Miami Vice: Shadow in the Dark

044e1e853c7493ad7351f236a936a3deVery Special Readers, I give you the scariest episode of Miami Vice ever. While this is not explicitly a Halloween episode, it did originally air on October 31st and it will give you nightmares. It’s a dark and spooky night and this dude is crossing a draw bridge as it opens. It’s jut him and like some delivery trucks and he’s making creepy hand gestures like he’s commanding the bridge to open. He should have straight up have been arrested on the bridge, I think. But it’s Miami in the 80’s, which this show leads me to believe was a totally a completely lawless time. So he ends up at this luxurious house. He’s wearing latex gloves and has his boots duct taped to his pants. He’s moaning which oh my gosh I hope is not a sexual noise on his part. It’s not a sexual noise I have ever heard before, but I think this may be par for the course with this guy.

He starts mime-walking with his hands across the glass of this sliding door. And then he just turns with arms outstretched like he’s saying, “Behold the pool area!”

Ugh, no seriously this guy wants to make sweet, sweet love to this house. This is some kind of creepy disorder that you’ve heard about for the first time here on The VSB, bringing you breaking news from 1986.

Omg no, he goes to the kitchen and covers his face with flour. Ugh no, I will never eat cold cuts again. Oh thank goodness, cue the credits.

The next day, Crocket and Tubbs show up to investigate this “cat burglary”where this dude has only stolen pants. You know what, I’m not even surprised. Of course, he only stole pants.

He’s also left a crude lipstick drawing on the wall. (Whoops, looks like I only review Miami Vice episodes with crude drawings). Crockett tastes the lipstick. Wtf. How is that relevant to this investigation??

Oh no, it wasn’t cold cuts I don’t think. They find raw meat all over the kitchen. Oh please tell me he was getting that flour out for some deep frying. Was he eating raw meeting??? (Sorry, taking a brief break because I may be physically ill. Wtf, Miami Vice, where are the drug cartels?? What is this weird depraved, shit???)

Oh by the way, if you were like “What does this have to do with Vice?” Good question. Crockett and Tubbs have been loaned to another lieutenant on this case. His name is Lt. Gilmore and he’s batshit crazy, presumably from spending too much time on this case. He goes nuts, attacks a criminal informant, and is admitted to a mental hospital. Crockett and Tubbs continue to work the case, but now they’re working out of their usual vice office. I don’t know anything about police work, so I’m just going to assume that this weird scenario is perfectly plausible.

mqdefaultWith Lt. Gilmore indisposed, Crockett takes the lead on the case. Having learned absolutely nothing from the cop who just went nuts working this case, Crockett tells Castillo that he needs to start thinking like the burglar. So he starts speaking in insane babble and staying up all night. And then he just drives his car to like the middle of nowhere suburbia and is all spooked at the noises of birds cooing. And there’s tons and tons of lipstick drawings all over the road and street signs. OH WAIT JUST KIDDING IT WAS A DREAM. He wakes up at his desk. Then he takes his vice team on a stakeout. But it’s a crap stakeout because they’re all standing outside of a sports car bemoaning the fact that they haven’t seen anything. They give up and go home and the cat burglar is in a house RIGHT NEXT TO WHERE THERE CAR WAS. Omg. Someone is NOT getting re-elected over at Metro-Dade.

At the hospital, Crockett and Tubbs do a really terrible job of questioning this trauma victim. But Crockett says,”I’m starting to get a sense of when this guy’s gonna move. And this time, he’s gonna go further.” I’m not sure how he got that from tasting lipstick paintings but fine. Lt. Castillo tells him that if there is not a break in the case soon, they will send the case back to burglary.

Cut to: Crockett playing with flour, raw meat, and red lipstick. Omg he’s putting flour on his face. Crocket, stop. This makes no sense!

Crockett continues to spiral out of control until he and Tubbs are pulled from the case. I mean, Tubbs has basically not even been working the case. But he can’t get Crockett to stop. Crockett took pictures of all of the houses in the area and he’s sure that he’s selected the house that the burglar will hit next. He somehow convinces Tubbs that if Lt. Gilmore picks the same picture that Crockett has picked, then the lead is good. Cause they’re both so “tuned-in” to the case and all.


