape hatch, constructed in 1967 because the original series couldn’t figure out what to do with Barnabas either. It’s a custom bespoke time portal, carrying Vicki back to the late 18th century, on a sightseeing tour of the Collins family history.

So Vicki goes tumbling down the ruby slipper hole, to take another shot at rebooting the reboot. Look out below!

Continue reading Time Travel, part 7: Here We Go Again

Episode 692: The New Mischief

“It is strange, isn’t it, how suddenly the swamp seems to be playing a leading and sinister role in the affairs of Collinwood?”

Let us speak, then, of Barnabas Collins Versus the Warlock.

It’s book #11 in Paperback Library’s long, strange line of Dark Shadows-inspired novels, and it’s the first one in a while that actually takes inspiration from the show in any meaningful way.

In this book, governess Maggie Evans has to save her young charges, David Collins and Amy Jennings, as they — more or less — fall under the influence of an evil phantom that stalks the halls of Collinwood. It’s complicated.

Continue reading Episode 692: The New Mischief

Episode 659: Gone Girl

“But last night, she sent me a message… from the past.”

The morning of a new day at Collinwood. Plans have been made to take two children away on an extended trip. But there are unseen and evil forces at work within the great house — forces that have possessed both children, and decreed that — oh my god, Vicki, WHAT IS IT NOW?

Continue reading Episode 659: Gone Girl

Episode 641: Left Behind

“I’m positive he’ll give you a sign — a sign for you to forget all of this insanity!”

It’s a theme week on Dark Shadows — five straight episodes of ghost stories, featuring three different ghosts. That means a whole lot of windows blowing open, and a whole lot of doors slamming shut.

People will sit around a table, and make sure that their fingers touch. A book will fall off of a piano. A grandfather clock will commit suicide, right in front of us. And there’s a better than average chance that somebody’s going to feel a chill. A CHILL!

Continue reading Episode 641: Left Behind

Episode 586: The Invisible Woman

“It is so complex that no one could do it before you. Now, think about that.”

For the last several weeks, Adam’s been threatening to kill Vicki if he doesn’t get his way. At press time, he hasn’t gotten his way, so it’s probably best if he just kills her now, and then we can all move on.

So he sneaks into her room while she’s sleeping, and just reaches out and strangles the life out of her. She doesn’t scream, or even struggle very hard. She just kind of sighs and breathes heavy for a second, and that’s it. Vicki was an idiot.

Continue reading Episode 586: The Invisible Woman

Episode 539: Grieve a Little Grieve

“I’m not delirious. You know what she is.”

One of the things that you learn when you watch Dark Shadows is that there are several different kinds of weird. This is not a particularly helpful thing to learn, and learning it will not improve your life in any measurable way. It just happens, and there’s not much you can do about it.

There’s the everyday, domestic kind of weird, which involves eccentric people doing unusual things — say, a college professor taking an enormous feral Frankenstein home with him, and teaching it to read the word “clock” off a flash card.

There’s the fancy, bespoke kind of weird, which involves people acting in a completely illogical way just for the sake of an exciting cliffhanger — like burying their dead friend in the woods, and then realizing that he’s come back to life, and they only have half an hour to dig him up again.

And then there’s the kind of weird where you honestly have no idea why the scene that you’re watching even exists. That’s the kind we’re going to be talking about today, thanks to scriptwriter Ron Sproat, among other mistakes.

Continue reading Episode 539: Grieve a Little Grieve

Time Travel, part 3: Blood Chemistry

“Hot tentacles stretch upwards.”

We’ve reached a milestone in our uncertain and frightening journey into the past — June 6th, 1968, the day that Senator Robert F. Kennedy died. Kennedy was in the middle of a Presidential campaign, and he was gunned down by an assassin on June 5th, just after winning the Democratic primaries in California and South Dakota.

So Dark Shadows was pre-empted on June 6th, along with the other network daytime shows, to present news coverage of the assassination.

On this blog, a pre-emption day means I fill in with an episode of NBC’s 1991 Dark Shadows revival series. We watched episode 1 of the new series for Thanksgiving 1967, and episode 2 a month later for Christmas. Marking a more somber occasion, I’m going to draw a respectful curtain over the tragic circumstances of this particular pre-emption, and move on to my discussion of this mediocre vampire show.

Continue reading Time Travel, part 3: Blood Chemistry

Episode 421: Bird Planes

“Oh, Peter — what a fool I’ve been!”

Fade in on Josette Du Prés Collins, who wakes up happy and refreshed, with a song in her heart and a brand-new neck wound.

Her boyfriend Barnabas stopped by for a bite last night, and they had a long talk about love and change and eternity. Then one thing led to another.

And it’s a strange thing to say, but this is actually a familiar scene on Dark Shadows by now. We’ve already seen several previous versions of the hypnotized heroine, as she smiles her secret smile, and joins the Sisterhood of the Scarf.

You know, I’ve heard that there are other soap operas on the daytime schedule that are about people falling in love, overcoming obstacles, getting married and starting a family. I wonder what that would be like?

Continue reading Episode 421: Bird Planes