Wednesday, October 23, 2013

Monty's Halloween Viewing Log 2013 - They're back!!!

My favorite creepy TV shows, that is! Time for another quick look at what I've been watching to get into the Halloween mood this year, and considering the types of TV shows I usually watch, they're worthy of their own entire installment of...

Okay, I admit that I've become a fan of "Big Bang Theory", and I've been keeping up with that one too since its return, but it's not very Halloweenish except when they do a Halloween episode or breakout their cosplay costumes or something. I also watch "Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D.", and I am slowly getting into "Arrow", though I think the lead is very wooden and I don't visit it very frequently so still am not very far in. I wanna try out "Game of Thrones" too, but I don't know how much, since I was originally just gonna check it out because the girl I was in love with was a fan, and since she's gone now...

Oh well, let's focus on more appropriate subjects. We'll begin with what is always one of the most anticipated October returns, AMC's "The Walking Dead"!

The wildly popular zombie apocalypse drama returned this month with its fourth season, and it's as excellent as ever. Seriously, this is the show that really got me paying attention to TV again and trying out other new shows with similarly high quality (if the others are maybe a bit campier). Our five survivors of the first season, Rick, Daryl, Glenn, Carol and Carl (did I forget anyone) are back and struggling to keep all the new and old additions to their group alive within the prison they've made their home. A strange illness has became a deadly threat, however, and there's also a mysterious stranger making the situation worse by drawing more and more walkers to their gates. Besides that, what has become of the Governor? Danger is everywhere, and just two episodes in so far, season four seems like it's going to be as awesome as ever! A shame they no longer show this at the Drafthouse Cinemas here in Austin! That was awesome! Can't wait for the next episode!

Okay, let's talk about an all new show now. A little something (on FOX) called "Sleepy Hollow". Very appropriate for the Halloween season, so don't ask me why they are taking a break already until right after Halloween! At least, that's what my recent research showed me. I sometimes am not entirely sure, because I have to watch all my shows on the net or at the gym or whatever. I don't have cable, just a TV that gets no channels and a PS3 I rely on entirely for my entertainment needs away from the computer and Instagram... Anyway, this is a great show that I was immediately hooked on. Okay, admittedly, it is sometimes a lot like a cop show (and I rarely watch those) where you have one serious detective and one quirky partner, like Castle or X-Files or whatever else. Actually, with it's major supernatural themes, it is a lot like X-Files. The show is about Ichabod Crane (yes, THE Ichabod Crane, but a very different Ichabod than we know, but in some ways at least as true to the character as Tim Burton's version), who finds himself waking up one day in the 21st century and teaming up with an attractive young police lieutenant to solve supernatural mysteries and murders that all tie in to an upcoming judgement day scenario. Turns out the Headless Horseman is one of the 4 horsemen of the apocalypse. Pretty cool, huh?! There's this awesome bit in... I think the second episode, where the Headless Horseman gets ahold of a machine gun, and it's pretty awesome! Yeah, I do recommend this one, and not just because I love anything having to do with Sleepy Hollow. This is actually a neat show so far, though we'll have to see how well it develops its characters, world, and bigger picture scenario...

Speaking of new shows, that new Dracula show is coming this Friday, I believe, on NBC. Hope I don't forget to check that out.

Now, another show I used to watch religiously, even if I missed the first season, was "Supernatural". I severely need to catch up on that one soon. I should start from the beginning, in fact. However, first I will continue working on catching up with this one...

Yes, it can get as skanky as it looks here, and then some. Fact is, True Blood has its HBO-porn moments, and I won't say I love that. They seem to do it just because they can, and because it's probably good for ratings, but I like to keep my porn and my everything else separate most of the time, *sigh* as impossible as that is becoming in this day and age. Anywho, that issue aside, this is a great show if the extreme sex, violence, and gore don't bug ya (I would be bugged a lot less by the graphic sex if I wasn't ALWAYS single, I confess). The show is funny and exciting, there is some phenomenal acting, and the writing is outstanding too. At least as far as I've gotten. That's something all the shows I watch have in common, to varying degrees, though some of them have their ham and corniness too, but I like that as well if it's not overpowering the good stuff!

