Tag Archives: sitcom

Episode 675: The Unscooby Gang

“There’s something here that doesn’t make any sense.”

The curse is come upon us once again. The dark woods have claimed another.

Last night, a young woman, alone on the grounds of the estate, was disassembled by an unknown assailant, her life extinguished by a malevolent, savage beast that knows only hunger.

So, obviously, we can’t let this go on. I mean, at some point, you run out of day players.

Continue reading Episode 675: The Unscooby Gang

Episode 471: A Farewell to Arms

“Do you remember I told you when I was in the past that I shot someone?”

At the end of Friday’s episode, Dr. Eric Lang’s assistant brought him a package straight from the cemetery. Delighted, the doctor opened the box and said, “Oh, Jeff! Don’t be so squeamish! Come have a look at it! It’s a perfect specimen!”

Then the camera zooms in on the box to show us a detached human arm, which actually does look pretty nice, if you like guys from the elbow down.

We’re not going to reach that level of damn-the-torpedoes lunacy again until, ooh, about halfway through Tuesday, so we might as well take a moment to talk about The Munsters and The Addams Family.

Continue reading Episode 471: A Farewell to Arms

Episode 407: Bram Stoker’s I Love Lucy

“Why do you refuse to understand that something terrible may be happening?”

And now, a word from our sponsor.

“The blood!” cries the put-upon housewife, on her hands and knees. “Oh, I should have cleaned it right away! It won’t come off!”

She scrubs and scrubs, but that stubborn stain of guilt and carnage just won’t come clean.

Ladies, are you tired of the workaday drudgery of clearing away the evidence of your near-fatal gunshot wound? Have your impulsive, demonic maledictions left a waxy build-up on those hard-to-reach places that you used to call your heart and soul?

Continue reading Episode 407: Bram Stoker’s I Love Lucy

Episode 401: Bewitched

“I used to be a rational man, but things have been happening here that do not have a rational explanation.”

So here’s a puzzling question: Why is Angelique white?

I mean, you can follow the chain of associations that led Dark Shadows writer Sam Hall to the French Caribbean. In Hall’s second episode on the show, it’s revealed that Barnabas visited Barbados, where an Indian taught him the secret magic number of the universe, giving him the power to “unlock all the rules that bind you mortals to your daily, dull lives.”

Then, a few weeks later, when the writers decided to explore the story of how Barnabas became a vampire, it’s easy to chart the course to Martinique. The vampire curse is the result of a magic spell, and Hall’s already been thinking about the association between spells and the Caribbean. But Barbados was colonized by the English, and Josette Du Prés is French, so the backstory moves to Martinique, a French colony.

But Angelique doesn’t mess around with European magic — all that “eye of newt, toe of frog” stuff. She doesn’t fly on a broomstick, or live in a gingerbread house. Her magic has a strong Bayou flavor — she uses voodoo dolls, love potions and zombies, which are all associated with Haitian magic. So, following that thought to its logical conclusion, Angelique should be Haitian, or Island Carib, or pretty much anything besides blonde and blue-eyed.

But if she’s supposed to marry Barnabas, then that’s problematic, because it’s January 1968, and America be crazy.

The first interracial romance on daytime TV was on One Life to Live, starting in October 1968 — a relationship between an Italian woman, Carla Benari, and an African-American intern, Dr. Price Trainor. ABC received some angry letters about this, and the show was boycotted by some affiliates in the Southern states. About six months in, it was revealed that “Carla” was actually Clara Gray, an African-American woman who’d been passing for white.

Other things that people made a big deal about in 1968: a Petula Clark variety special where Clark touched Harry Belafonte on the arm, and a Star Trek episode where Captain Kirk and Lt. Uhura were forced to kiss by telekenesis.

So a major storyline about Barnabas Collins marrying a Haitian voodoo priestess is seriously not going to happen. Instead, Dark Shadows has the hapless mortal marry a pretty blonde, who’s secretly a practicing witch. I wonder where they got that idea from?

Continue reading Episode 401: Bewitched