“The Tale of Laughing in the Dark” is widely considered one of the scariest episodes of “Are You Afraid of the Dark?” ever made. That makes a lot of sense, because it contains almost every key element of scariness there is. Evil lurks in a lighthearted setting, the same thing that makes children singing nursery rhymes and giggling on an old, abandoned playground so damn creepy. It doesn’t belong there. It’s incongruous and wrong.
Aron Tager, the actor who stars in the recurring role of Dr. Vink, is pants-poopingly chilling in the role of the carnie/Zeebo’s ghost (incarnation No. 1 of 4). That partly explains why our blog’s logo features an outline of Zeebo the Clown’s head.
In this episode, the spirit of Zeebo the Clown appears in at least three different “bodies”: the clown dummy behind door No. 6 that we’re all familiar with, the entity that follows Josh home, the clown that appears behind the funhouse mirrors, and maybe even the carnie himself. Do you think the awful, awful, awful mirror clown is the same incarnation that showed up at Josh’s house and flambed Josh’s pasta? Or does Zeebo also exist as wisps of cigar smoke?
He appears from behind the mirror.
So, should you laugh at a clown dummy or pay it your solemn respects for fear that it will come to life and try to kill you—and laugh hysterically while doing so? My advice: If you’re in a spooky situation, have fun—it’s what Zeebo would have wanted—but don’t be an incessant dick or use it as an opportunity to flex your scrawny ginger machismo. Always assume you’re dealing with forces far bigger than you are.
“The Tale of Laughing in the Dark” can be summed up by the rhyme
Dr. Vink the cigar-smoking carnie recites to the kids as they enter the Spook House at the county fair:
Pick the right door, and you’ll go free.
Pick the wrong door, and there he’ll be.
That couplet still gets to me 20 years after hearing it for the first time. It’s a singsongy threat, and the consequences are so terrible that the rhyme doesn’t even try to articulate them. It’s a point of no return. All that matters is that he’ll be there, and that’s enough—anything that happens after that is almost excess.
Step right up, knock at the door of fate. Play a rigged game of chance. What will happen when the door creaks open? The two possible outcomes are wildly different. Will there be canned applause and laughter and a bouncy exit sign? A fun but forgettable memory of that time you went to that spooky carnival? Or will you meet him, and never be able to return to life as it was—if you return at all?
He’s in there, all right. Juuuuuuuust waiting.
Learings: Don’t be an asshole, especially to old women who live in haunted houses who are rumored to be witches. Do not wish for anything. Wishing for more than you have will lead to even less than you had before. Your grandparents are meant to be dead, do not try to raise them. If a chicken claw glows Gak green, RUN. Be happy with your sad little life, and know that you will never be as awesome as the jock with the mullet and sex appeal for miles.
When I mention AYAOTD (Because really what else is worth talking about?) people always say, “Oh remember the one with the pinball machine?” Hell yes I do! It is a classic and I’m going to review it!
Is he wearing Lacoste? Bored girl with bangs even sucks when at rest face.
The scene opens with David, uni-browed sex god, trying to get the “key” on a Game Boy. He looks crazed ya’ll! Annoying kid pushed the “reset” button. Frank grabs it out of his hand hot blond girl is all “Games are dumb!” Lezzie Kiki is all “No, games like softball and golf are awesome!” Then killjoy Gary grabs the Game Boy. Says some shit, and you can just smell the moral tale is a comin’ round the bend.
Ross is this tale’s protagonist. He is um, well he is dumb. He’s not the sharpest knife in the crayon box. He reminds me of every boy ever in middle school. He loves him some pinball and hangs around the mall, looking for quarters. Quarters were things that used to have value that you put into slots and then games happened. He even fights homeless women for quarters. Guess his parents don’t give him a $20, drop him off, and tell him to have a gay ol’ time. Memories, amiright?
Num-nums! Kinda a fashionable hoboken no?
He also likes to hang around a shop that sells…pottery? Really, the prop people just throw any ol’ thing to make this place to look shop-y. Mr. Olson, no relation to Mary-Kate or Ashley, owns this “shop.”
Like that guy isn’t going to come alive…
Ross spots a really cool pinball machine in the back. Old man Olson is like no touchy. It’s a collector’s item. Collector of what I ask you?!? Ya’ll this machine is looking busted.
Ross really wants a job at Paint a Pottery and convinces Mr. Olson to give him a trial run, but under no circumstances is he to fiddle with the pinball machine! Of course, Ross, whose nails are ridic long (coke addict say what) starts to play this game that has: zombies, witches and princesses! Which cliche doesn’t belong?
You know you are hot if you came of age in the early 90’s and…she just pretty ya’ll…
A pretty young thang named Sophie waltzes into the shop to pick-up her music box. Her music box? This is never addressed. Like it’s a normal thing for a not baby to have a throne shaped music box. Anywho, Ross fumbles about. She leaves empty handed. Ross goes back to playing the zombie-princess game.
He looses track of time and realizes that the mall is completely closed. Looting time! Oh, but then it rains quarters (the valuable thingies mentioned previously)! Ross takes it in stride and stuffs his acid-washed pantalonies.
Oh noes! Really well-dressed zombies (looking sharp dudes!) start surrounding him and are like “Watch me go,go, go. You silly broke hoes (potledom)!”. Zombies. Where have I seent those before? Suddenly, Sophie, in a fetching velvet blue frock, screams from above! A one-eyed dude is restraining her, but she still manages to drop a key and mumble something about a tiara. I want one too! Every lady needs a tiara.
This looks rapey in a screenshot. It was less scary on youtube.
Ross, maybe not so dumb, realizes zombies HATE water. Splash, splash, those zombies take a bath. Ross runs to the lockers in the mall. Because, who wouldn’t run up to something so weird? Lockers. In a mall. He opens a few and one locker is bulemic and pukes on him.
He finds the “tiara” aka Sophie’s hairband. I wonder what a scrunchie would turn into? Once he nabs that fabulous hair accessory the escalator starts up. (I have a fear of my hair or shoelace getting caught in an escalator. Thanks 20/20! This is why I’m bald and only wear velcro shoes.) Once on the second floor, his pocket full posies, I mean quarters, turn into marbles.
Sophie screams and lures him to that secret back room in malls you always see on t.v. shows. Sophie really needs to stop shrieking and stop being such a stereotypical princess (needs a man, tiara, music box, speed). Oh well, AYAOTD is not in a gender-bender mood today.
Some creepy witch cackles and blows her stank witch breath into Ross’s face, causing him to drop the tiara. Score for witchy woman!
Ross then finds Sophie all tied up with no place to go in Olson’s shop. Ross still no gets that it’s the pinball game. They grab that ridiculous throne music box and scoot as a goon with a mace (it’s a food group, ya’ll) tries to smash them. Goon grabs the music box. Music is important, even for the developmentally challenged!
Witchy appears and Ross uses marbles to trip her up, literally. One-eyed Jack grabs pretty Sophie and stows her away, as cyclops are known to do. Ross gets music box back. It actually turns into a real-ass throne.