Hahhaah oh my gosh what am I watching?? Luckily, Crockett gets to the house just in time and stops the burglar, who has now gotten a little stabby. Happy Halloween, yikes.


Very Special Halloween Lesson: Work-life balance is so, so important, guys. So important. I cannot stress this enough.

Oh P.S. there’s a good chance that literally all of this was a dream because Crockett wakes up in a cold sweat in bed on his boat at the end of the episode.


Happy Days: Haunted

arnoldsEvery year Ralph has a Halloween party and every year a gang called The Demons crashes it and destroy it. So this year he’s decided to have it at a creepy old house where The Demons will never find him. He sends Richie to check out the house and make sure that it is spooky enough for the party.

On his way home from taking Joanie to a “Chipmunks” meeting (which I guess is kind of like “Brownies”), Richie stops to check out the house. Joanie has heard plenty of stories about people getting their heads chopped off in that house, but she reluctantly follows Richie in when he refuses to leave her outside by herself. When a painting falls off of the wall above the mantel, Joanie flees to the porch. Alone in the house, Richie thinks he sees a headless body. He confides in his father when he gets home, but Howard tells him that it must be his mind playing tricks on him.

Uh okay. You don’t even want to maybe call the police? Just in case?

qk4epya8hwxbazsf9ggbckhifdoWhen the time comes for the party, Richard is all freaked out about a potential ghost. Dude, if you find a headless body in an abandoned house, you should be freaked out about a potential serial killer. But I guess the 1950’s were a more innocent time.

Richie and his date arrive at the party to find that they are the only ones there. And it is SPOOKY. But then Ralph pops out of a coffin and blows some bubble gum. Then the rest of the party pops out from behind some pocket doors.

a281Everything is fine until the lights go out later on in the night. But it’s just Ralph fooling around again. Richie calls him out on it and Ralph gets pretty pissed that Richie ruined his prank. So he goes over to talk to Potsie. He taps him on the shoulder mid-dance, so Potsie thinks he’s trying to cut-in. But Ralph just wants to talk, so Potsie tells his dance partner to go make him a sandwich. Literally. Ohhhh the 70’s/50’s.

Since they can’t just let their friend be happy dancing with his date, Potise and Ralph ask Richie to get some root beer from the closet–where of course they have rigged a headless dummy to freak him out. The whole party laughs at Richie, but when another headless figure descends the stairs and threatens to chop of their heads, they’re all legitimately frightened. Richie is the only one brave enough to confront the headless figure. And it turns out that it’s just The Demons! Ha-ha.

Very Special Halloween Lesson: Apparently, you can just spend a ton of money on a party in an abandoned house and that’s totally not considered trespassing. Also, it will probably be pretty clean and have electricity.

Sabrina, The Teenage Witch: Good Will Haunting

Cue: Creepy pipe organ music and a red-eyed bat flying at the camera.

Salem sits at a cob-webbed covered desk and reads to us from a giant book. This episode, he says, “may not be suitable for some parents.” Ooooh

In the witching world, Halloween is kind of like Christmas, which is why Sabrina’s family member sends her a doll as a gift. It’s weird because she’s too old for a doll but even weirder because the doll is creepy AF.

tve46167-675-19981030-0Sabrina finds the doll on the staircase “staring” at her. Thinking that Salem is pulling a prank, she tosses the doll up the stairs. OMG Sabrina, NO! You will anger her! But when she and her friends are watching a movie, she sees the doll again. This time it turns its head at her and BLINKS its eyes. AGHHHHHHH

This may be the most frightening thing I have ever written about on this blog.

When Sabrina tries to open the door for some trick-or-treaters, she finds that she is not only unable to open it, but also that it is electrified! This must be the doll’s doing. As if it couldn’t get any worse the doll says, “I’m a Molly Dolly and I’m gonna get youuuu.”

