Saturday, May 1, 2010

Dark Shadows drinking game

I'm old enough to remember Dark Shadows, the gothic soap opera from the 60's. Our local station ran it in the morning, and since I was in school, I could only see in the summertime, but eventually they put it on in the afternoon where it belonged. I loved horror movies so I loved Dark Shadows, but I also liked the characters: Barnabas, the somewhat too-friendly vampire (sometimes he was evil, but mostly he was just a misunderstood romantic hero); Angelique, the incredibly sexy witch; Quentin, the ghost who was also a warlock and a werewolf--because plotlines and characters would bounce back and forth in time, not to mention parallel universes, characters might have many incarnations (and actors might play a variety of characters--have fun sorting them all out over on Wikipedia).

Virtually the entire run of shows (almost five years worth) is available on DVD and we have been watching some of them recently. The problem of returning to something from your childhood after such a long time is amplified by the fact that soap operas are definitely not made to be watched one after another. In any given half-hour show, very little actually happens except that people talk, and talk and talk and talk, usually re-hashing the current plotpoints for viewers who might have missed a show or two. So you have to sit through a couple of hours worth of shows before anything of substance actually happens.

I realized that plowing through 2 or 3 hours of these shows might be more fun as a drinking game. For example, any time information is repeated in the same hour: "We can't find David!"; "I wonder where David is?"; "David is still missing"; "David's not in his room"; "Have you seen David?"

Actually, the "question" is the favored rhetorical device on the show, so drinking whenever a question is asked would be the quickest path to passing out: ""Where are the children?"; "What happened to Willy Loomis?"; "Mrs. Johnson saw a strange man, too?"; "Did you or did you not see a ghost at the top of the stairs?"; "Do you really want me to tell all of Collinwood what really happened to your husband?"

Any of the following sentences should be the occasion for at least a sip: "I don't know"; "I don't understand"; "I've already told you..."

When Dr. Hoffman pauses too long between words (as the actress Grayson Hall tries desperately to remember her lines): "I don't know what you're ... talking about"; "Barnabas Collins ... is ... (nervous facial twitch) ... upstairs."; "We've changed all their lives by ... being in 1840"

Each episode begins with brief narration to set the stage. Any of the following lines should be drunk to: "The dark night hides..."; "The daylight brings..."; "In parallel time,..."

Finally, have a drink every time that the matriarch Elizabeth Collins Stoddard (Joan Bennett) is interrupted by someone while she's trying to get her paperwork done.

No comments: