To kick off Spooky Season, Elise will be watching a scary or Halloween themed TV episode every single day of October!
Day 31: It’s the Great Pumpkin, Charlie Brown
My lips touched dog lips! Blugh! This cartoon is a classic and it’s not hard to see why. It has the best theme song of all time, Snoopy is cute as hell, and the adult conversations had between the kids always puts a smile on my face. I would like to know who the hell is giving Charlie Brown rocks instead of candy when he’s trick or treating though… they’re sick. I love the idea that the Great Pumpkin is like the Santa Claus of Halloween, since I think Halloween is deserving of a mascot, but it’s too bad that he never shows up! What exactly is a “sincere” pumpkin patch anyway?
Day 30: Roseanne – “Trick Me Up, Trick Me Down”
This is my favourite Halloween episode of Roseanne, hands down! I love how seriously the Conner’s take Halloween, they treat it like any other important holiday. The first prank is on their new neighbour Mrs. Bowman, with Roseanne pretending to have stabbed Dan to death. The Conner’s then treat everyone at the bar to their ventriloquist act and Roseanne is convinced that Mrs. Bowman only shows up to get revenge. The kids aren’t playing along and say they’re too old for Halloween but this turns out to be another prank when they put real snakes in Dan & Roseanne’s bed. And then there’s a guest appearance from a hunky George Clooney. This has it all!
Day 29: South Park – “Hell on Earth 2006”
I forgot how crazy South Park is and it’s amazing what they can get away with. Satan throws a super sweet 16 Halloween party dressed as Britney Spears circa Hit Me Baby One More Time music video; Ted Bundy, Jeffrey Dahmer and John Wayne Gacy are turned into The Three Stooges; Biggie Smalls is an urban legend like Bloody Mary, showing up to kill whoever says his name into a mirror three times. The episode isn’t really made up of jokes per se, it’s more like a bunch of ideas presented to push the envelope of what’s in good taste.
Day 28: 30 Rock – “Stone Mountain”
Jack and Liz travel to Kenneth the page’s hometown of Stone Mountain, Georgia to scout local talent and hopefully hire some new blood onto the show. Meanwhile back at the studio, the writers are trying to use Jenna to get invited to a gay Halloween party in order to meet hot girls and Tracy is trying not to die when he learns of the death of two actors and is convinced that celebrities always die in threes. There’s some funny guest stars in this episode, with Betty White threatening to kill Tracy herself when he checks to see if she’s still alive, and then Tracy and Jimmy Fallon almost kill each other in the hallway because of the rule of threes. There’s really too many jokes crammed in here to mention, as there is every episode, but it’s hilarious overall.
Day 27: Angel – “Life of the Party”
I have to admit, I’m not a huge fan of the Angel series and I think this may actually be the first full episode I’ve ever watched. So what I can deduce is that Angel and the green dude have started a demon detective agency or something like that and they throw a Halloween party to boost morale. I do enjoy that in the Buffy/Angel universe Halloween is considered a night off for demons because they consider the holiday too crass. This episode features one of the grossest things I have ever seen. This horned demon dude has another lil demon as like a sex-slave or whatever and he pours his blood into a glass for him to drink. It was really creepy. I couldn’t stop agonizing over it and didn’t really pay attention to the episode. Oops! (Not my fault)
Day 26: Buffy the Vampire Slayer – “Fear, Itself”
This is my favourite Halloween episode of the series. I can’t stand seeing Sarah Michelle Gellar as anything other than Buffy which is why the first Halloween episode where she becomes a damsel in distress kind of pisses me off. And here we get to see sexy Giles busting through a wall with a chainsaw. When some dummy frat bros accidentally bring forth a demon that externalizes everyone’s fear, Buffy and the gang have face their fears and save the day. I love the creepy factor of this episode, in particular this skeleton that comes to life, but it also has a great emotional core. At this point in the series the gang is off to college, except Xander, and Buffy has just been dumped by some dude after a one night stand. The show is getting more mature at this point and life starts shitting all over our favourite teens in Sunnydale. It’s really relatable to show what everyone is afraid of… be it a slayer, a witch, a werewolf or just a normal guy… their fears aren’t otherworldly, they’re just like the rest of us. And showing the fear demon to be just a wee little guy Buffy stomps to death is a great ending.
