The last few weeks I’ve been talking about my favorite Halloween TV episodes. But what about the other side of the coin, when a sitcom does a Halloween episode that just fails for one reason or another. It can happen, I already covered one:
Roseanne : â€œHalloween: the Final Chapterâ€ (1995)
Yeah I already talked about this but it had to be mentioned here.Â How can I sum this one up in a way that makes any sense? Roseanne and the family are playing with a Ouija board while 4th wall gags keep happening. Then Roseanne goes into labor and has a dream (or hallucination) that is such a non sequitur I canâ€™t possibly describe it. There are clips of past Roseanne Halloween episodes which really makes us realize how much this one sucked. Then it just gets nonsensical as Roseanne talked to the ghost of Jerry Garcia (?) before she wakes and up and discovers her new baby in a moment totally devoid of any heart. The stuff about Jerry Garcia is kind of nice but this episode is bad. Really bad. In the end Roseanne had to literally come out and defend it, seriously watch the credits of the uncut version of the episode. I will say this, I can see what she was TRYING to do. But man does it fail.
But that’s not the only Halloween episode I consider a major fail. Here are five other episodes I also just don’t like very much.
Fresh Prince : “Someday Your Prince Will Be in Effect” (1990)
The Halloween stuff in this episode is really good. To bad that it takes up an entire ten minutes in this hour long episode! So what is in the rest of the episodes? I sense a clip show!! Yes folks for some reason even though the series had only been on for two months at this point, we get a clip show. There is some good stuff here, it’s not the worst episode, but man is it boring if you’re not into the clips. There is also an extended sequence featuring celebrity cameos. Remember this was early on, before anyone knew what a hit the show would become. So the cameos feel like Will Smith called all his friends and asks if they could do him a favor. Can you say painfully transparent? I knew you could.
Mr. Belvedere: “Halloween” (1986)
This episode was so stupid! First of all Halloween is the B story, which is a big minus right there. The A story is about Mr.Belvedere and isn’t even worth getting into. So what is the Halloween story? George is invited to join The Happy Guys and their Halloween party is……really weird. It turns into a big cult ceremony. It’s even worst than it sounds. Then Mr.Belvedere is brought home by the cops for causing trouble. What? It’s far fetched even for this show, and this just isn’t a favorite.
Home Improvement: “Borland Ambition” (1994)
Yeah I talked about how wonderful this show could be with Halloween, but meet the exception. This episode is barely a Halloween episode! I mean what a let down! It starts out well, with Tim playing a joke on Al, the boys playing a joke on Jill, and Wilson in a costume at the hardware store. The B story concerns the boys entering a costume contest and things look good at the start. But then the A plot takes over and the episode becomes Al co-owning the store and becoming a jerk, and Halloween is barely mentioned. What he hell? Two years in a role The Taylor’s did Halloween huge and this years it’s a nothing B plot? Argh. It’s really not a bad episode but as a Halloween show…BORING! I was so pissed when I first saw this episode after the fantastic episode the year before.
Punky Brewster: “Love Thy Neighbor” (1985)
This episode is annoying. The plot is that Punky and her friends run into a cranky woman while trick or treating. The woman hates kids (though she lives in a building full of them, makes sense). The kids plan and then botch a prank and the woman then kidnaps Brandon to teach Punky a lesson or whatever, yeah sure she can do that. In real life the cops would have been called but this is hardly real life. Then after we are bored listening to her back story on why she hates kids (she was a dancer until a kid caused an accident which put an end to that). The next day Punky feels guilty for being mean to her. Never mind how horrible the woman was to her. Then after they’ve buildup how mean this woman is, Punky finds her fallen over and Punky comforts her. So guess what? Now she’s a nice sweet lady who loves kids! Well of course. After twelve years she’s over it, just like that. Gag me. Oh, and her hip was fixed and she can dance again. Why didn’t she do that before? If they had just made this an episode about a witch it would have been fun. But instead they have to turn into a huge message about getting to know people before judging and it’s just contrived and lame.
Will and Grace: “Boo! Humbug” (1998)
This episode is just awful! The plot is simply that Will and Grace have to pass on their anti-Halloween plans (why does Will hate Halloween? It’s never made clear) when they are stuck trick or treating with Will’s boss’s two kids. The problem? THE KIDS NEVER SPEAK! Seriously, they never utter a word or even remove their masks and it’s just….weird. Maybe this is just me, but not giving the kids any lines, and subsequently no characters whatsoever, is distracting and spoils the episode which had potenial. Especially when the whole point of the story is Will and Grace, who have no idea how to care for kids, having to take care of the two kids! I don’t know maybe I’m wrong but usually kids talk!!! It’s bad when Mad About You did the same plot ten times better. There’s also a subplot about Jack and Karen participating in the New York City Halloween parade. It goes nowhere really, just drag queen jokes which aren’t funny.
Well, they can’t all be gems. Happy Halloween my friends!!