Way back in 1991, I discovered Dark Shadows. More accurately, I found the 90’s revival that basically retold the same stories with a different cast and better production values.
It didn’t take long for me to get hooked. It also didn’t take long for the series to fade, lasting all of 13 glorious episodes and ending on one of those dastardly cliffhangers. I think the cancellation had something to do with the Iraq Gulf War coverage.
Here I am, 28 years later, finally discovering for myself the original series in all its black-and-white (so far) glory. Apparently, the show was shot essentially live, so there are flubbed lines and prop fails aplenty. But there is also campy goodness.
So far, no Barnabas Collins. I believe it took a while for him to finally show up at Collinwood. But there’s enough gothic atmosphere and weird family members to make it interesting.
It is definitely a product of its time — 1966. But for me that only adds to the retro appeal. It’s also the opposite of the fast-moving, quick-cut fare of modern television. It moves slowly and deliberately, giving the viewer time to take in all the surroundings of the old manor.
I just hope Amazon Prime doesn’t take it off the Prime list any time soon.