Day 25: Brooklyn Nine-Nine – “Halloween IV”
Corgi alert! Corgi alert! Corgi alert! His name is Cheddar and he’s the cutest thing I’ve ever seen. I have this embarrassing tic where every time I see a corgi I lose my mind and scream. Seriously, is there anything cuter than a corgi? The answer is NO. In this Halloween episode, the Brooklyn Nine-Nine precinct are holding their annual heist to determine who is the world’s best detective / genius. They go through some pretty elaborate schemes that include ordering a ton of pizzas at the same time to cause a distraction, using The Babysitters Club for inspiration, hiring a male prostitute as a decoy and Gina knocks out her two front teeth in a roller skating “accident”. This is probably the series’ best Halloween episode by default because of Cheddar the corgi.
Day 24: Scream – “Halloween II”
I have to say, the ending to this whole mini-who-dunit was really disappointing. Of course it’s the weird clingy guy with bad teeth Emma, come on!! You should know better by now that any guy you see as a love interest will inevitably try to murder you! Why do you need a new guy to latch onto when your killer boyfriend murdered a bunch of people, tried to kill you, and then was murdered himself (spoiler alert)? Focus on yourself, girl. BUY. A. GUN. The white teens solve the mystery of whether the woman accused of murdering all those people actually did it and then manage to escape the clutches of the new burlap sacked killer. On the plus side, this series is always good for gory kills and is a bit of a guilty pleasure for me. You can check out my review of the first season here: http://roobtube.com/2015/10/04/scream-the-tv-series
Day 23: Scream – “Halloween”
Apparently this hour and a half long “movie” was considered two episodes, so guess what? That counts as two posts! The white teens (sorry, I can’t remember any of their pumpkin spice names) have decided that they’ve had enough of mayhem and murder and decide to take a lil vacay to an island where some woman wearing a burlap sack killed a bunch of people. The geek boy and the bad boy are now sort of successful graphic novel writers and are encouraged to research the story by their editor. Then, surprise surprise, someone on the island wearing that same burlap sack wants to kill them all and the body count starts to rise! It’s insane that someone keeps targeting Emma and her friends and it’s even more insane that none of them have bought a gun yet. It’s America for god’s sake!
Day 22: Star Trek – “Catspaw”
Can we acknowledge what an absolute babe Captain Kirk was?? This Halloween episode finds Kirk and the gang from the Enterprise searching for crew members on a planet when they see witches, a haunted castle and a black cat. Turns out it’s a fake atmosphere created by a weird guy Korob and his cat-lady boss Sylvia. When Sylvia takes human form she enjoys all the new sensations, including making out with Kirk, and since Korob can no longer control her she needs to be stopped! I kind of love this show, even though I haven’t seen much of it and it’s dated as hell. The effects are great though especially when they are trying to pass off a housecat as a giant beast. It’s shocking that this episode is 50 years old!
Day 21: Grey’s Anatomy – “Haunt You Every Day”
I’m going to start off by saying I love this show more than anything or anyone on this planet. If you have never watched Grey’s Anatomy, don’t want to watch it or don’t like it… please, don’t talk to me. In this episode, Meredith is haunted by her dead mother’s ashes and takes a little boy trick or treating around the hospital for a new pair of ears. We also discover that Izzy and George have been sleeping together, effectively ending his marriage with Callie. I also cried a lil bit two times even though I’ve already seen this before. Ahh, season 4. Back when all your favourite characters were still alive!
Day 20: Tales from the Crypt – “Only Skin Deep”
Creep-pig with visible panty lines through his pirate costume Carl shows up to a Halloween party he shouldn’t be at because his abused ex-girlfriend is there. But that won’t stop him! In fact, he verbally abuses this woman and tells her he should’ve killed her because that’s what she deserves. This guy is a real dream-boat. He meets “cool girl” Molly and they decide to have a romp in the sack without exchanging any information about each other or removing their masks. One sweaty sex scene later (I forgot this was HBO) we find out that Molly’s mask is actually her face and she cuts men’s faces off to keep as masks in her dirty ass apartment. I guess the subtext here is to not take people at face value or that we all wear masks in one way or another. There was some creepy imagery in this and I definitely have to advise people to not watch this while they’re eating.
