1284 The Giver.

I’ve been watching Are You Afraid Of The Dark and Goosebumps TV shows while I’m doing stuff, or while the Teen makes me stay in the same room with her while she does something else. I wasn’t a fan of Goosebumps as a kid, but I did watch a couple episodes of AYAOTD. I wasn’t really a fan, but I appreciated the attempt at good storytelling. As the seasons progressed the framework of the Midnight Society began to have continuity, which made it easier for me to become emotionally invested in the narrative outside of the spooky stories. I’m always looking for well told legends. Particularly ghost stories, but I like paranormal stuff of all kinds. Unfortunately the modern style of presenting theses tales does not agree with me. I can tolerate some A&E/HistoryChannel/Discovery “documentaries”, but on the whole I think they lack the charm of the same kind of show from the 70s – 90s. As I’ve said before, I really liked In Search Of and Unsolved Mysteries. Of course I didn’t care for the actual brutal crime episodes of UM. Those just made me sad. Anyway, if you guys know of anything like that I would certainly appreciate links, or just titles. The site will usually kick active links to moderation, but I’ll review and okay anything. So don’t worry if your links don’t appear right away.

I like the kid show versions of scary stories because they try to balance horror and hope every few episodes. They don’t all end with everyone getting fucked over. I find a lot of that at a time depressing rather than cathartic. I’m very much the same way about horror movies. Except I’m almost instantly sick of them because they’re too… bleak? Masturbatory? Something along those lines. On the other hand, really well done suspense I can handle. There are a few modern horror films I regard as good examples of the genre, but I can never think of them unless they are mentioned. Anyway, I’m more apt to actually get creped out by the kids shows because they can’t rely on gore or violence to tell a scary story. They have to actually write one.

Right now the only paranormal podcast I still like is Anything Ghost. It’s just personal experiences presented with almost no commentary. Legends and fiction are sometimes allowed, but Lex tends to warn you which is which… although generally you can tell without help.

I only bring this up because I’m hurting for shows to watch while the Teen falls asleep. When she’s having a hard time going to sleep she usually asks me to come watch TV until she falls asleep. As you can imagine, you burn through a lot of content that way. All of the Family Guy shows for example; across the whole FG universe. Our tastes don’t always coincide as well. I can stand Buffy The Vampire Slayer to a point, but ultimately the writer was really too obsessed with seeming clever for me to stick with it for very long. His recent stuff I don’t have a problem with, so he must have grown out of that. The whole range of vampire romance is kind of a bore to me. I’ve seen a lot of it though… Degrassi I can stomach and even know a few charactrs and whatnot, but I’m not committed to the show. I enjoy the episodes we watch, so that’s good.

A lot of the time when these post just kind of stop it’s because I’ve been called away for sleep helper duty, or assistant zombie destroyer.

39 Comments

That Thomas is too smooth with words. He could sell shit to an asshole.

I’d accuse you of getting the comments off to a crappy start, butt your number one comment was two nicely done … however, I almost feel like there might be some subtext to your comment that flushed right by me … maybe I’m too pooped to figure it out?

There’s a thing called the Haunting Hour on Netflix that is great. Just great. :) You should watch it. It’s like Goosebumps graduated and went to community college. Still not in the real world, but a damn sight closer to it than the others. Though there was that wolf episode at that camp …. that’s just…. fucking…. terrible… and awesome… So terrible. :) DO watch that Goosebumps episode if for not other reason than the last minute reveal. But, anyway, yeah. The Haunting Hour. Watch that.

Thomas is indeed smooth. He’s also speaking in truth, probably intentionally. Reggie has greatness within him, just as much as just about anyone does. It’s all in recognizing, and adjusting, the flaws that hold one back. In fact, one major obstacle for Reggie is in what he says, the flaw he sees in everyone around him (being dense) is a reflection of himself. In my experience, it’s not an uncommon flaw. Extra kudos to Thomas for getting a point point across to Reggie (hey, you need to change) in a way that isn’t triggering a defensive response.

Reggie’s too smart for this. He’s running a long con on Thomas to learn everything he knows and then use it for his own righteous ambitions.

Have you considered Twilight Zone or Night Gallery? They are the OG versions of AYAOTD. Plus they are a great method for getting kids to think about complex themes. Balance that out with a bit of X Files and Star Trek TNG and you may be golden. I enjoyed those as a kid when they were on reruns and rewatching them now they still hold up.

