Friday, October 30, 2009

Halloween is tomorrow and between being sick and getting ready to move and being out of town I haven't had a lot of time to do Halloween Blogs, so today and tomorrow I'll be posting a plethora of blogs from yesteryear starting with this one on Are You Afraid of the Dark? one of my favorite Nickelodeon series from my childhood, originally posted on April 10, 2008.

If you're roughly my age there's a good chance you spent the saturday nights of your middle school years sitting in front of the TV watching SNICK AKA Saturday Night Nickelodeon. SNICK was a 2 hour block of programing which ran from 8pm/7pm central to 10pm/9pm central. Over the years the shows featured on SNICK changed but for my tour of duty the last show of the night was always, my personal favorite, Are You Afraid of the Dark?

AYAOTD? was an anthology series that featured "The Midnight Society," a secret society who met at their secret location deep in the woods to take turns telling Ghost Stories. Each episode would open with The Midnight Society (Left) arriving at the site, usually with something funny happening that would lead into that weeks member beginning to tell their story by throwing some "birch bark powder" into the fire, producing heightened flames while saying "Submitted for the approval of the Midnight Society, I call this story "The Tale of..."

Each weeks the stories varied between subject matter. One week might be about a murderous ghost clown, the next might be about a group of kids playing hide and seek in the cemetery where there may or may not be a killer lurking, or it might be an adaptation of a fairy tale or urban legend. Whatever the tale it always involved a group of teens and something supernatural. Most of the time the story was just scary enough to make you look behind you during it, but not so scary as to give you nightmares. (Although "The Tale of Laughing in the Dark" featuring a clown, still frightens me today) And usually the tale ended with a happy ending. After the tale was told someone would dump a red bucket of water on the fire and the group would all leave.

Most episodes were stand alone, although there were a couple of multi-episode stories. Also there were a couple of recurring characters Sardo (No Mister, accent on the "Do!") owner of Sardo's Magic Mansion, who often appeared in Gary's tales and Mr. Vink ("Vink. With a Va-Va-Va") a mad scientist/magician type who would appear in Frank's stories. Both characters appeared in two-parter "The Tale of Cutter's Treasure" told by both Frank and Gary.

The show, based in Canada, was a revolving door of young Canadian actors, many of whom were either on other Nickelodeon series or have since gone on to have decent careers. Among those that appeared on the series over it's Seven Seasons were: Mia Kirshner (The L Word), Melissa Joan Hart (Sabrina), Eddie Kaye Thomas ('Til Death), Tatyana Ali (The Fresh Prince), Neve Campbell (Right, The Scream series), Will Friedle (Boy Meets World), Jewel Staite (Firefly), Ryan Gosling (The Notebook), Tia & Tamera Mowry (Sisters, Sister), Emmanuelle Chriqui (The upcoming Don't Mess with the Zohan), Elisha Cuthbert (24), Hayden Christensen (Jumper), and more I'm sure I've missed. I think it was a job you had to have in order to be a young Canadian actor.

The first Six Seasons are out on Region 1 with season 7 hitting on April 29. Although if you look on you can't find any of them new and will pay a hefty price for them used. (My I got my Complete Series on eBay a few years ago) But if you've never seen the show or can't afford to purchse the DVDs, there's good news. Apparently the show will be airing on The N starting on May 14th.

As for me I'm going to turn the lights down low, curl up in the chair in the corner (so nothing can sneak up from behind) and watch a few old episodes.


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