Day 19: The Simpsons – “Treehouse of Horror V”
This is considered the best Halloween episode of The Simpsons and it’s not hard to see why. “The Shinning” is a hilarious parody of The Shining where no TV and no beer make Homer go crazy.”Time and Punishment” features a time travelling toaster Homer somehow creates, sending him back to the dinosaur era and a dystopian future where Ned Flanders rules the world. “Nightmare Cafeteria” is a parody of Soylent Green where the teachers of Springfield Elementary start eating the children after their Grade F meat made from circus animals isn’t up to snuff. My favourite part of this episode is groundskeeper Willie getting an axe in the back in each segment just before he saves the day. This really is The Simpsons at its best.
Day 18: That 70’s Show – “Halloween”
I had to give Bonnie & Terry Turner another chance after yesterday’s let-down. This is the first Halloween episode in the series, where the gang discover their permanent records in their old burned down school. It’s also where Fez learns about trick or treating and we see a bit of back story about when Kitty & Red discovered they were having their first child. I forgot how good this show was! There’s a lot of humour and a lot of heart. When Fez gets an apple and asks “Where’s my candy, you son of a bitch?”, that will always get a big laugh from me. Maybe it’s time for a series re-watch?
Day 17: 3rd Rock from the Sun – “Scaredy Dick”
The John Lithgow alien is scared to go to the doctor and it just happens to be Halloween, which means you need to learn how to face your fears blah blah blah. This show is everything that was wrong with 90’s sitcoms. Too many puns, everything is a damn joke that’s not funny but hey, at least it’s only 20 minutes long. The show was written by the husband and wife team who wrote for SNL, That 70’s show, gave us Wayne’s World 1 & 2 and Tommy Boy! Not sure what went wrong here but maybe family friendly sitcoms aren’t really their strong point. A strong performance by John Lithgow though, as always!
Day 16: Supernatural – “It’s the Great Pumpkin, Sam Winchester”
Why is this show popular? It’s really, really stupid. Sorry, but I just can’t get down with a main character who makes a “jailbait” joke about a teenage girl & then makes a fat joke to a little kid’s face. I mean sure, the teen girl turned out to be a witch but that’s not the point! It’s nice to see Bunny from ‘The Wire’ getting a paycheque though. Dean & Sam are trying to stop Sam Hain from coming back from hell to kill people and then some angels want to blow away the whole town to prevent Mr. Hain from rising. The episode ends with zombies and Sam fist fighting the jowly Canadian demon dude. Then he calls an ANGEL a dick. I can’t recommend, it was very boring.
Day 15: Community – “Epidemiology”
In addition to only playing ABBA and his personal voice notes as the Halloween party playlist, the principal feeds his students rotten army taco meat that turns everyone into zombies. This episode is funny but I don’t really “get” Community on the whole. I watched the first couple of seasons but I don’t really remember anything from it other than how absolutely hilarious the principal is at all times. There are some good jokes here and a ton of movie references from Alien to Day of the Dead. I also like how this really commits to the premise of a zombie attack, insinuating characters are being eaten alive but when the army shows up at the end it’s back to business as usual. In my opinion, it’s what every Halloween episode of a TV show should be like!
Day 14: Are You Afraid of the Dark? – “The Tale of the Twisted Claw”
Can we talk about how bat-shit insane the wallpaper in Dougie’s house is?? The house looks like the set of a high school play. There’s literally wallpaper over the light switch. This story is basically The Monkey’s Paw but for kids. Dougie and his friend assault an old woman by spraying shaving cream on her face and then have the stones to go trick or treat at her house on Halloween. She gives them this vulture’s claw that will grant them three wishes but tells them to be careful what they wish for. There’s some dark shit here. Dougie thinks his parents are dead and then he wishes his dead grandfather was alive. They peer through the living room window and I was actually scared because I thought a zombie with black licorice candy in his pocket would come lumbering up. But apparently his pops used to drive a cadillac like he was in NWA. I love how ridiculous this show can be.
Day 13: Sabrina the Teenage Witch – “A Halloween Story”
SALLY JESSE RAPHAEL ALERT! I miss the days of talk show hosts making random appearances on children’s shows. On this episode, Sabrina’s aunts force her to go to their family Halloween party that takes place somewhere outside of planet Earth, so she has to send a clone of herself to her crush Harvey’s party. This show is so wholesome it’s like a tall glass of milk. There are some good witch jokes and Salem always has some great lines but overall the episode is a bit boring, most likely because it’s the first season. Maybe their other Halloween episodes get better?