Now here is some serious controversy. The throne starts moving really quickly, but you can see well, you can see someone pushing it. Was this purposeful? I am going with no because the goon pushing it pops out like, “Surprise!” and makes Ross go to the first level. AYAOTD needs to maximize it’s resources. It’s a recession ya’ll.
Blah, blah Ross smashes open a glass case holding some really obviously spray-painted Super Soakers.
He gets his ass back up to the third level, and just sprays the shit out of the villains. POOF! But then One-eyed Jack knocks the Soaker out of his hand. Bummer.
All seems lost until Ross surprises Jack with a mini-Soaker! Ross crowns Sophie, gets a lame cheek kiss, and is back on level one?!?
Ross looks up to find Mr. Olson looking down. Well, hello there. Mr. Olson informs him that he will be playing the game forever. Just then, a giant pinball starts rolling down the escalator. Ross says, “Uh-oh.” Truer words never spoken. The end.
It’s so twisted that no one wants the Game Boy at the end of the story. Go Gary! Intellect over brawn. Basically, the writer’s came up with this after their kids starting playing too many video games. Whatevs! This story is still so awesome. Ross did not deserve to play pinball for eternity. It would be even awesomer if he was stuck in Mortal Kombat! Or Mario Bros! I smell a sequel!!!
I have been waiting for this one. O.k. fine, I tots skipped over “Tale of the Twisted Claw.” I have poor impulse control. In this episode you get to see a young Mia Kirshner star as a young Jenny from “The L-Word.”
The Midnight Society turns into The Planet for one freaky night and then Kit sings, “girls in white dresses who drag with moustaches,” while swigging vodka and then there is a sad tortured lesbian sex scene. Not really, but one can wish upon a pop culture star.
Kristen is late and doesn’t help build the Society fire. RUDE! Kiki burns her (figuratively) and makes a crack about Kristen not wanting to break her nails. Kristen should know better; lesbians have short nails. Why would you have long nails when telling a lesbian yarn? You just wouldn’t. Get ready for:
You’ll never guess this, but Amy has to stay with her cousin Pam on a….FARM! C’mon AYAOTD, this is getting predictable. Amy is a big city whore and Pam is a country drip. These kissing cousins get their jollies by rummaging around in the attic. Pam’s mom is a (w)hoarder. It’s fun playing dress-up and Mia gets good practice being a lezzie. Check out her top-hat!
You like? Gender play is so fun!
These kleptos continue to act like old farts at a garage sale and stumble across a picture of a young lady that looks a lot like Pam. Oh. That’s not Pam? It’s her dead Aunt Dora? I coulda swore…
Don’t be stoopid! This wrinkled brow demonstrateds the disgust I feel for you at this very moment!
What’s this trunk with the emanating sounds? It belonged to Dead Dora? Hmmmm….it’s locked. Pam shows good sense and wants to leave well enough alone, but thrill seeking Amy has to pick the boil. More on that boil later.
In hindsight, who’s outfit is more ridiculous?
Amy and Pammers fuck around with a Ouiji board and it says “Let me Out” and gives them the combo to the locked trunk, 149! I theorized it’s the apartment number of Jeffery Dahmer, but I had to settle for… 1,4 and 9 are all square numbers! Barf.
They open the trunk and out pops Dead Dora! Oh wait, Pam puts on Dora’s coat and becames Dora. I can see how Amy thought they were the same person.
A body possesion does you good! Mia is looking hawt! Would you a. rather be ugly and alive or 2. hot and dead but possesing a body?
Dora mumbles about some petite rouge, which is not a shade of lipsticky. It means something red in French. Back in her alive days, she befriended petite rouge which was a fox that was kept for hound racing? What a fucked up sport.
She let it go b/c she had a heart of gold, changed her mind and went to re-capture it on her horse and died. But the point is she never fed the hounds. I would assume the help would have done that but apparently Dora’s parents were teaching her manners or something.
Is this John Lithgow or whatever his name is from that alien show that’s not Roswell?
Dora wants to make good and feed the hounds now. Amy is like no, those hounds are going to eat me. Dora doesn’t give a shit and releases them. Holy shit, they treed big city Amy on a hay bail. How…poetical. But then mon petite lipstick saves the day by sacrificing himself. Whoosh! Pam moves to LA with her boyfriend, only to have an affair the owner of the Planet, thus realizing her lesbonic powers.
They looked scarier in the show. They did! They did!
What a lovely nap! Whatthehells?!?
I looked how good possessed?
This entire tale is a warning to feed your pets. I realized this right around when I wondered if I left my cat locked on the back porch in 100 degree weather. We all have our hungry hound moments! Don’t worry, Pnut is alive!
Kristen did quite a swell job! Do you think she slept with the writers to get all the juicy stories? Couch casting anyone?
Submitted for your approval by Alex
If you’re lucky, one day you’ll get old. Your brain will become a cold, dark labyrinth of confusion and loneliness, and you’ll never be able to find your way out. Every first kiss, every birth, the names of everyone you’ve ever loved will evaporate from your memory. That’s if you’re lucky. Keep that in mind as “Are You Afraid of the Dark?” again probes the most fragile recesses of the human heart in 20 minutes or less. Okay, let’s do this shit.
Some fat farty kid of no consequence wants to join the Society. His name is Stig, and he has a bag over his head so he won’t know the secret location of the Midnight Society’s storytelling circle. They had to upgrade from bandana blindfolds to burlap sacks for better coverage, and if wannabe members do peek, it makes the whole rifle execution part that much easier. Gary with blood and brains splattered on his glasses is nothin’ to fuck with.
But tonight is Kiki’s night to say 10 extra lines (tell a story). Look, I know books could be written on Kiki, but here’s my theory on her persona. She’s not fucking around. She obviously has other places to be, but she has chosen be here. She’s telling this story to these jackasses for the same reason women get breast implants: for herself.
So, for “The Tale of the Jagged Sign,” the viewer has to understand a pretty complicated concept to really get what’s going on. Kiki and Girl With Bangs tag team this one, since clearly explaining it is a two-person job. Symbols—no, Tucker, not cymbals—are pictures that mean shit or whatever. Listen very closely: Kiki, who has to be at least 15 in TV years, just found out from a book that ancient Egyptians used symbols to communicate. Girl With Bangs is practically Kegeling tampons out of her snatch with excitement to add, “Yeah! They drew pictures instead of letters!” I think I’ve heard about those…whore-o-graphics. Hearts, stars, horseshoes, wieners drawn on bathroom stalls pointing at glory holes. Okay, everyone is up to speed. Let us proceed.
Claudia is the hundredth character on the show to have to stay at some boring relative’s house in the country for summer vacation because her parents are biologists or whatever. Kiki narrates, “Spending a few weeks at her Aunt Yvonne’s house in the middle of nowhere wasn’t Claudia’s idea of an exciting time.” Actually, looking at the girl, that sounds exactly like Claudia’s idea of an exciting time.
