Tag Archives: scarf

Episode 1034: Mistakes in Justice

“I tried slapping her, and telling her there was no such person as Alvah.”

And so, as Sabrina sinks slowly in the west, we wonder: is there any other version of this story we could pay attention to instead?

I mean, the current storyline on Dark Shadows basically entails Barnabas struggling to save fake Maggie from fake Angelique, as they fight over an imitation Quentin made of straw and food coloring. Sabrina is gone and Julia is on the ascendant, but still, it’s Parallel Time and there’s only so much I can deal with. So how about today we turn to an equally ersatz band of time, and see what’s happening over at the Paperback Library?

Dan “Marilyn” Ross is currently pumping out Dark Shadows novels at the rate of 159 pages a month, and honestly they’re just as canon as anything else, so we ought to keep an eye on them just to make sure they’re not hurting anybody. The current installment as of May 1970 is #17 in the PBL Gothic series: Barnabas, Quentin and the Avenging Ghost, the second book to use the “Barnabas, Quentin and…” construction.

The cover blurb says “Barnabas and Quentin join forces against Collinwood’s ghostly killer,” which isn’t strictly accurate, in that they don’t join forces, it’s not necessarily Quentin, there isn’t a ghost, and nobody gets killed. Besides that, it’s fine.

Continue reading Episode 1034: Mistakes in Justice

Episode 1021: Five Things

“If you had murdered someone, what’s the most logical thing that you would do?”

It’s Monday, as you know, because here we are and it’s Monday. Just look around, this is what Monday looks like. Right? Okay.

Now, I’m going to tell you five things about this week on Dark Shadows, and one of them is going to be hard to believe, so you’re just going to have to trust me on this.

First: One of the main characters — who we thought was in love with one character, and has been drawn into a complicated relationship with a second character — is suddenly and without warning going to be madly in love with a third character, and then we’re supposed to pretend that it’s been that way all along.

Second: There’s an episode this week that only has four characters — one nice person, and three nasty people who spend the entire half-hour criticizing her, gossiping about her and openly mocking her.

Third: You know that rape subtext that sits awkwardly behind practically everything that happens on Dark Shadows, including the vampire bites, the possessions, the enchantments, the body swaps and the aggressive reincarnations? You know, the thing that makes us uncomfortable, because we enjoy a show that expects us to be interested in the love lives of serial rapists? Well, that’s going to graduate from subtext to actual text this week. In fact, we’re going to see a villain do a brief monologue on the subject of how great it’s going to be when he literally rapes someone you like.

Fourth: A relationship that you’re interested in, and that maybe you’re rooting for, will get blown to bits this week, and you will never care about it again. This is no longer a story about love triumphant in the face of evil, it’s just a story about things that happen to this particular set of complex, haunted people.

Fifth — and this is the one that’s hard to believe — this is what it looks like when Dark Shadows gets better.

Continue reading Episode 1021: Five Things

Episode 566: The Hangover

“The howling of these dogs, that’s what’s wrong.”

So the score, at press time, is Vampires 5, Humans 1.

This month has seen an astonishing comeback for the Vampires, a team that suffered a devastating setback in May when their star player, Barnabas Collins, was benched after being cured by a mad scientist.

But two weeks ago, another rising star came out of nowhere. Angelique, who’d formerly played for the Salem Witches, was traded to the vampires by her manager, and she’s been biting people at a rate that we’ve never seen before in the history of the sport. She’s got Joe as a blood slave, and she’s turned Tom into a vampire, and just in the last week we’ve seen five on-screen vampire bites — seven, if you count reprises. The only human who got away unscathed was the Deputy from a couple weeks ago, and that was with an assist from Nicholas.

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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?

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Episode 355: Julia Hoffman Must Die

“I’m sorry, Maggie, it happens to be my favorite scarf, but if my touching it bothers you, I’ll stop.”

You know that it’s been a fairly static week on Dark Shadows when the first line of dialogue in Friday’s episode is, “How long are you going to stand there?”

Lately, I’ve been postulating a lot of hypothetical writer’s room drama, because things are starting to seem a little fraught in there. Gordon Russell handed Ron Sproat a pretty interesting situation this week — Carolyn, now under the vampire’s control, discovers that Julia is hypnotically conditioning Vicki to reject Barnabas’ advances — and now Sproat is handing it back, two days later, entirely unchanged. He basically just had everybody walk in place for a couple days.

So today’s episode opens with Carolyn asking Barnabas what the hell he’s waiting for. After all, he’s been talking about getting rid of Julia all week. What’s the holdup?

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Episode 352: Disturbed Children

“This room could play an important and perhaps tragic part in your life, if you let it.”

Happy Halloween, everyone! Today’s episode aired on October 31, 1967 — not that you can tell from watching the episode, because they don’t mention it. But Carolyn seems to be getting into the holiday spirit — she wakes up early, walks downstairs to the foyer, stands in front of Barnabas’ portrait, and brushes her fingers across her brand-new gaping neck wound.

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Episode 351: The Grateful Dead

“There are many secrets you haven’t known before, but you will soon know all of them, because you will become a part of them.”

So, I guess this would be the morning after. Young David has been going around for the last several weeks telling everyone that Cousin Barnabas is dead, and sleeps in a coffin. On Friday, Carolyn thought it would be a good idea to sneak into the Old House basement and see what all the fuss was about.

The short answer: She found out. Julia’s mad-science-fair project to cure the vampire has aged him, transforming Cousin Barnabas into Great-Great-Grand-Uncle Barnabas. He needed to drink somebody’s blood, so that he could “revert” back to his youthful form.

Friday’s episode ended with the hands-down, no-contest, intentionally creepiest moment of the series so far. Barnabas grabbed his young cousin, tenderly brushed her hair away from her throat, and said, “Don’t be afraid of me, my dear. I’m not going to hurt you. I wouldn’t do anything to hurt… my own flesh and blood.”

So it turns out that there’s something way scarier than a blood-sucking ghoul who feeds on the life force of the innocent and pretty, and it’s a blood-sucking ghoul who fantasy-metaphor-rapes his own niece.

And the very worst thing about this whole astounding very-worst-thing plot point? She loved it.

Continue reading Episode 351: The Grateful Dead

Episode 230: The Transylvania Twist

“I’m in a graveyard. How did i get in a graveyard?”

It’s been four weeks since we opened the mystery box and let the vampire out, not that anyone’s actually saying the word “vampire” yet. The show is actually strangely coy about it — nobody says the V-word out loud for nine months. They finally break it out in episode 410, and by then it’s not the craziest thing on the show anymore.

But who needs labels when you have howling dogs? Over the last month, we’ve seen hypnosis, nightmares, fangs and unexplained blood loss — and this is the episode where it all comes together. This is the first big Friday cliffhanger, and exciting things are finally happening.

Continue reading Episode 230: The Transylvania Twist

Episode 227: Sick Day

“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.

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