Day 12: The Office – “Halloween”
I like that a few of the characters in this episode are wearing Halloween costumes that are basically their personalities come to life. Michael has two heads because he’s always trying to be both boss and friend to everyone. Jim is a three hole punch because he’s fucking boring. Dwight is an evil sith lord because, well… duh. And the guy Michael has to fire, which is the main plot of this episode, is dressed as a hobo. This is the first Halloween episode of the series and is early enough where the Jim & Pam “will they or won’t they” storyline is still part of the main focus, which in my opinion is the best part of the show.
Day 11: Goosebumps – “Attack of the Jack O’ Lanterns”
This isn’t even close to one of my favourite episodes of the series but it’s one of the few that actually takes place on Halloween. Drew convinces her friend Walker to come along trick or treating with her in order to scare their other two friends, even though four people have gone missing from the area. Watching Drew’s mom and dad go back and forth about this is kind of hilarious. Her mom doesn’t want her to go out and her dad (who looks 24) is basically like “well honey, the missing people were adults, not kids”. It’s ridiculous. But not as ridiculous as the rest of this episode. Basically the kids follow two pumpkin headed people, thinking they are the friends they’re trying to scare, to this neighbourhood where they discover the pumpkin people are aliens who essentially want to trick or treat them to death. The pumpkin headed people turn out to be two kids who then turn out to be green headed aliens who did in fact eat those missing people. This episode is basically Inception.
Day 10: Roseanne – “Boo”
I have a crush on Dan Conner and I don’t care who knows it. He’s funny, sweet, thicc… basically the perfect man. *Sigh* Anyway… ‘Boo’ is the first of the famous Roseanne Halloween episodes and it’s not hard to see why they caught on like a house on fire. Even though it’s not the best of the best, it’s still hilarious to watch Dan and Roseanne try to one up each other and determine who is the master of playing Halloween pranks. It’s also a great showcase for the chemistry between Roseanne & John Goodman. I love this show!!
Day 9: The Fresh Prince of Bel Air – “Hex and the Single Guy”
Hilary wants to contact her dead fiancé Trevor through a séance, but when Will accuses the psychic of being fake, a hex is put on the entire Banks family. Uncle Phil is accused of taking bribes, Carlton’s hair looks like a snow cone and Ashley sprains her ankle when her tennis ball machine goes haywire. It’s a pretty lame hex if you ask me, I mean apart from Uncle Phil’s life and career being ruined, which is kind of insane. Carlton objecting to the séance because it will cut into his trick or treating time is still one of my favourite jokes of the show, aside from the DOZENS of bungee jumping jokes related to Trevor’s death. Despite that, this episode isn’t particularly scary or funny so I may have to check out the other Halloween episodes from the show.
Day 8: Boy Meets World – “And Then There Was Shawn”
Corey and Topanga broke up??!! It’s been so long since I’ve seen this show I forgot this happened. I also forgot that the theme song is sung in a weird, vaguely British accent. Shawn is taking their break up pretty hard (weird), causing him to act up in Mr. Feeny’s class and getting everyone detention. Then a masked killer shows up! Shawn has seen a lot of horror movies and knows the rules so it’s all very Scream-esque. There’s a lot of punny jokes too, that are still kind of funny, courtesy of Will Friedle. Whatever happened to that guy? He makes a lot of South Park jokes which kind of breaks my brain to think that these shows were on TV at the same time.
Day 7: The Simpsons – “Treehouse of Horror III”
This is the first Treehouse of Horror episode to feature on the list and most likely not the last. It’s also the one I remember watching the most as a kid, even though in 1992 when it aired, I was way too young to understand any of the humour. In “Clown Without Pity” a Krusty doll Homer gives Bart tries to kill him after its switch is accidentally set to evil. “King Homer” gives us the hilarious line of dialogue from Smithers: “women and seamen don’t mix”. “Dial ‘Z’ for Zombies” sees Homer blowing away a zombie Ned Flanders with a shotgun…before he realizes he’s a zombie. There’s a lot of laughs to be had, as always, with the Simpsons and I’m sure we’ll be seeing them again soon.