I teach college freshmen and I screened an ep of TNG because it dealt with some of the themes we were covering. They actually loved it and I converted some nerds in the process. I’m pretty biased though. I have a bunch of high schoolers taking a college course this semester and it’s nice when we have stuff in common as a platform because those are great jumping off points for focusing complex theories. Sorry if it comes of like I’m trying to brain wash the teen but those shows are great regardless.

The Twilight Zone is one of my favorite things. Even on the episodes that weren’t scary, which, for me, was most of them, still had some top notch storytelling. “Time enough at last” and “Nightmare at 20,000 feet” are almost embarrassingly well known, so I’d recommend episodes like “Nothing in the dark” and “A Passage for trumpet” for some excellent stories. “A game of pool,” while not too suspenseful or scary, really stuck out to me with it’s ending.

I was about to suggest these exact shows. You’re right, they are an absolute MUST for anyone interested in this sort of program. I would recommend Night Gallery’s very first episode “The Cemetery” as a starting point.
Here it is on Youtube, if anyone’s interested in giving it a test watch: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=q65vUTBJWlQ

Your comment about Paranormal podcasts got me thinking that I should reccomend the Welcome to Nightvale podcast, if you haven’t heard it already. It’s a radio broadcast from a little desert town where all the conspiracy theories are true – it’s like A Prairie Home Companion by way of HP Lovecraft. Probably not what you mean by paranormal podcasts, but not too far off from Goosebumps or AYAOTD, either.

Not exactly podcasts, but classic radio shows are available all over the place for people to stream, and there were a fair share of horror and suspense themed shows.

http://www.themonsterclub.com/radiolibrary.htm has hundreds of episodes available in mp3 format free of charge. That oughta keep you busy for a while, even if it’s not tv.

OOOOH! neeks! Thank-you, Thank-you! Thank-you!
I used to listen to some of these on satellite radio and miss them terribly, now I can get my fix again!

That last panel…

Two words I never thought Reggie was capable of formulating with coherency…

[MIND STATUS: BLOWN]
@.@

A lot of people when they think of horror the only thing that comes to mind is the ‘slasher’ subset of the genre, which most of the time is not very cleverly written. Slashers focus on the grotesquery of the kills and the shock value it provides, with little to no character development. There are however other subsets to the genre that might suit your tastes better. If you want thrillers that challenge your mind and don’t rely on splatter techniques, you can’t go wrong with Hitchcock. My personnel favorites are Rear Window, Vertigo, and North by Northwest. Japanese horror movies tend to focus on atmosphere and ambiguity rather than gore and jump scares, for these I liked Four Roads to Hell, Reincarnation, Suicide Club, Nightmare Detective, and of course the source material for American remakes Ju-On and Ringu.

If you’re looking for something more like tv shows instead of anything explicitly horror, on Netflix they used to have a 2 season British comedy show ‘Spaced’ starring Simon Pegg and Nick Frost of Shawn of the Dead fame. I can also recommend ‘Black Books’ if they are still on the steam service.

if you enjoy not just scary stuff but gothic legends with a twist might I recommend “Sleepy Hollow” the first season just aired last year and I was pretty pleased with what I saw of it, due to time I’ve only watched 10 episodes out of 13 but I’ve been pretty happy with what I’ve seen. It pulls from a lot of american folk tales, legends and colonial history that make it all seem pretty valid, the acting is good and the pilot has clancy motha fukkin brown. DUDE THE KURGAN BE IN YO PILOT BRO!

Also on a previously discussed but completely unrelated note, you have on occasion asked for ideas of prizes for funders and incentives and such. I know you sometimes dig on your own art, but obviously some like it since you’re getting a paycheck, thus, have you though of making commisions as an incentive or thank you gift or whatever you wanna call it? hit a certain amount or some such thing and you will draw something for them, either a character they want, or one of your characters doing something specific or cosplaying as someone? I mean I’m sure someone out there would wanna see brooksie dressed up as a sailor scout or nina as Nami or your version of a super hero hell, I’m sure someone would want a picture of carol passed out in bed snoozing away in a tank top and panties. Just a thought. Pay it no heed if it isn’t up your alley

Ah, the moment when the young grasshopper tries to snatch the pebble from the master’s hand. If only this led to Reggie getting a tattoo and learning a martial art.

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(Trying again — my tablet ate my previous comment)

Thomas is, as always, the master of manipulation. He would have been scary as a propagandist.