Wtf. How is this a show aimed at children?? Thank God, I missed this episode back in 1998. I’m starting to think that Salem’s message at the beginning of the episode wasn’t about parents at all. Why didn’t he say “this show is not for children or anyone who can’t handle scary movies on any level whatsoever.”

Meanwhile, Sabrina’s aunts are at a Halloween party. Unfortunately, that party has turned out to be an insane asylum that they can never leave, Hotel California style. So basically, Sabrina and her friends are about to get murdered by a doll and no one can save them.

18bd4f0e71635aa4ea788a7c9b66c887Sabrina attempts to warn her friends about the evil doll, but they think she is playing a prank. I guess they’d think it was part of the prank if she tried to tell them she was a witch too.

Back at the insane asylum, an evil doctor chases Sabrina’s aunts with a giant needle. Ick. When a real Frankenstein’s Monster and a Mummy pop out of a closet (these are also Harvey and his friend’s costumes by the way), her friends say this prank has gone TOO far. But they’re obviously scared enough to run around the house while the monsters chase them.

sabrina3-11Things reach a fever pitch when Sabrina engages in fisticuffs with the doll, and her aunts are the subjects of a scary experiment to switch their brains with those of some chickens. Sabrina subdues the doll and rushes to the party to find her aunts…who unfortunately are now chickens.

Luckily, the party isn’t really an insane asylum. It’s a theme party. So at the end of the night, everything will go back to normal. Also, that evil creepy doll is just the other realm’s idea of a good time. Sabrina and her aunts return home and put everything right. They laugh everything off as an elaborate practical joke. Omg how does Sabrina even have any friends?? She needs to put some kind of memory loss spell on all of them STAT.

Very Special Halloween Lesson: NO more dolls. Ever.

Jem and the Holograms: Trick or Techrat

jem15Omg y’all every time we do a Jem episode I just feel like it has been TOO long. So I’m happy to introduce, in her Halloweek debut, Jem (and the Holograms). So there’s this girl at the Starlight House (Terri) and she is terrified of Halloween. Jerrica comforts her after some other girls scare her with creepy masks while they’re all watching a Halloween movie.

Then she heads off to an abandoned opera house as Jem. She and the Holograms are checking it out as a concert venue. So here is my question. Is synergy also like a caffeine pill? Jerrica is the primary caregiver to a houseful of abandoned children by day and she’s a rockstar at night, so when does she sleep? Maybe if Jesse Spano had Synergy she would have done well in her classes and not sucked at that dance.

vlcsnap-2014-10-15-21h42m41s144Back at the Starlight house, everyone is designing scary costumes and terrorizing Terri. Jerrica is all like, “You’ve got to learn not to take the scary things so seriously.” Um, Jerrica, I don’t know if you’re aware of this but YOU RUN A HOME FOR ORPHANS. There’s a really really good chance that they’ve had A LOT of scary things happen to them. Thus, they might be a little jumpy!

But what do I know? The best approach is probably to sing “It’s Fun to Be Scared.” And let me state for the record that I disagree with the entire premise of this song.

Meanwhile, The Misfits hear about the benefit concert that Jem and the Holograms plan to have at the opera house on Halloween night. They set out to destroy it because they are horrible, horrible people. They decide to have a concert too–which is dumb because obviously everyone would go see The Holograms over The Misfits but whatever.

But then things start to happen at the opera house. Spooky things. Like set pieces almost crushing The Holograms spooky. (I think, MAYBE just MAYBE this was slightly inspired by The Phantom of the Opera.) Right after this happens, The Misfits show up with a building inspector. (A coincidence? I think not!) But Rio has been such a good stage hand that the building inspector finds nothing wrong.

The Misfits plan to sabotage the opera house, until more spooky stuff happens, convincing them that it’s already haunted for real. And that leads us to this scary acid dream of a video:

The Holograms deduce that the owner of the opera house is probably responsible for all of the shenanigans. But they cannot figure out why he would want to sabotage his own building. They decide to go on with the show anyway. That was such a dumb idea because things only get spookier. And this time that poor child, Terri, is there to see the show. When everyone runs from the ghost, she has the misfortune of falling through a trap door.

