Three years ago, I roomed with the author of Post Collegiate Apocalypse in the now-destroyed Sanderson Hall. We lived on the fifth floor of the dormitory. While the room itself was fine, the hall resembled the movie 1408. Yes, the Stephen King adaptation about a man who tries to prove 1408 isn't haunted as many claim. Of course, the man is wrong and the room is INSANELY haunted. Now, the fifth floor of Sanderson wasn't haunted. The strange noises during the night came from drunken freshmen as did the hysterical weeping that could be heard next door on a late Thirsty Thursday night.
The floor itself has little to do with this story actually. Me and Colin are noted Halloween enthusiasts as our Friday posts state. We both enjoyed watching Halloween themed movies and television episodes. During the month of October 2007, the Disney channel began airing their Halloween-themed movies such as Halloweentown, Halloweentown 2, Halloweentown 3, Halloweentown 4 and a unknown classic...Mom's Got A Date With A Vampire. It just so happened, on an October eve, the movie aired on the Disney channel. Naturally, I watched. Soon, an argument emerged about the merit of Mom's Got A Date With A Vampire. Diddy claimed the movie sucked while I argued the movie ranks among the classic Halloween movies. No one won the argument; however, the majority would probably vote in Diddy's favor.
I agree with Diddy, too. Mom's Got A Date With A Vampire is an awful movie yet I enjoy it. Of course, I'm the same guy who enjoys Dawson's Creek. The month of October brings many terrible Halloween-themed movies and/or television episodes. I usually enjoy any Halloween-themed movie or episode because of said theme. Good Halloween movies and/or episodes exist as well.
For the rest of the month, I'm going to write about these good and bad Halloween movies and episodes because it is Halloween month at Quad Blogs. I've cut two of the four shows from my review rotation plus Beyond Survival, and I'm underwhelmed by the Fall television season as a whole. I will enjoy returning to old episodes and familiarity instead of watching a show like The Event.
THE GREAT HALLOWEEN MOVIE/EPISODE RE-WATCH
If anyone has a better title, please suggest it in the comments. Anywho, today belongs to a Dawson's Creek Halloween episode. The beloved series about five self-involved teens who grow up in Capeside, then, move to Boston. This is the first of THREE Dawson's Creek themed posts during this month. Get excited. I know I am.
The episode: Living Dead Girl
Written By: Tom Kapinos
Directed By: Les Sheldon
Synopsis: When Dawson assists Todd in throwing a blow-out Halloween party, Todd and Natasha have Dawson believing he is seeing the ghost of a legendary film actress. Jen becomes suspicious about C.J., and Joey gets stuck taking Professor Hetson's daughter to a haunted house with Eddie.
Why It's Worth Watching This Halloween Season: Well, it's not actually worth watching. Don't waste your time. Thankfully, this was the last Halloween episode Dawson's Creek produced because the show ended after the season.
"Living Dead Girl" is an awful, awful hour of television. The writers of the show LOVED tertiary characters. The final season, in particular, couldn't have enough tertiary characters or tertiary relationships. If Kevin Williamson wrote a show bible, then Tom Kapinos probably burned it when he became the showrunner. Yes, "Living Dead Girl" takes place on All Hallow's Eve. Luckily, the writers didn't waste time crafting four terrible Halloween plots because one was enough. The writers must've learned from the fifth season disaster that was their Halloween episode (but I'll get to that in the coming days).
A brief summary of the backstories before launching into a critique of the episode. Dawson and Joey had sex in the season premiere. For the last five seasons, the show continually told the audience the two are soul-mates. Unfortunately, the show didn't bother to write the characters as soul-mates. Dawson once tried to kill Pacey with a boat for kissing Joey; however, whenever he has the chance to be in a relationship with her, he falls for a tertiary female character. Natasha was Dawson's brief tertiary girlfriend in the early part of season six. They broke up for some reason. The two work together though. The feelings haven't disappeared. Meanwhile, Joey met a guy in class who finds her attractive and wants to date her. He is Oliver and he is also a tertiary character. He was kicked out of class because the professor dislikes him. Apparently, that is allowed. In Oliver's case, it is allowed because he didn't pay for the class. Oliver simply enjoys learning or something. Audrey and Pacey began dating despite her best friend dating the man for a year. Now, the two have problems. And Jen and Jack never had anything to do once Kevin Williamson left the show.
Anyway, the episode reunites Dawson and Natasha through the worst ghost story of all-time. Todd, Dawson's boss, and Natasha decide to play a prank on Dawson. The duo concoct a story about a film actress killed in the same place where their movie is currently filming AND SHE HAUNTS THE PLACE. I should mention that Dawson works as director's assistant and the director, Todd, only consults Dawson about the film. Todd doesn't have any 1st ADs or 2nd ADs or 2nd 2nd ADs.
Throughout the Halloween party, Dawson sees the ghost of the dead actress. The backstory Todd and Natasha give to Dawson is this: the actress was killed by her jealous boyfriend after he discovered that she slept with the director. Dawson, a very stupid character, fails to draw the parallels between the ghost story and the situation currently brewing with he, Natasha and Todd. As he searches for the ghost, Todd and Natasha become closer whenever Dawson's around.
Once Dawson finds both in bed together, he gives a monologue detailing his feelings on the matter. Shortly after, he sees the ghost AGAIN. He comes face-to-face with the ghost. The ghost takes off the wig and sunglasses. The ghost is actually Natasha--she is giddy. Ditto Todd. Van Der Beek, at this point, is really mailing in his performance. But all is well in Dawson land. Dawson and Natasha even have sex on the set of the movie. But not before a figure with an axe emerges from the closet just to put exclamation point on a truly horrible episode.
Meanwhile, Joey has to babysit her professor's daughter at a bar. The 15 year old daughter who, apparently, has no friends to hang out with because she and her father ALWAYS go to the movies on Halloween. Joey, Oliver and Hetson's daughter go to a haunted house. The daughter runs away to the movie theater. Joey and daughter bond. Oliver and Joey decide to pursue their tertiary relationship.
Also, Jen, Jack, Pacey and Audrey attend a Halloween party. That's about all they do. And Audrey and Pacey end their relationship. The couple dressed as Sid and Nancy--an attempt by the writers to emphasize how destructive the relationship had become. Meh.
Dawson couldn't draw the parallel between his situation and the fictional ghost story nor could the writers connect any of these stories besides the fact that all involved something tertiary. Yes, tertiary is the word of the day. The episode certainly failed as an entertaining Halloween episode. I don't ask for much from a show that decides to produce a Halloween episode except to be entertained. Ideally, the 42-44 minute episode should be fun. It's HALLOWEEN!
If you're wondering, Jen had the best costume and looked the best (because Michelle Williams is pretty).
For your viewing pleasure, here is the entire episode courtesy of YouTube:
SCREENPLAY OF THE DAY
The Shawshank Redemption--By Frank Darabont--Based Upon The Story by Rita Hayworth and Stephen King
THE YOUTUBE CLIP OF THE WEEK