Tag Archives: subtext

Episode 429: Destruction, Everywhere

“Josette is dead! How DARE you dig her grave!”

Hey, guess what: Barnabas wakes up and gets out of his coffin, and he’s in kind of a bad mood. I know, news flash, right? I’ll give you a second to catch your breath.

To be fair, it’s been a rough week. Barnabas was planning to murder his fiancee Josette, and then somebody else came along and murdered her first, but in totally the wrong way. It’s a frustrating situation.

So he roars out of bed at a hundred miles an hour, just bouncing off the mausoleum walls and shouting, “Destruction, that’s all I want! Destruction, everywhere! Death! BLOOD!” This is how we start Dark Shadows episodes now. It ramps up from here.

Continue reading Episode 429: Destruction, Everywhere

Time Travel, part 2: Blood, Sweat and Tears

“Oh, God. Oh, God. Doc… please. Oh, God, doc. I’m beggin’ ya. I’m beggin’ ya. I’m beggin’ ya. Please, doc. Please. Oh, God. Oh, God. God. Oh, God. Oh, God. Doc. No. No. God. No.”

Merry Christmas! Today’s episode of Dark Shadows was pre-empted for Christmas Day 1967, because apparently people would rather watch football than 18th century vampires on Christmas, go figure. I want this blog to keep the Monday-to-Friday rhythm of the original broadcast, so we’re going to do some more time travel today, back to the year 1991, when NBC recklessly decided to give executive producer Dan Curtis another shot at making Dark Shadows all over again.

As we saw in the two-hour pilot episode, the Dark Shadows revival started with all the best intentions and all the worst ideas.

The main character is Victoria Winters, because after all these years we still think that’s a solid plan, but at least they did us the favor of not having her speak very much. I don’t think she has a single line in this entire episode.

We’ve also got a mentally challenged backwoods Willie Loomis, a sour-faced Julia with no sense of humor, a breathless Cinemax refugee who answers to the name of Carolyn, and don’t even get me started on Barnabas and the turtlenecks. On the plus side, we’ve got a young Joseph Gordon-Levitt as David, so at least there’s some star power on the set.

NBC aired the two-hour pilot on Sunday, January 13th, and then the second and third episodes together on the next night, and pretended it was some kind of exciting four-hour miniseries event. To be clear, we’re just watching episode 2 today. I’m only human, and besides, it’s Christmas.

Continue reading Time Travel, part 2: Blood, Sweat and Tears