It’s an old folks’ home. Hey, Claudia, “Everyone is dying to meet you.” GET IT.
Friendship at last!
Claudia wanders into one of the old people’s rooms and sees a music box. Music boxes have no other purpose than to be really creepy to your surviving family after you’re dead; I’m going to rig mine to start playing by itself at random. This close-up of these birds gives me pause. I’m premonitioning.
Okay, so remember how your brain is going to devolve into a dank prison when you’re old? This lady is proof of tha—AHHHH what is that hand?
Okay, it’s some old lady’s hand. This lady is Marjorie. She pets Claudia’s head and says she has pretty hair. She has dementia. It’s sad. She used to look a lot like Claudia when she was younger, maybe almost to the point where someone might mistake Claudia for Marjorie. Anyway, weird. Keep your claws to yourself, lady.
Claudia, for probably the first time in her life, is too cool for her current scene and finds some neighbor girl named Kate to commiserate with about their terrible lives full of boredom and old farts and getting their first periods blah blah. Time for a hike in the woods! Look at all the majesty.
Claudia, rebel that she is, takes a path away from the main trail, which freaks out Kate. She’s afraid of heights (I can tell from her acting) but whitebitch keeps climbing up the fucking rocks—and stumbles upon a creepy symbol (remember, a symbol is a picture that means something) painted on the summit. Kind of looks like…some kind of…bird. Where have we seen such a bird-type shape before? Hmmm. Hopefully Kiki will explain it to me. I love seeing that light in her eyes when she realizes she’s made an idea click in the mind of another person. So rewarding.
What the hell is thish wordsh?
And then a hot Amish ghost dude appears. So…scared…but…suspenders…look…nice on you. Whitebitch thinks he’s probably just some high-school steampunk dude with a staring problem, but then he proves his ghostitude my invisibly drawing that same creepy symbol in the dirt at the girls’ feet (I guess with his finger or with a ghost stick—a dead branch?). OMFG.
“Get on me.”
And then he pops up behind them and does the universal gesture for, “Come join me in the afterlife,” because ghosts can draw and move their hands and maybe whisper a single phrase over and over that’s too vague to be actually communicate anything effectively, but they can’t fucking talk. Anyway, he’s bangable, right? He would hold your hand and make you a mix tape if those existed before he got dead. Despite his otherwordly glow, Claudia still isn’t convinced he’s a ghost, but she and Kate both run back to the house.
And that’s where they find old lady Marjorie giving us further proof that she’s better off dead (so you won’t have to feel bad for her when she gets reunited with the steampunk ghost ((the love of her life she accidentally stood up the night they were supposed to run away together and who fell off that rock while he was waiting because he was painting that bird thing, the symbol of their love) and goes with him to the afterlife.) Yeah, spoiler alert. That’s what happens. But you already guessed that, right? It gives me such pompous glory.
So I will just wrap up this story with screen shots!
I see you seeing me.
Amish steampunk ghost turns his body into vapor (steam?), fogs up Claudia’s window and draws the symbol in the fog. Crazy. Shit.
“Don’t go back to the cliff, crazy bitch. Ghost + cliff = dead.”
“Does this thing matter to your old brain anymore?”
Oh snap. He’s back again, and Marjorie sees him this time, too. And then promptly forgets about it I guess, ‘cause she old.
Claudia goes back to the cliff, almost dies just like Amishghost. Kate conquers her fear of heights blah blah suspenseful filler. Bad form, Kiki.
Now the dude finally speaks. Use your words. “Why didn’t you come?” he asks not-Marjorie. “Some shit came up,” Kate explains. “Oh, okay. I’ll go get actual-Marjorie then,” ghost says.
Together at last! Time for third base.
The end. Truly a supernatural version of “The Notebook.” This episode was disappointing on a few levels, but as a whole it is successful at reminding us of something important: Life is sad, love is sad, and sadness is sad especially when a person is too out of it mentally to even realize why they’re so sad.
Submitted for your approval by Sarah
David, David, Day-vud. I am so ashamed for knocking your unibrow. You are clearly far too sensitive a soul to care about such frivolous superficial things. You, you who remembered Kristen with a K’s birthday before Facebook. You, who not only gave her a locket, but also made it a focal point of a truly beautiful and heartbreaking tale. This is why I am still talking about you, 20 years later. This one is for you, wherever you are.
Amanda is, what else, ditched by her parents who are “scientists of something” and is staying with who else, her Aunt Dottie. (David, it’s your party, you can make up what you want to.) Aunt Dottie gave birth to evil spawn named Beth, who is a cross between Tiffanie (“I think we are alone now”) and Molly Ringwald. It seems those Canadians have an overabundance of redheads: That guy from Zeebo the Clown, this chick, and some other people I’m sure will support this statement in the future.
I can’t come up with anything better than Beth’s bangs/face.
Beth is obsessed with the animal collection and is so hated by me partly because I have also committed every fashion sin from the 90’s: Side ponytail, scrunchie and oversized everything. Also, she demands that Beth, who must sleep on the extra bed that houses her precious(es), put her animal collection back each day just so and prove she is not a “Zeeb.”
She is also extremely rude to her nanny. If I had a nanny I would worship the ground she walked on. Who has three loads of laundry just waiting to be put away? Not Beth, stupid beyatch. Nanny has nowheres to go and is treated with such unmitigated teenage disdain it’s uncomfortable to watch.
Tragedy, what is thy name? Oh, it’s Nanny?
In order to hang out with Beth and her brood, she must spend a night, alone in the supposedly haunted house next door. It turns out during World War II a nice family lived there: Mom, dad and mute daughter. However, the dad went missing during the war and the mom went to search for him. While she was gone, her daughter was taunted and chased by a pack of vicious teenagers who locked inside her house. She thirsted/starved to death before her mom made it home. Intense, no?
Amanda agrees to go into the house and into the little girl’s bedroom. She notices a rather freshly scrawled “mepleh” on the wall. Confused, Amanda turns to the mirror facing the wall and realizes it says “help me.” Right about then the little girl comes through the mirror. Understandably, Amanda flees in terror.
Srsly. This was terrifying to rewatch just to get a screenshot.
The next morning Aunt Dottie, who is also trying to flip the haunted house, demands that Beth and Amanda go back to the house to clean up the “pleh.”
Completely superfluous (yes, I got my college on at one point) photo so that you can witness the glory that is HTEB.
Reluctantly, Amanda hauls her bucket up the stairs only to find that “mepleh” is written ALL over the walls. Beth notices the mirror and a very lovely stuffed animal collection. I guess toys weren’t rationed during the war. Transfixed by the fluffies, she enters the mirror. Out pops dead girl!
Amanda is an amazing screamer; you can really hear her terror. Finally, she stops screaming and realizes dead girl is trying to hand her a locket. Amanda thinks the dead girl is hitting on her like David did to Kristen, but realizes that she is trying to, I don’t know, get some help? Maybe communicate with the written word since she can’t speaka the words? Inside the locket is dead girl alive with….Nanny!