I hadn't seen True Blood since the second season ended, so I recently started back at the beginning and am now a few episodes into season 5, and it is quite a ride. Sure, it's sort of like HBO's white-trash version of Twilight (it's a human/vampire love story set in a world where vampires have... come out of the closet so to speak, thanks to a new blood substitute beverage available for purchase as readily as Coca Cola), but it's just too smart and funny and well played to not love! Watch a few eps and you'll be hooked! I should be caught up with this one soon, I think! It's definitely the one I've focused a lot of my time on lately.

Okay, next up might not seem very Halloween-ish, but it kinda is. I mean, you can't have Halloween these days without plenty of fairytale character costumes too, can ya? Well, I am an addict of the ABC show "Once Upon a Time". It might be my favorite show right now, especially with this season having perfectly gorgeous and perfectly cast incarnations of TinkerBell and Ariel (plus returning dreamgirls Mulan and Aurora, who apparently have something going now; or, at least, Mulan wishes, and I certainly wouldn't mind watching *ahem*). So far, season 3 has focused on Neverland, which is a very twisted take on the classic, magical locale. With that happening, and the presence of such famous villains as Captain Hook, the Evil Queen, and Rumpelstiltskin, "Once Upon a Time" seems very suited for Halloween-time viewing. I wonder if we'll get a Halloweenish episode this weekend! I don't remember which season it was, but one Halloween we got a great episode about Dr. Frankenstein!
Oh, side note, a couple of really fun things this season: Thor's hammer makes a cameo appearance, and Hook makes a threat to one lost boy of giving him what he gave Rufio! Yes! A reference to "Hook"! Good form, Once Upon a Time!

And, since I brought up Once Upon a Time, might as well mention the new show "Once Upon a Time in Wonderland". This spin off show is sort of Alice in Wonderland meets Aladdin meets Doctor Who. Yeah, if the Once Upon a Time guys didn't mostly farm this out to a British crew, ya coulda fooled me! This totally feels like modern Doctor Who. In the show, Alice has escaped an asylum (and impending lobotomy) to return to Wonderland and search for her missing true love, the genie of the bottle (from Agrabah no less). He has been captured by Jafar and the Red Queen, but Alice is fierce and hot on their trail, with the aid of the Nave of Hearts, a mysterious character dropping hints all the time that he is originally from 21st century England. I've seen two episodes so far, and while some of the digital sets don't sit well with me and you might be more suited to this if you're used to the British style of sci-fi/fantasy TV, I still find myself liking it enough to keep coming back. Alice in this case doesn't really float my boat, which is too bad since I do have a fetish for, well, for the traditional Disney costume anyway (I blame those cute Disney park cast members and my favorite erotica artist, Jab). And then there's the Red Queen. She seems like a supermodel trying to be an actress. Not that she's terrible, but it's hard to get past her squishy lips. But, I'm enjoying the hell out of seeing a live-action Jafar screw people over! Ya know, I hear this show is intended to only last one season. I have no idea if that is true or not, but if it is, that's very interesting. Not sure I've ever heard of that, aside from the next shows tendency of making each season a completely separate story from those before it. 

I'm speaking of course of The Jessica Lang Show. Oh, wait, it's actually called "American Horror Story", and it's been a thrill ride since day one! It's a very interesting thing, even in concept. As I said, each season of this FX show is its own story. Many of the cast members return, but in new roles. There are no connections between the various seasons beyond returning actors. Season one was a haunted house story. Season two was about an asylum (And aliens! And satan! And a cameo by Barnabas Collins' cane! And probably stuff I'm forgetting!), and season 3 is all about a school for young witches in New Orleans! Awesome! Okay, like the first season (and with the same young stars), it has its emo teen section of the plot, but it's got some really cool, messed up stuff too. Anything can happen on this show, and it's always entertaining! Brings one to mind of the original Dark Shadows in many ways, and of all the shows I'm watching right now, it's the one that seems most comparable to Walking Dead in the overall quality and caliber of, well, everything. I should also mention that Emma Roberts is one of the stars this season. I gotta say, I never liked her growing up, but man, did she turn into a goddess! Definitely reason enough to give this show a look-see, but it's a fantastic show, regardless!

