epiphany_maria (epiphany_maria) wrote,

Dark Shadows (1991) Review Part 1

Dark Shadows (1991)

A wonderful gothic supernatural soap opera. Sadly the show only lasted 12 episodes as coverage of Gulf War 1 led to cancellation.

Episode 1

Victoria is hired to be governess to a disturbed boy named David (Joseph Gordon-Levitt of 'Third Rock From The Sun') at his family's isolated clifftop estate. There she encounter the perpetually angry family patriarch Roger (Roy Thinnes of 'The Invaders'), two indistinguishable sisters and Willy, the moronic handyman.

Willy, who looks like brushing his teeth is a foreign concept, searches the Collins estate for treasure only to unleash the vampire Barnabas (Ben Cross of 'Chariots of Fire' and 'Turbulence'). Barnabas makes Willy his Renfield and then snacks on Daphne Collins and then kills a few locals as well, no doubt for the crime of their 1980's hair and attire.

A doctor named Julia (Barbara Steele) is called in to help Daphne. The unfortunate Daphne also gets some TLC from her boyfriend Joe (Michael T Weiss of 'The Pretender'). Meanwhile Barnabas fixates on Victoria who reminds him of his lost love. Add to this the fact that David's imaginary friend is actually Sarah, the ghost of Barnabas' sister and there is much melodrama. This is a good start to the show, who needs the shenanigans of '90210' when you have this show?

Episode 2

This episode was free of any trouser devil antics between Barnabas and the milquetoast Victoria as instead Joe and Daphne were the focus. Barnabas drinks Daphne's blood again and kills her. Joe broods and wears an ugly sweater. But Daphne rises from the family crypt as a skanked out vampire and wants her primo man candy Joe to join her in undeath. So Daphne chows down on Joe, who promptly emotes wildly with his shirt off. This alone justifies buying the DVD boxset.

Roger meanwhile is off boffing local bar girl/psychic Maggie. The cops instantly accept the existence of vampires and hunt down Daphne. Joe despite having most of his blood sucked out tries to defend his lady love to no avail as she's staked. Joe broods wildly while still shirtless. Meanwhile Dr Julia has figured out Barnabas is a vampire and offers to try and cure him, Daphne's fate means nothing to her (or Barnabas). This was very good, fans of Michael T Weiss will enjoy this.

Episode 3

Ben Cross overacts wildly as Barnabas as Julia works to cure him of vampirism. Joe is now living at the Collins estate as he recovers from the events of the previous episode. Carolyn wastes no time mourning her dead sister as she hits on the traumatised Joe. Meanwhile Julia's friend Michael suspects Barnabas is a vampire and goes through her work papers. This was good, this show is addictive.

Best Line:
"Daphne is ashes. Daphne is dust."

Episode 4

Michael's been turned into a vampire and so Julia and the town sheriff stake him. Victoria talks to Sarah's ghost and Barnabas mentions an evil woman named Angelique. David tries to kill his father with witchcraft. This prompts Maggie to warn Victoria about David's mother Laura who is not only locked up in an UK loony bin, but is also a witch This was an okay episode, logic gaps aside. Why does everyone accept ghosts and vampires so easily? Why is Willy loyal to Barnabas when his boss regularly beats him like a harp seal? Why is Victoria so interested in Barnabas?

Best Line:
"She is a force so evil, so powerful that even now she reaches across the centuries to destroy me."
Tags: dark shadows

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