For interesting television for The Teen, if she likes the semi-juvenile stuff like AYAOTD (or Community, for that matter), you might try to find You Can’t Do That on Television (AKA Whatever Turns You On) or Second City (less cerebral than SNL, it was a training ground for many SNL greats). I think you can even still find episodes of Turkey Television online, but it’s just goofy. Kind of like Short Attention Span Theater for the under-thirties.

For the supernatural stuff, one I’ve grown fond of is The Dead Files, which purports to be real-life cases investigated by Amy, a medium, and Steve, a retired NYC Police Detective. It can get a little creepy, but it doesn’t go for the gore as some of these shows do. For the bizarre stuff, X Files and Fringe are good mixes of (weird) SCIENCE! and just, plain, in-your-face weird.

And that catch phrase reminded me of an olde long forgotten series from my juveneil days – Weird Science – It is what I now would call a mash-up of hokey story telling, but in a fun way, with elements of science fiction and science-fantasy. The last is what I like to call the ST:TNG science. Not real science but modified into weird yet believable outcomes.

There are still a few weird science shows on — oddly enough on The Science Channel (SCI). Some of the oddball stuff they have includes The Unexplained Files, World’s Strangest and my personal favorite, Dark Matters: Twisted but True, hosted by John Noble of Fringe fame.

OH MAN, where are you watching Are You Afraid of the Dark? My wife and I have been itching to see that again, but it seems so hard to get ahold of.

As for other shows: We watch “A Haunting”, but I’m not sure if that’s up your alley. It’s on in the background, most of the time, when we’re doing other things. We watch it to make fun of it, too. They’ve got a solid pattern of “God will help” and then “oops, no he won’t, it just pissed off the ghosts” and then “Okay now God will REALLY help” and some sort of praying thing does it, or they leave. You gotta watch a lot of episodes to run into the really interesting ones. They play them off as “true”, but you know how that goes. Still makes for an interesting watch, especially the out-of-the-ordinary ones.

I’m not sure how you’d watch it nowadays, but one of my old favorites was “Monsters.” It was in the same vein as Twilight Zone, but often times it was so ridiculous that it was funny.

AYAOTD is available on Amazon video. If you have a prime account it’s free. Otherwise it’s a couple of bucks an episode, I think. I use prime a lot for the free shipping so it’s well worth the expense of the account, and you get a fair bit of free video. Also the Teen uses it a lot. Invader Zim is also available, which is the only way I’m aware of.

Thanks! I had been considering Amazon Prime recently, and that might just push me to get it.

Oh, and Invader Zim did come to DVD at some point (we have it) but I’m not sure if it’s been discontinued or something like that (if they do that kinda stuff). Not that you need it, with Prime.

I don’t know if you only want “paranormal” viewing suggestions, but one that is along that line that I recommend is the Sci-Fi Channel’s TV series “Haven” (4 seasons currently available on Netflix), which is based on / inspired by Steven King’s novella “The Colorado Kid”. King is also a consultant on the show last I noticed. Oddly enough, Sci-Fi has a number of very entertaining TV shows, which surprised me since their original movies are, sorry to say, total crap. For fun mythology/legend style stuff, I highly recommend “Warehouse 13”, and for geeky science fun, “Eureka”, both Sci-Fi shows that finished after 5 seasons. There is also the short-lived “Dresden Files”, which was cancelled after the first season, unfortunately. A really good non-Sci-Fi Channel show is NBC’s “Grimm”, which plays an angle on Grimm’s Fairy Tales; it is currently in it’s 4th season.

Like others said, the original “Twighlight Zone” is still a great show after all these years. I also second Hitchcock movies for suspense, with “Rear Window” (Jimmy Stewart, Raymond Burr) being a particular favorite, and it’s hard to go wrong with Vincent Price movies if you are looking for classic horror/suspense, specifically “House of Usher”, “The Tomb of Ligeia” and “House on Haunted Hill”.

I have a lot of other favorite TV shows, but none of them are suspense/horror, and are mostly drama or drama/comedy-ish, such as “Longmire”, “Castle”, “Hell on Wheels”, “Justified” and “Sherlock” (BBC series starring Benedict Cumberbatch & Martin Freeman).

“Sherlock” (BBC series starring Benedict Cumberbatch & Martin Freeman).”

This show is excellent on many levels.

Wow, I think this is the closest to full-on dark side Thomas has come, at least in my opinion. Sure, he’s been manipulative before, but this is so much more… overt than his usual style. And Reggie just eats it up because of Thomas’ honeyed words…

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