Wednesday, November 12, 2008

Dark Shadows

#15 in an occasional series of repressed 70's memories that turn out to be true.

These kids today and their vampire worship. If only they had had the chance to celebrate the phenomenon of Barnabas Collins.

Were the 70s the true height of soap opera madness? On 3 -- count 'em 3 -- channels, we managed to pack in 20 DAILY soaps. Only one of them featured vampires.
10 min clip warning

This is one of the cases where the facts and my memory were at odds with each other. According to (and they must be correct, right, or they wouldn't have scored the domain name), Dark Shadows aired on ABC at 3pm. But we were a Guiding Light family, so how could I have been watching Dark Shadows? It took some digging to confirm that in 70-71, The Guiding Light was on at 2:30, so that explains that. And we can get back to Baaaaarnabaaassssss. Whispering this was guaranteed a pillow thrown across the room by Greatest of All Sisters.

You can clearly see from the clip above that the only thing scary about Dark Shadows was the Theremen. Well this is a little scary, I suppose.

Now, I don't read the modern vampire romance, but I am going to comment on them anyway, and the rest of you can chime in. (chime....midnight! baaarrnabaaassss...)

Apparently, part of the hook of the modern vampire is that he lives in the open, and doesn't have to attack people, either because he has found a synthetic substitute, or because you he really likes, so he would never subject you to... it. What is IT a metaphor for, anyway? If you are a 15 year old girl, I suppose you read IT as a metaphor for sex, that burbling boy-craving that drives him mad at night, but not when he's with you. It is a sort of Mormon sensibility, when you think about it.

After a little life experience, though, it feels more like his repressed blood-lust stands for his mental illness, or his anger, perhaps his addiction that just sits under the surface. Do emo-boys grow up to be House?

ooops - sorry. wrong Hugh Laurie pic. I meant this one. Now that's a vampire he shouldn't have let out.

I was only 6 when Dark Shadows went off the air, but I could keep up by Viewmaster (see series 12 and photo above).

Dark Shadows did attempt a comeback in the 90s, and actually won an Emmy. Well, it won it for hairstyling, but I think my point is that the brooding outsider will still draw a crowd, and a fleet of suitors who think they can change him. An old friend once said he understood why he was drawn to Beauty and the Beast, but he didn't like the fact that he was.

no, not that one.

that one.


  1. My mom used to follow dark shadows. It was one of her "stories". When I was little I had such bad nightmares about Barnabass that I had to leave the room when it was on.

  2. I had a mad crush on Quentin Collins. I can still hum "Quentin's Theme" after all this time.



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