Amanda races downstairs and spots Nanny who is leaving in a taxi cab. She explains that Nanny must come upstairs with her. Nanny is very reluctant, due to um her daughter being murdered in that house? However, Amanda gets her up the stairs and….what follows is just heartbreaking.
Nanny and dead daughter are just so happy to finally be reunited. Nanny finally has someone to take care of, someone who loves and needs her. Dead girl leads her through the mirror, into death and onto the next phase because the world was just too cruel to them. I’m happy they get a second chance.
Oh, Beth is trapped in the closet (ha!) and Amanda lets her out only after securing promise that she will start being nice. Kinda wanted Beth to starve to death. vigilante justice lives! Have I learned nothing?!?
Basically, bullies have been around for forever. Sometimes they do things like lock you in a house until you die and ruin your mom’s life. Or, they bully you by making fun of you at school and online. Life can really blow sometimes, but there’s always college and moving to a different state when you’re an adult. Also, there’s FB. Now you can see how fat and preggo everyone turns out to be. That’s inspirational. Kudos me.
Thanks Nickelodeon for making a show that really mattered.
Submitted for your approval by Alex
The Tale of the Forever Game Part I
The Tale of the Forver Game Part II
Have you ever seen Jumanji? Well, this has nothing to do with that. This is called “The Tale of the Forever Game.” If there are any similarities, well there’s not so hush my sweet child.
Nickelodeon went fucking cray cray and cancelled AYAOTD in 1993. I’m not sure what I did that year, but it’s all a blur so I’m assuming I turned to wine coolers to dull the pain. Nickelodeon got its marbles back and revamped the show in 1999. Good thinking! Except they have a new cast and I’m suspicious of all things new. Except Tucker is the new Gary, and he’s is h-o-t.
Tucker’s cohorts are um, kinda young for him? Not to speak ill of Canadians, but he seems like he stopped by the local hockey rink and grabbed the first however many people are in the cast. Oh, he also stopped by the kid whoring academy and picked up Elisha Cuthbert. She’s the new hot piece. Vange is the new Kiki: Ethnic, chip on shoulder-ish, horrible dresser, but clearly all gooey inside. Quinn is black. Andy is fat. Tahhh-dahhhh! Midnight Society 2.0.
I gots a secret! You are actually going to be famous and I’m not. I hates you!
Where the hells is I?
If that didn’t work, you can tell it’s update by the new sped-up themesong. It’s like this: Dun, dun, dunnn un unnnn. But really fast.
Whoosh, onto Tucker’s tale. Peter, Mark and Monica are what else, biking in Canada. Peter shares half his genetic makeup with Monica and got 100% of the dick gene. Dick must be found on the Y chromosome. He’s one of those mansplainers-:He is incredibly condescending, rude and treats you like an asshole even though you know more things than him. Of course, mansplainers do things like make you go down an uncharted bike path.
Actually, road bikes work better on tough terrain. Did you know girls have smaller brains than me?
It’s not true. But I’m afraid of alpha males, so I’ll just whisper to you.
This foreboding path has a very prominent and prop-looking tree. Strange thing is no matter how much they bike to get off the path, they still pass the same tree. This goes on for several harrowing minutes. Peter Pumpkin Eater and the A-team split up and search for an alternate way out. While Monica and Mark are away, Peter tries to give the tree a hand job and falls inside. This is what happens when a splinter enters your BRAIN:
Oh yeah, I live in this tree.
Nathaniel is the quintessential old man trapped in a hot young body. (This is called foreshadowing so remember this.) What is up with those suspenders? I thought only Larry King and people from like, 100 years ago wearthose. (Remember this too!) He is hot to trot about playing this Forever Game, which honestly is so cheap looking it’s more like a Right Now Game. Oh yeah, I went there.
Peter notices he can see Monica and Mark looking for him inside the game. He thinks this is cool. Sure, this is normal. Let the game begins. Spinny spin spin, Nathaniel lands on potpourri. This makes God pour flowers on Mark and Monica. Monica is like, identifying the flowers. FREAK. “Oh this is roseus petroneus and laverdours exum.”
Pete is up and lands on lightning/rain clouds. His dick gene makes him pick lightning. God hurls lightning on Markica. Then another spin and another. Finally, the Burden Beast is released. It’s this guy and once he’s unleashed, he goes nowheres, FORVER. A herpe of the Big Foot variation.
You may be expecting a pic of this sexy beast. Well, this is just a hobby and it was way too hard to find a screen grab on youtube during my lunch break from my grown-ass job. Use google.
This is when Nathaniel (What an old fashioned name.) decides to reveal the rub: There’s only one victor of this game. To the winner, the spoils! To the loser, staying in a tree! Wonder how long Nathaniel has been in there?
Monica distracts the beast with her sexy fanny pack. It’s not just an ironic fashion statement by hipsters, it’s burden bait.
Pete lands on the quicksand piece and Mark goes down. Does quicksand really exist? I’ve only seen it here and on Super Mario Brothers 3. Monica saves Mark using a tree branch. Smart gurl.
Nathaniel then lands on darkness, and lights out! Sucks to be chased by a beast of burden at night. They are nocturnal you know. Now you do!
Pete spins the wheel and has a choice to either switch places with his sister or friend, or go back 15 spaces. He decides to go back 15 spaces. Ohhh, what a good guy. Barf. Nathaniel is thisclose to winning but isn’t there quite yet. Pete lands on some lightning. Monica and Mark get wise to the game. They hug the tree and lightning kills it right before the beast attacks.
Swooosh! Pete is released from the tree and so is…..some old guy wearing suspenders? OMG! WTF! That is Nathaniel? He’s been there since 1929? Don’t worry, he’s going back to his old neighborhood. Because that will be healthy. “Oh, the Smiths? They died one billions years ago.”
I’ll be fine! You crazy kids get on home now.
If this is any indication of the new AYAOTD, I’m excited. However, I seent the “Tale of the Laser Maze” and it’s not looking good.
Submitted for your approval by Alex.
Oh, yes. It’s “The Tale of the Laser Maze” time. Don’t let the name fool you, or the fact that the teaser is an intense staring contest between Quinn and Vange. I know, when I read that I thought it said Vadge too. Actually, both of those things, minus the dirty name, are indicative of how weak the plot is for this yawn, I mean yarn. Let’s examine the evidence.
Kara and Ashley are a set of twins who aren’t Tia and Tamara. LAME! They are devotees of Tae-Kwon-Do and are quite competitive with one another. You can tell them apart because a. Kara wears blue, 2. Ashley wears red and whatever comes after 7. Kara is far superior to Ashley in this ancient art. Red Ranger’s (Ashley) panties are in a wad because Blue Ranger (Kara) beat her down in a round of Kwon-Do. The ultimate disrespect is that they refuse to bow after the match. The instructor over “Oriental music” talks about wisdom and his grand pappy. I sensed an ancient curse coming but it was a red herring.
After the match, a creepy man named Drake comes out of nowhere and talks about how much he likes twins and wants to watch them play an “exciting” game and look for his lost puppy. He’s a recruiter for laser tag and senses budding womanhood, I mean talent. The girls agree to meet in his van, I mean at the laser tag building.
