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Wednesday, April 13, 2011

DARK SHADOWS



STATS:
Dark Shadows: The Revival
1991
Creator: Dan Curtis
Starring: Ben Cross, Barbara Blackburn, Jim Fyfe, Joanna Going, Joseph Gordon-Levitt, Veronica Lauren, Barbara Steele, Roy Thinnes, Michael T. Weiss, Jean Simmons

WHA’ HAPPENED?
Too much plot to include. But the basic premise is that a beautiful young woman goes to work as a governess in Collinwood, a crumbling manor with craploads of secrets. Among them: vampires, witches, time travel, and Joseph Gordon-Levitt as a preteen terror.

Like this guy, but small and angry.

ISN’T THAT SPECIAL?
The original Dark Shadows is a television classic with a diehard cult of Barnabus fans. It’s creaky but very good. The upcoming film remake with Johnny Depp and Tim Burton is going to be similarly cult-y. That leaves this early-90s revival as a footnote. I refuse to let that happen.

SHIRTS AND SKINS:
Do you know who Michael T. Weiss is?

He’s this guy.

Horror fans might know him from one of the Howling sequels (the really bad one with nuns) or a Snoop Dogg horror film. Fans of 90s television might recognize him as the great Pretender, a crime-solving impersonator so talented that Queen sang about him.

Anyway, he gets shirtless a lot. Cha-ching.

BLOOD AND GUTS:
Not really, which is as it should be. This show is gothic with a capital G. Who needs blood and guts when you have ghost children, dainty blood-sucking, and the most atmospheric television set since Golden Girls?

Spooooooky.

PLOT HOLES AND CRAZINESS:
There are several. Anything involving time travel is inevitably going to make you scratch your head. However, the most frustrating thing is that the show ends on a cliffhanger. Not the most frustrating cliffhanger imaginable, but a cliffhanger nonetheless.

RANDOM THOUGHTS:
Let’s just think about Michael T. Weiss for a second…

...as he smolders at us.

OK. IS IT GAY?
Very. There are no gay storylines of note, but it’s a gothic soap opera starring an extremely attractive cast and it involves vampires, rich people, and romance. I just wrote a checklist of my favorite things. If any of this sounds of interest to you, please Netflix this before Johnny Depp wipes away all traces of its existence.

Speaking of… for being straight entertainment with considerable interest for gay viewers, I give this show two Johnny Depps.


A haircutter and a pirate.

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