She’s chased by some creepy looking eyes throughout the opera’s underbelly. Running through the dank hallway, she sees a light through a doorway. There she finds a group of men, including the opera house’s owner plotting to create these spooky special effects. They see her and chase her away. On the run again, she finds the REAL opera house owner locked away. So who is the lookalike??

screen-shot-2016-10-01-at-12-46-08-pmWhen the bad guys start to run away, Jem uses synergy to create a spooky diversion. Is there no limit to the power of synergy?? Jem could literally be taking over the world with this shit, but she’s content just to help some orphans and sing some songs. When they unmask the look alike, they realize he is The Misfits manager. And they are royally pissed because he has been wasting his time creating spooky pranks instead of helping them setup for their show. But then the tent that The Misfits are using for their concert venue is struck by lightening, so they can’t have their concert anyway.

Very Special Halloween Lesson: As it turns out, being utterly terrified for a whole night only to find out that it was all fake has cured little Terri of her fears. So I guess maybe that’s an argument for watching a scary movie or going to a haunted house this Halloween except I would never actually recommend either of those things because they both sound awful.


Brotherly Love: Witchcraft

TSDBRLO EC003It’s Halloween and the Romans (a.k.a. The Lawrence brothers) are busy planning their nights. Matt has FINALLY been asked to a party, Joe is taking Andy trick or treating at the mall, Claire (Joe’s step-mom, Matt & Andy’s mom) is going to a party, and Lloyd (one of the mechanics at the family business) has plans to watch “the scariest movie of all time,” The Sound of Music. (“The hills are alive!”)

Claire takes forever to decide on a costume. There’s a lot of pressure on this night, since she hardly ever goes out. She finally settles on being a piece of gum stuck under a chair. It’s, um, certainly original. The costume consists of dressing from head to toe in pink (the toe part consisting of fuzzy pink slippers).

screen-shot-2016-09-25-at-5-36-43-pmAnd just to make it clear that she’s not simply bubble gum, she wears a chair-hat. The chair/gum scale is off for obvious reasons. I can only assume she didn’t want to break her neck in order to ensure the authenticity of her costume. But this basically means she looks not like a wad of gum, but rather a woman wearing a chair-hat.

Meanwhile, Matt sits at home handing out candy to trick-or-treaters, waiting to go to the party until Joe returns home with Andy. Andy’s costume is Spider Man dressed as a ghost. (He’s wearing a Spiderman Mask under a bed sheet.) Joe takes him to a kid’s party at the mall and flirts with a fortuneteller while Andy plays with his friends. The fortuneteller is obviously Lou, a mechanic at his garage. But I guess he’s so confused by her harem mask that he doesn’t recognize her. This makes it abundantly apparent how rarely he looks at her eyes.

hqdefault1When the fortuneteller accurately guesses Andy’s costume, Joe pays her $10 to tell his fortune. Back at home, Matt stingily hands out  candy based on the quality of the kids’ costumes. Geez, he’s way too young to be this much of a curmudgeon. When some college kids stop by his apartment to trick-or-treat (already super creepy) sans costumes (cannot decide if this makes it more or less creepy), Matt refuses to give them candy (duh, I mean isn’t it illegal to trick-or-treat after a certain age), so they hang him on the Halloween wreath on Lloyd’s door.

Wait, hold on. Lloyd also lives above the garage? Does Lou also have an apartment there? Is housing like a fringe benefit of being a mechanic at that place?? When he discovers that the college kids took all of the candy, Lloyd leaves the apartment to hunt them down. He also leaves Matt on the door, whoops.

Lou was very into the 90’s belly shirt fad

In his hurry to get home, Joe accidentally kidnaps a child. To be fair, she’s also dressed as a ghost/sheet person. But she’s Casper, not Spiderman/Ghost. Joe rushes back to the mall to retrieve Andy and return the kid he took by mistake. In his haste, he doesn’t stop to help Matt off of the wreath. Vulnerable and alone, Matt is egged by Halloween pranksters.