This is his card. What is everyone else doing on the 4th?
Once they arrive to the venue, they find that they are the only ones. How…..curious. Oh well, why not ignore bad vibes and have a play? While the Rangers are shooting each other, it seems Drake is taking their vitals in another room. The graphics are hot in this episode. Observe:
Kara is of course better than Ashley, and literally zaps her into oblivion. I know I can’t put myself in her shoes, but if my sister literally disappeared after I zapped her I’d be far more concerned than Kara seemed to be. Drake tricks Kara into thinking that Ashley is fine and leaves her with a game questionnaire. It reminds me of my SATs.
This is laser tag:
This is graphics:
Me and my SATs:
Kara eventually gets curious and goes exploring. A very “robotic” Ashley suddenly appears, challenging Kara to a rematch. Stupid twin. She loses AGAIN, but this time her head pops off.
WTF? Then 4 other Ashlix appear. How many Ashlies does it take to kill a superior twin? Four! Where do you go when you get zapped three times/die? You go to a room where you are placed inside a giant photo copy machine. Why? So Drake can send your copies into a portal where they are sent to play the game with someone or something or some planet. Doesn’t make much sense, I know.
Drake really f’s it up because these copies suck at the game and the creatures on the other side send back a clone to deliver a message: Your copies suck give us our money back or come have a “meeting” on the other side. Drake refuses. Twins offer to fight in his stead. They are released from their copy machines, use their twin telepathy, and karate chop Drake through the portal. As they are leaving a Drake clone tries to laser them, but he loses because sisterhood is powerful.
Clone delivering an angry message. She’s a hot mess.
Telepathy. No wonder Drake didn’t see it coming.
Kara and Ashley apologize and talk about respect. Then they make out. J/K! Perhaps the most terrifying part of this episode is knowing, really knowing, that your sibling is better than you, unequivocally. Drake get really scientific about this. Usually, you can trick yourself into thinking you are good at some things, your sibling at others. What really messes up this dream are standardized tests, like an I.Q. test or if some alien named Drake wants to clone your ass.
Fun facts: Dem twins ain’t even related! I would say good casting, but Laura Vandervoort who played Ashley was the one who got famous playing a character named…..KARA! Her favorite color is BLUE, not red. It’s a cwazy world. All in all though, I do not approve of this episode. Tucker has lost serious cool points with me, but I must say puberty has been kind to him. Nice bone structure.
p.s.-There is no maze is the laser maze. None. They weren’t lost ONCE.
Submitted for your approval by Alex
It’s hard to imagine a time when I was uninitiated—when, like Frank wearing a bandanna blindfold, I hadn’t yet laid eyes on the members of the
Breakfast Club Midnight Society or their secret clearing. Before this life-changing premiere of AYAOTD, Nickelodeon ran some promos for the show that seemed specifically designed to make 7-year-olds pee their Coolots with a mixture of fear and excitement. They had somehow convinced me that at 8:00/7:00 Central, a ghost would emerge from my television (which, by the way, was made of wood and had a fucking dial that you turned to change the channel). What actually occurred was just as good: “The Tale of the Phantom Cab.”
Frank has to audition to become a member of the Midnight Society, and his jean jacket has the sleeves cut off for better punching. Okay, so he’s aggressive, but it’s soon obvious he has what it takes to be a member—he can talk about supernatural things in the low, menacing voice that people use when they really care about fear. Okay, on to the tale.
Danny and Buzz were brothers. Danny was the cool older brother who did cool things like listen to speed metal and get toothy blow jobs underneath the bleachers at hockey games. Buzz was probably doomed to a life of soiling his sheets with urine and/or nocturnal emissions. Like many sibling pairs who would follow on this show, the older sibling is just relentlessly and irrationally mean to his younger sibling, but for some reason they’re taking a hike through the woods together—and shit soon gets crazy when Buzz announces that the compass is “whacked.” They’re lost.
How do I describe Buzz’s acting? He talks like he’s simultaneously drunk and on Ritalin. This kid’s stage parents had obviously just released him from his harness.
It gets dark and they’re still lost. Flynn, a conspicuously pale man, emerges from an absurd cloud of fog like a member of KISS and leads them to Dr. Vink’s cottage. So, they’re at the cott—wait, did I just hear someone say, “Dr. Fink?” You fucking bitches, I will jar your hands like nobody’s business—so they’re at the cottage, and Dr. Vink says he’ll help them get home if they solve this riddle:
What is it that has no weight, can be seen by the naked eye, and if you put it in the barrel, it would make the barrel lighter?
Cut to the Midnight Society around the campfire. Actual dialogue:
Smug prepubescent male: “Wait a minute, wait a minute, no fair. You can’t put a riddle in a story that can’t be solved.”
Girl With Bangs: “Maybe it can.”
Kiki, clearly just joining the conversation: “Sounds like one of those riddles you can’t solve.” Thank you, Kiki, for aggressively restating that sentiment while wearing a backwards hat.
Back to Buzz and Danny:
They can’t solve the riddle despite Danny’s use of scientist finger, so Dr. Vink is all, “Get the fuck out or I’ll chop off your body parts.”
Buzz and Danny “beat feet back into the woods,” according to Frank, and they soon come upon a cab driving through the forest. As Buzz needlessly points out in the most annoying voice possible, “It’s a taxi cab!”
Aside: Remember when I said older siblings on this show irrationally hate their younger siblings? I take it back about Danny. For all of Danny’s threats to “smack” and “pound” his little brother, he barely ever touches Buzz, and that’s really too bad. Buzz needs to be pounded. He needs to be towel-whipped in the locker room. He needs to have his trumpet thrown into a canal after band practice.
Okay, so they get in the cab, and who should be in the driver’s seat but Flynn? Turns out Flynn couldn’t figure out how to invisibly make a barrel lighter, either, and Dr. Vink chopped off his hand (although it looks more like Dr. Vink sentenced him to an eternity of not being able to get his fist out of his sleeve). No more ten-and-two driving for Flynn. Somehow, in addition to the hand-chopping, Flynn for some reason got into an accident that same fateful night with his cab and, in his words:
Scary, right? I mean, his head is on backwards. (Now he has a backwards hat like Kiki.) Buzz and Danny shit their pants and have a finally-facing-my-fate scream that recalls this one from “Troll 2.” Compare:
As if their day couldn’t get any worse, it turns out they have to solve that goddamned barrel riddle and break the spell before Flynn repeats his “doozy” of a crash and makes them all explode. Dios mio.
Buzz struggles to figure out the answer as the cab careens through the woods like only a car on a Canadian television show with no special effects budget can: in fast forward. After a while, Buzz realizes, “Waait a second, there’s a trick here.” So basically he finally understands that he’s answering a riddle and not a simple question.