Finally, whenever I can manage it, I try to catch Food Network and other informative channels' holiday themed programs, whatever the holiday. I am a nut for holidays, and I love to see pretty much anything about them. It's harder without TV, but at the gym now and then, and sometimes online, I manage to see a few things. I love the shows where they battle it out making holiday themed cakes, for example, and for Halloween, we have "Halloween Wars". Very cool. Culinary contestants team up and compete against each other to build scenes incorporating cake, candy, and pumpkin carving, and maybe other stuff, I don't remember; I watch it very casually, but it is great fun! It is really cool to see some of the things these people come up with under pressure. Sometimes, it seems they make the most obviously bad choices, but either way, it is always really cool to see what they've created and who makes it and who gets sent home. I don't like many reality shows or reality show competitions, but these are pretty cool. I also like the gingerbread ones at Christmastime! Ugh, sorry, didn't mean to mention Christmas at this time of year. That's always the worst, isn't it? I hate to get my mood thrown off that way!

And, I guess that's about it for this installment, except to mention the many other shows I'm sure I'll be watching (or have already dabbled in, in some cases) as well during these last few days before Halloween. Old favorites of mine like Werewolf the TV series (don't worry, the werewolf in the scene above is actually rescuing those old folks!), the original Addams Family, and other classics like Bewitched, the Munsters, Tales from the Darkside, Tales from the Crypt, Monsters, the Twilight Zone, Kolchak the Night Stalker, Dark Shadows (both TV versions), Eerie Indiana, Buffy the Vampire Slayer, Angel, Big Wolf on Campus, and so on. Maybe even Wizards of Waverly Place (always like me some Selena Gomez). I could maybe even be tempted to watch some Sabrina the Teenage Witch, even though that show was terrible, no matter how cute Melissa Joan Hart was. And, perhaps some of you enjoy the Vampire Diaries or that werewolf show that mistakenly calls itself Teen Wolf. Or Charmed, there's a show I need to familiarize myself with. I've never really watched it. I need to go through Masters of Horror as well. And I think there are some even newer shows these days that are perfect for the Halloween vibe, but as I'm sure I don't know them all, I won't try to list anymore of them right now. It's a shame that SyFy's Being Human and  A&E's Bates Motel aren't coming back for a while. I sure do miss them when they're gone! Speaking of, I should be getting gone right about now! Enjoy your TV this Halloween! There's plenty to watch to thrill and horrify you this year! And come back here for more of this year's Halloween Viewing Log, plus other fun stuff! Till next time, have a happy!


  1. I gotta admit, I'm not a big TV watcher anymore. Although being a huge fairy tale fan, I'll admit that Once Upon a Time seems like a show I could really get into. I was thinking of picking up the first two seasons for Christmas and catching up on the show, as it does seem like something I would enjoy. Especially seeing all the different fairy tale characters I know and love being introduced as the series progressed.

    There are older TV shows that I enjoy watching around this time of year. In my opinion, The Simpsons Treehouse of Horror specials are the pinnacle of Halloween television programming, especially the first five specials. I'm also a big King of the Hill fan, and the one Halloween special they did make was fantastic. They had several Christmas episodes which were great, but they only had that one Halloween episode. I'm also a big fan of the horror anthology shows from the 80's (Monsters, Friday the 13th: The Series, Tales from the Darkside), but Tales from the Crypt is the king of all those shows in my opinion. There are certain episodes of Crypt that are perfect for Halloween viewing. Ones like: Television Terror, Undertaking Parlor, The New Arrival, Death of Some Salesman, People Who Live in Brass Hearses, and House of Horror are perfect season episodes. I also enjoy shows from the 60's (The Addams Family, The Munsters, Dark Shadows, The Twilight Zone) but I have a hard time fitting 'em in with all the movies we watch.

  2. How on Earth could I forget one of my favorite Halloween cartoon shows? The original Scooby-Doo, Where Are You? I always make it a point to watch a good plenty of the classic episodes before Halloween gets here. And while they are theatrical shorts and not shows, old Halloween-themed Looney Tunes, Tom & Jerry, Disney, and Popeye shorts are essential as well.

  3. Hey Ryan! Well, this wasn't much of a log since I wasn't able to write every day, but I'm still hoping to get one or two more installments in, plus a couple of other articles and a new comic, all by the 31st! I'd to do one on cartoons I have been and/or often do watch around this time of year, and yeah, most Scooby incarnations fit right in! I agree about the theatrical shorts as well!

    I highly recommend Once Upon a Time! Just be prepared for the fact that they do what they want with the stories! On the up-side though, they also borrow a lot from the Disney films, especially when it comes to characters' names. They almost always stick with the Disney movies on those, like with the dwarfs, Aurora, Ariel, Belle, Jiminy, etc...