Day 6: Garfield’s Halloween Adventure
I love Garfield SO. MUCH. I have a real connection to this character… I hate Mondays, I love lasagna, I’m self absorbed. Garfield learns that he can get free candy on Halloween and comes up with the brilliant scheme to bring Odie along trick or treating to get even more candy. Dressed as pirates, they commandeer a boat and cross a lake to a spooky old house on the other side. Then a ghost pirate ship shows up to claim their treasure and the duo has to run for their lives! I actually laughed out loud a few times watching this, it’s so funny and cute. The songs are great, with one in particular about Garfield not being scared but then freaking out at every costume he sees. I watched it on YouTube and it actually had the original 1985 corny commercials in between (most of them were for McDonalds). This is a great, clever little cartoon to put you in a fun mood for Halloween.
Day 5: Halloween Is Grinch Night
The Grinch who stole Christmas is now snatching up Halloween!! Am I the only one who didn’t know this prequel exists? I usually feel sorry for the Grinch in the Christmas cartoon; you know he’s only pissed off because he’s all alone. This story is different… apparently he’s beholden to the sour sweet grinch night wind which makes him want to be a dickhead. Everyone in Whoville shuts themselves inside when they smell the wind but this little Who-child Euchariah has to go to the “euphamism” (which is the outhouse, according to Wikipedia… yes, I had to research this cartoon to understand it). He gets blown away by the wind, runs into the Grinch and his “paraphernalia wagon”, does some acid and sees some crazy squiggly people. This is barely a Halloween episode and the music isn’t that great… I feel like I should’ve been high to watch this!
Day 4: Goosebumps – “The Haunted Mask 2”
Just when you though Haunted Mask was frightening enough, they go and release the damn sequel! Real talk though, this episode is genuinely pretty fucked up. We open with a grown ass Carly-Beth who doesn’t take shit from anyone now, especially not Chuck & Steve. This time around it’s Steve who gets a haunted mask and it starts turning him into a decrepit old man. The makeup effects definitely don’t hold up but this kid looks absolutely disgusting. He runs into who I think is the old man from the mask store actually wearing the mask from the first episode and they have creepy almost flirtatious exchange. It’s truly terrifying. Here is an excerpt: “You’re grovelling… good… I like that in a boy”. Are your bones chilled yet??
Day 3: Goosebumps – “The Haunted Mask”
This is one of my favourite episodes of TV — FULL. STOP. Goosebumps is always entertaining but this is a roller coaster ride. It has everything: bone-chilling scares, Juilliard level acting, Canadian accents and a sexy intro by the book author R.L. Stine. Carly-Beth is a total scaredy cat who just wants to be scary this Halloween after being pranked too many times by dumb shits Chuck & Steve who have nothing better to do. Like seriously, they put worms in her sandwich, that’s assault. She basically steals this creepy mask from a creepy old guy, after he tries to falsely imprison her in his store, and shenanigans ensue. (Why does nearly every Goosebumps main character have to face an attempted kidnapping?) It’s all fun and games until Carly-Beth tries to take the mask off but it’s become part of her face! Even though this show is meant for kids, I can’t get enough of it.
Day 2: Friends – “The One With The Halloween Party”
It took me a long time to give Friends a second chance after I decided, for reasons unknown, that it was the worst show of all time. Maybe it was because the show became so popular and I was sooooo punk rock in my youth that it was just a natural rebellion. I’m glad I watched the series again as an adult because it’s actually really great, particularly in the earlier seasons. It took eight seasons before we finally got a Halloween episode, actually the only Halloween episode, which I think is too bad because by that point the show had sort of lost its edge. The episode is still pretty funny; Chandler is emasculated in his pink bunny costume, everyone thinks Ross’ “spudnik” costume looks like a poop and Rachel runs out of candy so she starts writing cheques to the kids who come trick or treating. There’s also a teeny tiny side plot where Phoebe starts crushing on her twin sister’s fiancé played by Sean Penn. I guess you can’t really expect a spooky episode from this series… the thought of them somehow affording that huge apartment in NYC is scary enough.
Day 1: Family Matters – “Stevil”
This episode of TV is one my favourite pieces of nostalgia from childhood. As a kid, there were two things I looked forward to on Halloween: trick or treating and the TGIF Halloween episodes. Watching this now was a real treat because I haven’t seen it in probably 20 years. If you remember Family Matters, Steve Urkel was the nerdy neighbour next door to the Winslow’s, with his catch phrase “Did I do that?”. This time around, he has a ventriloquist doll who gets hit by lightning, comes to life and tries to get rid of the whole family. Honestly, is there anything scarier than an evil ventriloquist doll come to life? No, there is not. I can’t say that it holds up as being either particularly scary or funny but it’s a fun episode nonetheless.