His finger gets another boner, but this time Buzz actually puts out. He knows the answer! He figured it out! He’s broken the curse! He’s…REPEATING THE ENTIRE RIDDLE OVER AGAIN LIKE THIS IS A GODDAMNED SPELLING BEE AS THEY BARREL TOWARD DEATH.
Ladies and gentlemen and bushes ghosts and severed body parts, it’s a hole—a hole in the barrel. A hole. A hole.
And boom, the cab disappears. Flynn goes to cabbie heaven, and hopefully the spirit of his pickled hand comes with him. Danny and Buzz are spat out onto the ground. The brothers are having a celebratory no-homo moment when a Jeep pulls up. It’s a park ranger who’s been searching for them. They’re saved.
Then they both grab the Jeep’s roll bar and swing into the back like it’s something they do on the daily. Everyone in the ’90s was just hopping into Jeeps all the time.
The story ends sadly, as Buzz never got the beating that a nerd of his caliber deserved. But they both survived. Whatever. Frank got a unanimous vote. Good job, Frank.
Submitted for your approval by Sarah
Stig, who was previously dissed and not asked to join the Society, gets a second chance to impress the members with a new tale. He rocks the socks off the stuffy society because his episode stars two celebrities! Stiggy knows he has it in the bag with, “The Tale of Station 109.1.”
Chris played one too many games of hide and seek in a graveyard and is now a morbid “Harold and Maude” type. He’s goth but even as he ponders the many ways to die during a perfectly good Canadian dinner, he is not all that convincing. Instead of playing sports he’s suffocates crickets in large glass jars. I’m pretty sure he’s less goth and more sociopathic, but AYAOTD only has so many minutes to delve into any possible psychosis.
Oh, Chris has a cooler older brother named Jamie played by some guy named, RYAN GOSLING. But I’m not here to talk about one of the thirteen celebrities you can spot in AYAOTD. I’m here to celebrate some of the most complex and heartbreaking yarns of our time. Yes, so Jamie comes up with a master plan to really get Chris to snap out of it: He locks him in a hearse! I was impressed with Ryan, I mean Jamie’s, hot wiring skills. Also, even prepubescent Ry…Jamie is fine.
Chris thinks being in a hearse is awesome until he realizes he’s trapped. Not one to waste time he catches the radio station, 109.1. It’s off the dial if you know what I mean. It’s all about coming home and finding the way home blah blah home. Jamie runs away from the hearse after locking his brother inside and some super old dude out of nowhere is all, “Can you help me home?” Wtf, Jamie does not help him home. My first assumption was he has Alzheimer’s and this guy needs some assistance. This makes me think Canadians are not that nice.
Anyway, Chris uses the Internet to find the address to this mysterious radio station. The true star in this episode, other than Ryan, is the internet. It’s so simple it seems sinister. My sister and I used to fight hours over using something that could really only pull up addresses and let you talk to strangers in AOL chat rooms. You know we were all doing it. Parents were so innocent.
O.k., Chris finds this radio station and its run by DJ Roy aka Gilbert Gottfried, way before Aflac, tsunami jokes and getting fired from Aflac. Turns out the radio station is the afterlife navigator for people too busy to die properly. Once you get there they slap a slap bracelet on you and you wait your turn to enter who the hell knows where. Ha, it could be hell if you were a bad gosling (Bam!).
Side note: Slap bracelets were all the rage in my hometown, Ocala, FL. However, they were banned because inevitably the protective fabric wore away, leaving exposed metal. The metal combined with the slapping action and placement on the wrist was causing serious injuries. Kids from the 90’s were way tougher than the babies of today.
DJ Roy is super annoyed by Chris, who at this point I’m annoyed with as well, for taking screen time away from Ryan. Roy doesn’t do his job properly but does manage to knock the DMV a few times, and incorrectly assumes Chris is the dead guy who needed help home. Some hijnks ensue: Chris tries to escape, DJ Roy gets perturbed, “Ghost” like ghouls take some people away and finally Ryan finds Chris because Chris didn’t clear his browsing history. Again, so innocent! The old guy shows up too because “home” is actually the afterlife. This whole thing could have been avoided if Chris was a better Canadian.
Too late. DJ Roy is a dick and decides to throw Chris to the wolves by tossing him through some door to the afterlife. All is not lost! The door gets indigestion and spats Chris right back out. DJ Roy laments that he’s in trouble with his boss. It’s not comforting that even after you are dead you still worry about your pension and reprimands from the boss.
Chris is super happy he’s not dead and that guy who wanted help home is super happy he goes to heaven. Chris drops the black attire, instead choosing a life full of baseball with Ryan. I personally felt he looked better in black, but that’s just my taste. Do you think the actor who played Chris hits up Ryan for, um, anything and everything? I bet he’s telling the Tale of Station 109.1 right now to some chick in a bar. I would.
AYAOTD most definitely warns girls and boys to be good because the afterlife is a waitin’ for YOU. I wish they would have remained a bit more secular. I blame Real Proloux or whatever that French guy’s name is in the credits. Oh, and Stig makes it into the Society. Too bad his season ends about two episodes later. Way harsh Tai, way harsh.
This post is submitted for your approval by Alex. Special thanks to Sarah for teaching me about the internet and screenshots. This has truly been a productive and blessed day.
“Have you ever wondered how dolls are made?,” asks stupid character with bangs who I’ve never liked. No, dummy (See what I did there?), because I know that dolls are made by children in China with lead paint. You don’t know about the lead yet because it’s still the ’90s, but I have hindsight and you don’t.
Anywhore, besides playing with stupid dolls and asking even stupider questions, girl with bangs tells an awesome story. In Canada your grandparents (I don’t believe they were young enough to be her aunt and uncle) live on bucolic farms with lakes, swings and trees with beautiful red leaves. They don’t live in suburbs with nothing to do. But you are young and a brat so you still complain about having to stay on a farm. Also, even though the house is two stories you sleep on a tiny couch right next to where adults have their most important conversations.
Her BFF Susan Henderson lives next door and is the ONLY reason Melissa can stand a vacay at this resort-style farmhouse. (When she is an adult and learns it costs $500 a night to stay at a place like this, she’ll probably still be a brat and think it’s still lame.) However, Granny, after some lame excuses about the Hendersons up and moving, spills the beans that Susan went freaking missing! She didn’t say this, but I get the sense Susan is a fast gal who was looking for some excitement in the big Canadian city, and is now homeless after Canada chewed her up and urped her out. Again, this was a feeling I got. Feelings are important.
Melissa is a go-getter and clearly a future lesbian. This is clear because instead of avoiding the Henderson house she goes exploring. Naugty, naughty. She finds a really “cool” dollhouse in the attic. Oh, and there is a random door that leads outside the attic and onto the Canadian ground, like hundreds of feet down.
Side note: Doors that make no sense scare me. Like that one eccentric who built corridors and doors to nowhere because she was paranoid. Sure, I think she was nuts, but maybe she knew some shit that I don’t.
She hears Susan a calling because Susan is trapped in the dollhouse and is slowly, wait for it….TURNING INTO A DOLL! Melissa is staring at the dollhouse in some sort of “I want dolly,” trance before Granny busts up the good times. Grandpa decides boarding up the Henderson’s door is the only way to keep Melissa out.