Back at the diner, the little girl’s dad has accidentally mistaken Andy for his child. He and Joe are relieved to see one another and switch their children before Joe heads home again. Luckily, by the time he gets back Lloyd has found the college kids and forced them to clean up everyone’s apartments. They then decide that Matt is cool and invite him to go a party with them, which just so happens to be the party he’s been trying to attend all night anyway.

Joe apologizes to Andy for leaving him behind at the mall. Andy tells him not to worry and that he was okay because he was with Lou. (OBVIOUSLY.) And of course, what’s the one thing that no Halloween episode is complete without? A Very Special Halloween Lesson!

Best Halloween Dialogue:
Matt (on the phone): Iris, slow down. What’s Debbie’s costume? She’s Madonna? From which album? The book? Oh, what page?

Boy Meets World: Who’s Afraid of Cory Wolf?

bmw-s2-castIt’s a dark and stormy night, as Cory sits at his desk in the suburbs of Philadelphia. He writes with a quill pen, stolen from his mother’s feather duster, carefully documenting his transformation from teenage boy to WEREWOLF. (cue eerie music).

It all started the night before when Mr. Feeney told Cory that a wolf had escaped from the Philadelphia Zoo. Feeney warns him not to put the Matthews Family trash outside, but Corey doesn’t listen. And that’s when the wolf bites him. Only the next day, there is no bite mark. This can only mean that the bite came from a werewolf because your standard, run-of-the-mill wolf would definitely leave a mark.

boy-meetsThe next day he’s hairier. Eric tell him that this could be the first signs of a werewolf transformation. He shows him a tabloid newspaper and Corey takes it seriously. After hearing about werewolf sitings on the radio, Cory seeks out the help of a medium. She mistakes him for Billy Joel at first, but she does confirm that Cory is well on his way to becoming a full-on wolf. She paints a picture of what’s to come:
Corey will develop an insatiable appetite. He will develop a pentagram in the palm of his hand. He will descend into madness and gruesomely kill the girl who “cares for him.” (Topanga, duh. But Cory doesn’t think she likes him, so he’s not worried.)

Meanwhile, Mr Turner is busy teaching Lord of the Flies. Cory arrives late, having spent too much time having his fortune told, and is given three days of detention. When Mr. Turner catches him writing a note to Shawn, Cory’s first instinct is to eat the paper. But he’s horrified to realize that an urge to eat paper just might be that new appetite he’s developing because of the wolf thing.

hqdefaultMr. Turner asks to see Cory after class. So Cory sits down on Mr. Turner’s desk and picks up his keys. I guess he feels more familiar since Mr. Turner is basically Shawn’s dad. Mr. Turner has a pentagon key chain, which Cory apparently thinks is the same thing as a pentagram. He runs away and bumps into Topanga, who says that she can tell him if something is wrong because she cares about him. OH NO!

Desperate, Cory returns to the medium. She tells him he won’t kill Topanga until the full moon, which unfortunately happens to be that very night. Cory begs her to tell him how he can stop himself. Apparently, all he has to do is have someone he loves shoot him through the heart with a silver bullet. Woah. This just got reaaaal dark.

960Things reach a fever pitch when Cory asks his dad to throw a silver picture frame at him “really, really hard.” Cory’s dad tells him that he’s not turning into a werewolf and it’s probably just the beginning of puberty. But Cory resists and tells him that he’s definitely turning into a canine. His dad says maybe it’s time to start shaving and goes upstairs to get a razor. At which point, Cory looks at himself in the mirror and sees a werewolf staring back at him.

ecc9e0808e7f5208ec7727a79203a4b2So now here we are, where we started, with Cory writing his manifesto in ink, using a piece of a feather duster. Topanga then shows up, ready to go to the Halloween party. Cory tries to get rid of her before the full moon rises. But Topanga is confused by his freakout and tells him that he’s perfectly normal and needs to chill the eff out. (I’m paraphrasing.)

Cory’s all like, “I’m not a wolf! I’m not a wolf!” And then they share a kiss. And Topanga’s all like, “Yes, you are!” Lol, guyyyys he was never turning into a monster at all!

