||[Oct. 25th, 2010|08:35 pm]
International Bon Vivant and Raconteur
It won't come as a surprise to anyone that Halloween is my favorite time of year, and it probably won't be any more of a surprise for me to admit that I love, love, love TV during the Halloween season. This is the time of year when most series trot out their Halloween episodes. My favorites were always Buffy (you knew Ethan Rayne was going to make an appearance every October, at least for the first few seasons), Night Court (this show was urban fantasy before there was a term for it, with Halloween episodes often featuring real vampires and werewolves making their way through New York City's clunky justice system), Roseanne (they never actually went supernatural, but the Conners always put on a spooky haunted house for the neighborhood and that was good enough), and of course the recurring Simpsons Treehouse of Horror, which is almost always brilliant.
These days we occasionally get Halloween treats in our favorite shows. Who can forget last year's brilliant Castle moment when Nathan Fillion dressed in his old Firefly costume? (I still love his TV daughter's perfect sass response: "A space cowboy? First of all, there are no cows in space. And secondly, didn't you wear that like five years ago?") Tonight's episode of Chuck features Robert "Freddy" Englund as the bad guy. Still, truly fun and/or spooky Halloween episodes seem few and far between in most of today's series. Usually they just add a costume party and leave it at that. I say show some love, people!
This year, though, we're exceptionally lucky because Halloween week is set to be filled with tons of chills and thrills. However, as usual, it looks like it's up to the cable channels to show some creativity.
Starting tonight at midnight, IFC is running Dead Set, a five-hour, five-night miniseries revolving around a zombie outbreak during the taping of the reality show Big Brother in the UK. Sounds kind of goofy, right? Apparently BAFTA didn't think so--the series was nominated in the Best Drama Serial category. Reviews have been glowing, too. My friend, the prolific horror writer David Wellington, caught a sneak peek and swears it's one of the scariest things he's ever seen. I'm so there!
On Friday morning at 8 A.M., set your DVRs to record Trail of the Screaming Forehead. This 2007 film by Larry Blamire--the crazed genius who brought us The Lost Skeleton of Cadavra and The Lost Skeleton Returns Again--has yet to be released on DVD but looks every bit as fun as his others. If you like loving spoofs of the science fiction and horror films from the 1940s and '50s, you should know Larry Blamire's name by now. Otherwise, here's as good a place as any to start your love affair.
This one probably doesn't even need to be mentioned, but starting Sunday the 31st at 10 PM, AMC is premiering the new series The Walking Dead, produced by Frank Darabont and based on the Eisner Award-winning comic book by Robert Kirkman. Expectations are running high for this one. In fact, it hasn't even aired yet and it's already been renewed for a second season!
And then there's the plethora of horror movies that will be airing most of this week and certainly all weekend on AMC, IFC, and TCM. No doubt there are some gems to be found there, such as TCM's Hammer Frankenstein marathon this Friday.
That's seems to be it. If I've missed anything, please do let me know. In the meantime, here's wishing you and yours a fun week of spooky TV viewing!