    Now, I really do need to catch up with the Simpsons Treehouse of Terror, and the show in general, as I sorta stopped watching when Futurama came along. I got waaay more into that one and, for some reason, lost interest in the Simpsons. Both are great shows though! King of the Hill is a good show too. I have never seen the Halloween episode though!

    Ah, thanks for reminding me about Monsters! I LOVED that show as a kid, and, oddly enough, I think I prefer Tales from the Darkside and Monsters over Tales from the Crypt! Tales from the Crypt is so very... HBO. I liked the simpler, more juvenile stories of Monsters and Tales from the Darkside, while Crypt focused too much on trying to be for adults, and the stories were usually really sleazy and less fanciful. Still a good show, but I guess I have less mature tastes, ha. And I really loved it when they would use that classic, terrifying Halloween Witch type witch on those other two shows! I still saw they should make a really good horror film for Halloween that focuses on a classic, Halloween witch living in a typical neighborhood and picking off kids who walk by her house (and eating them, of course). I think a Hansel and Gretel in the suburbs type Halloween movie would be a dream come true, ha, with a witch who may look like a normal old woman outdoors, but who looks like the witch from the Wizard of Oz inside! Ha.

    Going back to stuff like Tales from the Crypt though, ever see The Hitchhiker? That was from when I was super little, but it was something similar.

    1. Regarding Once Upon a Time, I have also noticed that they keep to the Disney-likeness with some of the characters as well. I seen your Crush of the Week entry on Rose McIver, and noticed her Tinker Bell bears a great resemblance to the Disney version. She is very beautiful however, and is probably the best looking live-action Tinker Bell I've seen. They usually cast actresses who don't fit the Tink role or don't look attractive portraying Tink. Julia Roberts in Hook comes to mind. I did not like her depiction of Tink at all.

      I love Tales from the Darkside and Monsters as well. In fact, Tales from the Darkside did two very good Halloween episodes: Trick or Treat (which was the pilot) and Halloween Candy. That Halloween Candy episode had a rather-scary looking goblin in it who always said "trick-or-treat" in a very eerie voice. I loved that episode as a kid, even though it used to frighten me.

      That's a very good idea you have! Hocus Pocus kinda flubbed it because it's depiction of the witches didn't have that traditional Halloween look. I also love that Hansel and Gretel connection. Seeing as how fairy tale revisions are very popular right now, that idea could go over very well.

      Was The Hitchhiker from the 60's Twilight Zone? If so, then I've seen it and thought it was one of the Twilight Zone's definitive episodes.

  4. Man, I totally agree with you on Tink and especially Julia Roberts in the role! And, as you know, I'm pretty obsessed with Tink. Her and Ariel, and Sailor Moon, and now Rapunzel, ha. I LOVE tons of others, but those are my main toon girls. A few of the others come REALLY close though.

    Funny you mention those Darkside episodes! I just watched Halloween Candy. It was okay, and I can see how one of my favorite Halloween movies, Trick 'r Treat (the one from this century, ha) kinda ripped the plot of that episode off a lot for one of its stories. However, seeing the episode again, I was less impressed by it over all. Maybe I was disappointed mostly because I was trying to find a different episode, which I think might have been the other you mentioned, Trick or Treat. It's the episode where this rich guy has all these mortgages hidden in an old house, and on Halloween, if a kid is brave, he can go in and search for his parents' mortgage and they'll be off the hook for it. I think that's the one I have in mind that ends up with one of those terrifying Halloween witches at the end. There's also one, and it could be the same one, where Satan shows up in the end and takes the crabby rich guy away, ha. And, I probably mentioned the one with Seth Green before, where he has all these monsters in his room! It has one of those old witches in it too, maybe in the bathroom, I forget. Man, that episode hit home with me!

