Colin Wessman

Shocktober Day 28: The David S. Pumpkins Halloween Special

The David S. Pumpkins Halloween Special

Airdate: October 28, 2017

Whoops. I did not realize I was supposed to post this yesterday, but can you blame me? Days don’t matter, though I suppose it was nice to have something this month that imposed on the three of us what day it was. Which is a sentence that would make zero sense in a year that wasn’t 2020. Anyways, perhaps I’m stalling because it’s just hard to feel any particularly strong feelings about The David S. Pumpkins Halloween Special, a full-length special centered around the perplexing character that was featured in a pretty solid SNL sketch from 2016. It says something that David S. Pumpkins is a character that doesn’t quite have enough legs to fill 21-minutes, but that’s what happens when you have a character where nobody ever really knows what his deal is.

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The Pick: Bram Stoker’s Dracula

Good evening! Or morning or afternoon or whenever you choose to read this. This week we dive into the sensual exploration of imagination that is Bram Stoker’s Dracula. John also gives us a bit of background on Bram Stoker, author of the vampire novel that’s inspired countless films and books about history’s favorite bloodsuckers. We also get an unexpected look back at another ’90s resurrection of the Universal Monsters, and who knows, we might just get another one coming up. Continue reading

Shocktober Day 22: “The One With The Halloween Party”

Friends – “The One With The Halloween Party”

Season 8, Episode 6
Airdate: November 1, 2001

It’s surprising that it took Friends until its 8th season to put out a Halloween episode, but maybe that’s just because it was always more of a Thanksgiving show. Still, Halloween is one of the best times to hang out with your friends and get into hijinks, though I suppose this episode sees The Friends in a bit more mature place in their lives. Monica and Chandler are engaged, Rachel’s pregnant, and Joey’s still… just kinda doing his thing. Still, the episode makes plenty of room for goofy costumes, amusing scenes involving children, and a welcome appearance by Phoebe’s sister Ursula that serves as a reminder that Lisa Kudrow was always the show’s secret weapon. Continue reading

Shocktober Day 20: “Halloween”

Frasier – “Halloween”

Season 5, Episode 3
Airdate: October 28, 1997

For the most part, during this TV-centric Shocktober, we’ve strayed from watching shows that we’re super familiar with. This is not the case with today’s entry, since I have seen all 11 seasons of Frasier as well as forerunner Cheers. Despite that, I chose this episode since in my memory it was one of the better holiday-themed Frasier episodes (of which there were many) and it was also one of the better examples of Frasier delving into farce. Upon revisiting this show that I haven’t watched a ton in recent years, I was happy to see that these are both still true while it’s also just a lot of fun to watch these characters dress up in goofy outfits. Continue reading

The Pick: Whatever Happened To Baby Jane?

You may have been stuck inside the past 8 months with your roommate, family, or significant other, but chances are that it hasn’t been as bad as being stuck in a house with Baby Jane Hudson. This week we tackle the 1962 psycho-biddy classic Whatever Happened To Baby Jane? while delving into the famous feud between its two co-stars, Joan Crawford and Bette Davis. Sean also makes a shocking discovery about the origins of Pepsi in an episode that’s sadistic fun for the whole family. Continue reading

Shocktober Day 15: “Haunting of Taylor House”

Home Improvement – “Haunting of Taylor House”

Season 2, Episode 6
October 28, 1992

I do not have a ton of nostalgia for Home Improvement or Tim “The Tool Man” Taylor, but this episode did bring me a comforting sense of nostalgia nonetheless. For as many hokey jokes you see here and there, there is something about this episode that feels very close to a kind of middle-class suburban version of Halloween that I remember as a kid. I wouldn’t say this is a great episode of television or anything, but it does capture the harmless fun of Halloween quite nicely. I’d say the low stakes comedy of Home Improvement feels pretty well-suited for a holiday where both kids and their parents get to embrace their inner trickster.

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The Pick: The Dead Zone

The ice is gonna break on this episode of The Pick! As this episode makes clear, we’d really like it if this line from the 1983 adaptation of Stephen King’s The Dead Zone became a classic movie line. So what better way for that to happen than more people being aware of this movie? It may not be the flashiest movie in David Cronenberg’s filmography, but it’s certainly a solid one that we have a pretty good time talking about. Much like this film’s brand of horror, we try to keep our Christopher Walken impressions restrained, but sometimes the ice just has to break.

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