Ha, that won’t stop Melissa! You don’t want her to go back into the house where the missing neighbor girl went missing, aunt/granny Sally? Too bad! Melissa is going to break that window with a hammer. Badass. Even more badass? Melissa jumps out the attic door, which is actually a portal into the dollhouse, where her porcelain friend is trapped. She uses string to help lead her back to the attic door because clearly this is where Susan f’ed up.
Oh, and she finds Susan sitting at a table. This is what she looks like:
Shortly after checking out the dollhouse Melissa realizes her ball of string leading her to an escape hatch disappeared. Not one to be discouraged, she uses her brain and remembers the layout of the attic which is a mirror image of the dollhouse. At 26 years old I panicked and thought she was doomed. This is why Melissa escapes and Susan Henderson’s hand pops out of its socket.
There are people cool under pressure like Melissa, and there are people like me and Susan who give up as soon as the string disappears. Melissa, after realizing hand-less Susan won’t be much help, knocks over a bookcase, revealing the attic door that leads nowhere. Or does it?!? It appears that if they jump out they’ll splat onto the real ground, but what have they got to lose? Luckily, Melissa grabs Susan’s hand and puts it into Susan’s artrocious nightgown.
After some soul searching, Susan and Melissa jump out that door and into the real attic! Whew. I’d like to think I learned something from Melissa today. Something about string, not giving up, friends and breaking and entering. Also, I’m really glad she didn’t go missing because her grandparents would have been in so much trouble.
Sidenote: Did Susan always wear this ugly nightgown? Did the dollhouse put her in it? In this pic she almost seems proud/smug of the fugly. “Lalala, my hand is attached again, and to celebrate I’m going to swirl around in my hideous dress!”
Grandpa burns the dollhouse which means I guess he believes juvenile delinquent Melissa’s story? I don’t think burning the dollhouse really fixed the problem, just created another portal somewhere else in Canada. Oh, and am I to believe dolls are really people turned into porcelain? That process is so ineffecient it’s not even funny. And who the f is in charge? Where did the dollhouse come from? They kinda left that storyline hanging. Also, kudos to the set-makers! They really went all out with the oversized fruit bowl and teddy bears.
p.s.-Susan Henderson is a really hot adult.
This post is submitted for your approval by Alex.
Midnight Soceity heartthrob David has real depth. Life is kind of sucky because his bike got stolen, which apparently is the worse thing that can happen in Canada. Gary likens it to, “Ripping off a part of somebody.” Drama queen. David takes that lemon and makes….even more sour lemonade! This is a sad, sad tale. Also, someone needs to educate David on the finer points of good grooming. Good gawd, his unibrow is distracting. No wonder Kristen doesn’t want him.
This episode always manages to choke me up. It’s sad from the beginning and continues to be sad up until the end. Mike and Ricky-bo-Bicky are wholesome best friends who spend their time riding bikes and fishing in lakes. After a particularly exhausting ride, they shoot the shit over a bridge. Ricky tries to jauntily lean back, but the wooden “barrier’ (if you can call it that) breaks, ruining his attempt at nonchalance body posture. Ricky holds on to Mike, but Mike hasn’t hit puberty yet and doesn’t have the upper-body strength to hoist him back into the land of the living. Ricky freaking drowns!
Years later Mike is still haunted by his inability to save Ricky from his watery damn-created doom. I wonder how many years Mike had nightmares and if he managed to have any fun since Ricky bit the dust. But he starts to actually see Ricky’s ghost, in the morning, in the evening and at supper time. Bagel bites, anyone?
Mike has a brother who looks like Ricky Martin but he’s more of an ancillary character, until later.
Mike has a colossal break-down at school as well. This is when he’s sent to the school nurse where he receives rather shoddy advice. Bed.Rest.
What is up with Canadian psychology? Mike just needs bed rest huh parents, nurse and family doctor? Is this the kind of socialist health care I’ve been hearing about? Side note: I wish we had a chance to see more of the school nurse. She seemed pretty cool, besides her antiquated diagnosis.
I highly doubt seeing this wouldn’t freak everyone out:
Oh, this whole time Mike’s younger brother bugs him to go fishing. But Mike has other stuff going on so while he’s sleeping younger brother sneaks off to…THE SAME SPOT where Ricky died. Younger brother meets friends, one of whom gets pissed off and throws a fishing lure into a pile of rocks. Younger brother retrieves lure, but boot becomes stuck in said innocuous looking pile of rocks.
Ricky knows this is happening and wakes up Mike. Mike is pissy at first but really it’s just because he feels guilty. THAT is psychology. I should know because it was my major. Ricky finally reveals why he’s back like a bad habit: He’s there to warn Mike about his bro. They again shoot the breeze before Mike decides he should get going to save younger brother.
So yeah, Mike saves his Menudo-looking brother from the water that some maintenance guy turns on at exactly the same time everyday. (There is something about turning on water that floods the place where Ricky died that I still don’t understand. I do know, however, rushing water kills!) I would hope that maintenance guy would check the same spot he killed the last kid at to make sure no one was there, stuck in a not so menacing looking pile of rocks, but maybe he was late for din-din.
The bike that Mike used, minutes before, to rush to his brother’s side now looks like this:
I assume they are walking home.
But this episode still is so very sad. I can take no joy in the fact that Ricky’s bones were finally located. He’s still dead and Mike will always feel that loss. If they had had the chance to go to high school they would have inevitably been hanging with different crowds and slowly grown apart, like the rest of us. The fact that he lost his best friend at an age where your best friend is your life is tragic.
Fun fact! Mike is played by Matthew Edison. Yes, that Edison! If Matthew the actor were in real life Mike he would have figured out a way to save Ricky by electrocuting a horse or something.
Submitted for your approval by Alex.
Andy Karr moves to a new neighbourhood because his eccentric uncle bit the dust and bequeathed a nice house to his family. Well, his family minus deadbeat dad. No one knows much about uncle, except that he got inexplicably rich and died in the cellar. Think something is going on in the cellar folks?
Andy Karr moves to a new neighbourhood because his eccentric uncle bit the dust and bequeathed a nice house to his family. Well, his family minus deadbeat dad. No one knows much about uncle, except that he got inexplicably rich and died in the cellar. Think something is going on in the cellar folks?
Andy seems to be doing a o.k. until a hilarious looking bully knocks him off his bike during his paper route and tells his what is what. Despite this aggressive behavior, my sympathy lies with the bully in this episode. At first I do feel a bit badly for Andy: moving to a new neighborhood, no dad in sight, having a paper route and a bitchy little sister. But take a look at this menacing “bully”:
Yes, yes the bully knocks him off his bike, makes threats and is generally a malcontent. But the bully clearly had an abusive dad who wears Beetlejuice pants and was obsessed with having a clean porch. Bully….Actually, let’s humanize him. I christen him Sir William.