    Yeah, I've been preaching that idea for a horror movie for the longest time! I'm pretty full of good movie ideas, ha. Hocus Pocus is one of my all time favorite films, not even just for Halloween but in general (I feel the same about a few others and some Christmas movies too, ha), and I think the way they did the witches worked best for that film, being that it was a family comedy. That movies practically perfect to my mind. However, yes, I would love to see a film very similar that was, in fact, a horror film. In that case, yeah, I would like to see the witches be a bit more like the one from the MGM Oz classic. As a kid, that's how I imagined all evil witches to look! Even ones living in the suspicious old house every town has, ha. I LOVE the movie "The Witches". The Jim Henson one. In fact, I haven't gotten to watch that this year yet, and it's usually one of my first viewings for the season! Time was short this year. Didn't get to watch A LOT. Going to have to go into Halloween overtime this weekend. Anywho, love that movie, but yeah, even then, the witches were great but not quite how I imagine them. In fact, in some ways, Hocus Pocus was closer. But, not in other ways. As I say though, a plot that is part Hocus Pocus, part Hansel and Gretel, but this time all horror, that would be awesome!

    Nope, that's not the Hitchhiker I was talking about. I'm talking about a TV show on HBO (or maybe it was Cinemax) in the early 80's that was anthology horror, sorta like Tales from the Crypt, except the host was just a regular joe, but also a hitchhiker. I seem to remember it being pretty good. Or, at least, I remember people around me reacting like it was, ha.

    1. Yeah, I didn't intend for it to sound like I was slighting Hocus Pocus. It's one of my favorite movies ever, and in my opinion the perfect Halloween movie. You can read my entry for it on Facebook, where I expound my opinion on the movie. I also find that a lot of Disney live-action movies are underrated. Most people only go for Disney's animated features, which are great admittedly. However there are some great live-action ones out there. Of course there's classics like: Treasure Island, 20,000 Leagues Under the Sea, Mary Poppins, etc. But there's also really good ones like: Dragonslayer, Return to Oz, Flight of the Navigator, Pete's Dragon, Bedknobs and Broomsticks, The Watcher in the Woods, and several others I'm surely forgetting. Oh, I also love The Witches, though we haven't watched it this year.

  5. Oh, ha, I didn't mean to sound defensive, either. But, yeah, Hocus Pocus is my opinion of the perfect Halloween movie too! I'll have to check out your Facebook post on it, if I can find it. And definitely, most Disney live-action films are underrated or entirely unknown to most people! It's kind of a pet peeve of mine that a lot of people, especially the younger set, will claim to be big Disney fans and yet only be familiar with the animated features and the Disney Channel shows. Or some will say they prefer oldschool Disney, and they'll just be talking about the 90's, ha. Very annoying! Yes, those you mentioned are all great (still never have thought of Dragonslayer as a Disney film, not really sure why; need to get it; haven't seen it since it used to run on TV all the time!). I don't know how far into Disney live-action you have delved, but even just sticking with the more popular stuff, I'd recommend to anyone the Dexter Riley trilogy of comedies (Computer Wore Tennis Shoes and all that), plus various Dean Jones ones beyond the obvious Love Bug (LOVE the Herbie movies, even the Lohan one), Darby O'Gill and the Little People and Happiest Millionaire (which are two St. Patrick's Day traditions for me), The Adventures of Bullwhip Griffin (the great Roddy McDowall!), and the Shaggy Dog (50's original) and the Shaggy D.A., to name just a few!

    Sadly, I didn't get to watch The Witches this year either! Maybe I will before Thanksgiving!

    1. I've seen the Dexter Riley films with Kurt Russell and thought they were all great. Dean Jones wise, I've seen: Blackbeard's Ghost (good movie for Halloween actually), The Ugly Dachshund, The Million Dollar Duck, and The Snowball Express (which is very underrated IMO and a wintertime favorite in our house. I've also seen Darby O'Gill and the Little People and The Shaggy Dog. I'm also a big fan of the movies Hayley Mills did for Disney. She looked very appealing in The Moon-Spinners. Then there's assorted ones I've seen and enjoyed like: Escape to Witch Mountain, The Gnome-Mobile, The Three Lives of Thomasina, Greyfriars Bobby, The Black Hole, The Apple Dumpling Gang, Old Yeller, and maybe a few others I can't recall at the moment.

    2. Ah, yes, I have all of those you mentioned on DVD except Greyfriars Booby and Moon-Spinners. Need to get them sometime! I have a lot of those classic Disney live-action DVDs, but there are still a ton I need to get! I really love The Black Hole and find it to be pretty underrated, especially the ending, which I thought was brilliant but others seem to find cheesy, ha. The Disney Hayley Mills films are faves of mine as well, though I must say I never found her attractive. In fact, one of my fave Disney comedies is That Darn Cat! The original with Hayley Mills, of course.