Very Special Halloween Lesson: Okay, this was really just about puberty. One really dramatic stress-response to hormonal changes.

Side Note: We’ve talked about Teen Witch. Do we need to Talk about Teen Wolf?

The Dick Van Dyke Show: It May Look Like a Walnut

This Halloweek, we’re kicking it wayyyy old school. (Dick Van Dyke with dark hair, old school.)

walnut01We open the episode with Rob (Dick Van Dyke) and his wife/roommate, Laura (Mary Tyler Moore), having a chaste night in their twin beds as Rob watches a scary movie about an alien named Kolak from the planet Twilo while Laura hides under the covers. It’s some weird movie where if you get a creepy walnut and open it, you’ll start to look like Danny Thomas, lose your imagination and your thumbs, and maybe end up with an extra pair of eyes in the back of your head…I’m not clear on that last part. Without thumbs and imagination, we can’t build the amazing stuff we have on earth. Ohhh profound. Or wait, is it? I’m not sure if it’s really profound or if I watch a ton of crap TV and this is just good writing. Rob proceeds to make creepy noises and keep Laura awake because that’s what you do to your wife when you’re in a summer-camp living situation.

walnut25The next morning Rob wakes up to find walnuts scattered allover the living room carpet. He finds Laura in the kitchen and says he got her message loud and clear. He apologizes for teasing her and gives her back one of the walnuts from the living room. But she doesn’t know what he’s talking about and insists she’d never put walnuts all over the floor. She sends Richie (their son) off to school with a bag of walnuts for lunch and offers to make Rob two eggs (aka walnuts) for breakfast. Rob thinks she’s laying it on a bit thick, so he heads to the office sans breakfast. As he heads out, she pops a walnut in his coat pocket, just in case he gets hungry.

At the office, he tries to tell his coworkers, Buddy and Sally, about his weird morning. But they seem to think that this Kolak guy is real. They both remember a time when he was thrown out of the UN. And Sally knows about his extra pair of eyes even though she has never seen the movie. She says she was at the UN the day that Kolak was thrown out. But Rob really starts to get paranoid when Buddy starts to eat walnuts. He demand to know why Buddy got the idea to eat walnuts and even suggest that Laura must have called him and told him to eat the walnuts that morning.

If you’ve never heard of Danny Thomas the actor, you may have heard of his as the founder of St. Jude Children’s Research Hospital.

Things get even weirder when none other than Danny Thomas is the guest star scheduled to be on Rob’s show this week. He is even more convinced now that Laura is playing some kind of elaborate prank on him. When Mel, the show’s producer, stops by the office, Rob insists that he tell him whether or not Laura told him to book Danny Thomas. Mel says that Laura did not tell him to book Danny Thomas and that she wanted him to book Kolak instead.

Rob decides to crack open that walnut from his coat pocket. Why, Rob, why? It’s one of the creepy walnuts, but he’s decided he MUST be dreaming. He calls Laura and asks her to check the bed and see if he’s asleep in it. She asks him if he still has his thumbs and then laughs ominously. Then Danny Thomas shows up. Just kidding, it’s Kolak! He tosses some walnuts at Rob and uses the eyes in the back of his head to tell him he has a stain on his tie. But other than that, he doesn’t do much else.

Scene From 'The Dick Van Dyke Show'But Rob still has his thumbs so all is well. Only he tries to light a cigarette and discovers he doesn’t have any thumbs. So he decides the only thing to do is go home and go to bed before he wakes up. He heads home and cannot find Laura. He tries to put his hat away in the coat closet and finds it to be filled with walnuts. Laura comes flowing out of the coat closet in the sea of walnuts. She’s from the planet Twilo and she wants to turn Rob from human into a Twiloite. Buddy and Sally join her in surrounding Rob, but then the alarm rings and Rob finds himself back in his bedroom with Laura, who has also been having nightmares.

Since they can’t sleep, they decide to do what any married couple would: leg exercises in their individual beds.

Very Special Halloween Lesson: I have to be honest, I found this episode genuinely disconcerting and will avoid shelling any walnuts for the foreseeable future.