While Sir William is making Andy’s life hell, something strange in the root cellar is taking place. It seems Andy’s single mom loves making Andy do chores, alone, in the cellar. This includes laundry and general cellar cleaning. Andy likes to keep himself occupied and plays music. When music starts playing, the cellar door starts rattling. At first it’s only some red eyes that play peek-a-boo in the cellar. It progresses into “dark” things like skeletons, carnivals and the uncanny valley. Of course, music must be playing in order for the cellar creatures to come out. Nice graphics, no?
Andy, after several weird and trance-like experiences, finally connects the music to the cellar door. He wants to tell mum. He hops on his bike but Sir William has other plans. He promptly throws Andy’s bike under a semi. Andy, flush with his new cellar knowledge, concocts a REVENGE plan.
He throws a brick or something at Sir William, thus attracting his attention. He then runs to the cellar and locks Sir William inside. He then proceeds to blast the basement with music, leaving Sir William to the cellar. It may not have been his initial intention, but Sir William gets ate up!
Not to blame the victim, but wrapping a brick or piece of wood in newspaper and hurling it at the bully was a dick move. Also, why after seeing a creepy carnival owner turn into a skeleton through the portal in the basement door did he think this was appropriate punishment for the bully? I think Andy has a skewed since of justice and is probably really successful right now. Also, he looks a bit strung out:
The cellar creature is pleased with Andy and spits out a new bike. He also says if Andy keeps delivering he will keep providing prizes. It seems ol’ uncle had the same pact, hence the cash monies. Right about then Andy’s annoying sister yells down the cellar to him. Andy gives the camera an inscrutable smile.
So, his prize for feeding the creature a real human being is a new bike? Canadians must think that bikes are really special. In America the creature would have shat out a new car. Andy is a soulless jerk who is afraid of the dark just like his weirdo uncle that all the neighbors loathed. How many times can he trick people into his basement? He has no charisma and I wouldn’t follow him into a restaurant, let alone his creepy basement. I hope he missed a feeding and the creature ate him instead.
The most amazing villain ever, besides Andy, is in this episode. We will call her “Creepy Life-size Doll.” She has a brief appearance but my God is she terrifying. I at first thought Creepy Life-size Doll was paper mache, but she has an acting credit on imdb? Fofi Tsatas is the “actress’s” name and she is not to be trusted. DO NOT TAKE HER HAND:
This episode is a classic example of AYAOTD not following the usual formula: The kid is a jerk, you feel bad the antagonist and there is no morality tale. The kid is an asshole but will most likely continue on his path of shiny new bicycles for blood. Sometimes people are rewarded for their evil behavior, just like life kiddos!
Submitted for your approval by Alex and Fofi.
Why AYAOTD 19 years later? I’m in my mid-to-late twenties, a college graduate and now work a fulltime job. I feel nostalgic for the 90’s, when I was a carefree and jobless kid. A big part of the 90’s was staying up late and watching SNICK with my big sister. There was nothing more exciting than the anticipation of the latest episode of AYAOTD.
While in college I was waiting in line for a burrito with my best friend and co-blogger, Sarah who said, “I’m cold.” I turned around, stared deeply into her eyes and repeated “I’m cold,” in my most serious voice. We went on like this for a few minutes and finally connected it to AYAOTD. I then found bootleg AYAOTD DVDs on eBay and the rest is history. Nineteen years later the show still holds up!
Favorite member of the Midnight Society? Gary was really the glue that held the group together. Sure, he was a bit nerdy, but who’s blogging about Gary two decades later?
Favorite episode? If I could only watch one episode again it would be, “The Tale of Watcher’s Woods.” I’m a sucker for unlikely friendships, summer camp and scary old women.
Scariest character of all time? The doll in the basement from, “The Tale of the Dark Music.” Her appearance is brief, but I actually screamed during the episode.
Secret AYAOTD crush? Sam.
What episode ending would you change? I don’t think the kids with the Super Specs deserved their fate. They seemed like a nice couple of youngsters looking for a good time and ended up trapped in a crystal ball. They are probably still there.
Favorite Canadian word? I knew something was up every time they said, “Sorry.”
Dr. Vink or Sardo? Sardo! He was such a loveable cheapskate and genuinely seemed surprised when his “fake” goods turned out to do exactly what he advertised. Also, my last name is unpronounceable too.
Best celebrity guest? Tia and Tamera. If you don’t know their last name this may not be the blog for you.
AYAOTD-created phobia? Crystal balls, 3D glasses, pinball machines, dollhouses, basements, hound dogs, clowns, prom, aliens, computer viruses, high school pools, high school in general, mirrors that make you old, people who are alive but are really dead and trick you, shiny red bicycles, prank calling, soup, lockets, scarecrows, curses, growing old, being young, death, being alive forever in a really stupid and unlikely place.
Why AYAOTD 19 years later? One of my most sincere wishes in life is to be part of a Midnight Society. I was already a somber, creepy kid at age 7. I experimented with different tactics—candles, headless baby dolls, sympathy for her plight—to get Bloody Mary to emerge from my mirror. I played in the woods surrounding my house and pretended to be the ghost of a girl who had gotten lost there and starved to death. During a thunderstorm, I left my parents a letter telling them I had been abducted by a vampire, then hid in the closet for what seemed like forever (they never looked for me). I was always very skeptical about the existence of those kinds of things, but that didn’t stop me from shitting my pants about them when the lights were out.
When AYAOTD debuted on Nickelodeon, I was entranced—especially by the fact that, somewhere, in some fictional Canadian world, there were people who liked being scared as much as I did, and who were united by the idea of supernatural things seeping into everyday life. I tried starting my own Midnight Society, but I mostly just got in trouble for starting fires in the woods. I’d still like to form a Society even today, at age 25. If anyone wants to tell some scary stories, break out a Ouija board or have a seance, I’m down.
Favorite member of the Midnight Society? Kristen, fashion visionary.
Favorite episodes? ”The Tale of the Prom Queen,” “The Tale of the Bookish Babysitter,” ”The Tale of the Shiny Red Bicycle”
Scariest character of all time? Ricky’s water bubbles during the “Prom Queen” seance under the bridge.
Secret AYAOTD crush? Gary.
What episode ending would you change? ”The Tale of the Vacant Lot.” That girl didn’t need to make a deal with the devil to wear her hair down and stop dressing like she got her clothes from a Seattle dumpster.
Favorite Canadian word? There is a subtle accent to hard e sounds, like they’re being over-pronouced, so I love when Frank says the phrase “beat feet” in “The Tale of the Phantom Cab.” That’s backwards-hat Canadiana for “run.” Also, not being aware of the Canadian accent at the time, I just thought that was how cool, flannel-wearing older kids talked.
Dr. Vink or Sardo? Vink. I prefer creep over quirk.
Best celebrity guest? Melissa Joan Hart will always have a place in my heart for her appearance in “The Tale of the Frozen Ghost.” However, I’m going to have to go with Ryan Gosling.
AYAOTD-created phobia? Bridges, specifically driving off of one to a watery grave. Watery graves in general.