We have been talking about tv shows on this blog lately and the conversation will not stop anytime soon! My last post of November will be about two tv shows that I believe we are all familiar with, possibly grew up watching together and I have spoken about these shows before. I will link them somewhere into this post.
The 90s… in my childhood, I watched many things. You watched many things in the 90s (I’m guessing) and yet we are still talking about Goosebumps and Are You Afraid of the Dark?. And I’ve talked about my favorite episodes and comparing both shows but now we’re getting into some territory of…
Least favorite episode(s) of Goosebumps and AYAOTD! Let’s go!
Goosebumps hasn’t held up too well compared to a lot of shows from the 90s but since we’re talking about AYAOTD, I think a lot of people would pick the latter when it comes to holding up. Special effects, writing, the acting is better (in my opinion) and overall impact. Not to take away from Goosebumps own revitalization with the films and the books still being printed with new art and some are collecting older cover art so it still has its place in pop culture history. And we are talking about the actual episodes and not the books, I haven’t read all of them.
For Goosebumps, there are two episodes that I do not understand nor like the execution. Those episodes are Attack of the Mutant (S2, EP 2&3) and An Old Story (S3, EP 6). Now why did I pick these two? Both still give me major “wtfs” at it. Attack of the Mutant which somehow features an Adam West appearance is about a boy and his obsession with comic books. Skipper, our young protagonist loves The Masked Mutant comic and yet when we see the interpretation on screen, he looks…cheesy? Was there a lost in translation thing? There are so many avenues this episode could have gone and I’m not sure why it was a two parter. There’s all this ominous talk about “reading comics can rot your brain” and…we didn’t go anywhere with that? Why is Skipper’s friend there to talk about rocks when that didn’t go anywhere either? The Libby part is weird too. The overall set design was cheap looking and the ending is a nightmare and a half of how it ended. It’s such a goofy episode that was more cheesy and cringey goofy.
An Old Story, from what I’ve seen others talk about from the book’s perspective, is slightly different. We two young male protagonists who are left alone in the care of an “aunt” who somehow feeds the boys these cookies that make them older. Older so said aunt’s friends can have “company”. Saying it outloud and then typing it out makes it even weirder. There are so many things wrong with this episode like as old as they are physically, mentally, emotionally they are still children. That’s the weirdest part of the episode to me. The aunt is a witch in the book yet in the episode she’s really an aunt to one of the characters but why couldn’t we still have magic more included in the episode? I don’t think it would have made up for the awkwardness there.
AYAOTD however, has a handful of not so great ones that again, why the execution sucks? The first episode is The Tale of the Manaha is from season five, the eighth episode and it is told by Tucker and it’s a story about a boy at a camp and there’s a myth about an ancient being/creature called the Manaha and what you see on screen that is supposed to represent is kind of lackluster. And assuming this is a part of indigenous myth, I don’t think the outlook is like that, if it makes sense. It’s an episode that really shouldn’t have been done. It’s one of the few episodes that I look back on, and skip. It’s not memorable or scary or has cool, unique special effects, it’s very bland. Another episode you can skip is The Tale of the Virtual Pets. This is from season 6, episode 4 and looking back at this, clearly this was a nod to the virtual pets craze that was happening in the 90s. I had a Tamagochi, you probably had one as well and this episode is a product of its time. Also this season has a brand new cast that we don’t know very well compared to Gary, Kiki, Betty Ann, etc.
The episode does however highlight the dangers of accidentally coming across a website that belongs to the darker side of the web and you can’t escape it. That’s what “Digger” is like, a horrible looking claymation dog that needs to be fed. How? I’ll not spoil you with that because you should watch this episode for how bad it is and again, cheap.
It’s a sad day when you have to talk brutal but truthfully about a part of your childhood or a favorite part of it. There are more least favorite episodes and perhaps I’ll do a top 10 for each series separately…
But do you have a least favorite episode of either show? More than one? Leave a comment below and we’ll chat!