“She’s not like other people. She never was.”
Happy Thanksgiving! It’s not actually Thanksgiving for me, and it’s probably not Thanksgiving for you, but it is for the housewives, teenagers, assorted mental cases and inadequately supervised middle schoolers who make up the 1968 Dark Shadows audience.
On pre-emption days, I take a look at the 1991 Dark Shadows revival series, because apparently I don’t know what’s good for me. Here’s the rundown so far:
Episode 1 : Mostly gimmick shots, indoor mist, no clear idea what the purpose or tone of the show should be.
Episode 2 : Mostly about sweat and sexy biting time, including several ideas borrowed from House of Dark Shadows which weren’t even good the first time.
Episode 3 : Hot tentacles stretch upwards.
Okay, is everybody oriented now? Happy Thanksgiving. Let’s begin.
Continue reading Time Travel, part 4: I Was Just Noticing Your Harpoon Collection
“I would have thought your thoughts? I find that hard to believe; I can’t even understand you now.”
Barnabas Collins paces around the room, and tries to explain.
“I’ve considered the question of who is to be the life force very carefully,” he says, “and I’ve finally decided on Maggie Evans.”
He pauses for a reaction, but the six-foot-six reanimated Frankenstein who Barnabas is addressing doesn’t even bother to look up. He just sits there, and continues to play solitaire.
Now, I know that new people discover this blog all the time, and every post is probably the first time for someone out there, so near the beginning of every entry, I try to provide some kind of brief previously-on-Dark-Shadows recap so that newcomers have a fighting chance of understanding what the hell is going on.
But, dear newbie, there are days when the kindest service I can render is to direct your attention to the boxes in the sidebar to your immediate right, and suggest that you help yourself to any of the previous three hundred and eighty-one posts instead, because today is the day when I honestly just can’t even with this.
Continue reading Episode 587: In Which I Just Can’t Even With This
“I died, and everyone brought me such pretty flowers.”
Today’s episode opens with young David wearing pajamas and a robe, walking all the way downstairs to the foyer. He positions himself in front of the 18th century portrait of Barnabas, looks at it, and then makes what appears to be a conscious, deliberate decision to freak the hell out.
Continue reading Episode 325: The Spirited Child
“Vicki… could it have been one of those things you think you saw?”
It’s been exactly a month since Willie opened the coffin, and it’s started to sink in for the producers and writers that they might want to keep the vampire around for a while.
Originally, the plan was for Barnabas to be on the show for six weeks. Dr. Woodard, the Van Helsing substitute that they’ve recently introduced, would find something nasty in Maggie’s blood samples, lead the townspeople to Barnabas’ door with torches and stakes, and put an end to the whole silly mess.
But now the first trickle of fan mail has started to arrive. This is a new experience for the Dark Shadows team. Nobody’s writing in to say how much they love the Jason/Liz blackmail story, but the dead guy is getting some response. They should keep this storyline going.
The writers have figured out a really good plot point for Friday’s cliffhanger. Now they only have two problems. They’re called Wednesday and Thursday.
Continue reading Episode 233: All Wet
“That sea air is the most unhealthy thing in the world to breathe.”
Here’s another strange thing about 1960s daytime TV: Videotape was so expensive that when they reprise yesterday’s cliffhanger at the top of the episode, they don’t use a clip — the actors just go ahead and do the scene over again.
This is so different from modern television that it’s hard to even think about it. Imagine if every episode of a show started with “Previously, on Mad Men” — and then the actors performed all the clips live, including costume changes and running around to different sets.
Now that I think about it, that would be kind of amazing.
Continue reading Episode 227: Sick Day