Halloween: Best Episodes

It’s almost Halloween and what better way  to celebrate than by indulging in some of the very best Halloween episodes TV has to offer? Don’t know where to start? Here are some of my personal favorites from over the years:

Parks & Recreation “Greg Pikitis”: This episode is the one that really solidified my love for the show. It had it all: costumes; a party; April and her gay boyfriend (and his boyfriend); the first appearance of Andy’s alter-ego Burt Macklin, FBI; and a guest appearance by Louis CK. Plot-wise, Ann throws a terrible Halloween party that Tom helps save. Across town, Leslie is busy dealing with her arch-nemisis, teenager Greg Pikitis, whom she is sure will end the night vandalizing the statue of Pawenee’s mayor as he does it every Halloween.

 

Castle “Vampire Weekend”: First off, this episode is named after a great band. Second, a guy ends up staked in a graveyard and Castle makes a Buffy reference. Werewolves also come into play.  Third, everyone dresses up like a character they have formerly portrayed and it is wonderful: Ryan is in scrubs a la his stint on General Hospital and Esposito is in fatigues like his character from the HBO miniseries Generation Kill. Saving the best for last, Castle dresses up like Mal Reynolds from Firefly. Check him out:

 

Community “Epidemiology”: A super-contagious virus spreads across the Greendale campus, temporarily turning the student body into zombies. Boom: genre satire. Also featuring an Abba soundtrack, a shirtless Donald Glover, and some Shirley/Chang sex.

First season Community episode “Introduction to Statistics” gets an honorable mention solely based on Danny Pudi’s Batman voice and Troy’s fear of eating himself were he to wake up as a donut.

Boy Meets World “And then There Was Shawn”: Despite airing in late February, this is actually a Halloween episode. It was the first parody I can remember seeing, ripping off thrillers like Scream, and I Know What You Did Last Summer amongst others. I still remember it as the scariest thing I had ever seen on TV.

 

Freaks & Geeks “Tricks & Treats”: Lindsay goes out with the Freaks while Sam goes trick-or-treating with the Geeks.

 

Buffy the Vampire Slayer “Halloween”: A classic tale: kids dress up for Halloween and get cursed into turning into their Halloween costume. Xander becomes a soldier, Willow a ghost, and Buffy an helpless 18th century noble.

Have a favorite Halloween episode that I haven’t seen or didn’t mention? Leave me a suggestion in the comments.

When I was just a little girl…

Well, consensus is that I’m finally growing up. Slowly, but surely. The list of things that scare the bejeezus out of me is slowly shortening and evolving towards a more adult mind-set. With the odd exception, of course. I feel that binders will be temporarily added to my list of fears – my pinky finger got caught in a binder snap this afternoon at work and I had to call a coworker over to help me out. My finger’s bruised and the nail has a little bit of a dent. I’ll suffer through it.

Some fears I find I am now ready to face, like Alice in Wonderland. While I have no desire to watch the remake, I think I’m ready to give the 1951 version another go-round. You see, when I was little the whole falling-down-the-rabbit-hole, back-and-forth shrinking-and-growing thing freaked me right out. But, as I re-watch the clip, I find similarities between other films which never bothered me.

For instance, when Alice first goes down the rabbit hole, her falling and shrinking reminds me of the Wizard of Oz – during the tornado, as Dorothy witnesses all of the objects and people whizzing by her window. The vibrant, strobe-light like colors remind me of the Aristocats (which didn’t bother me as a child because they creepy effects were put on cats, not humans). As the scene progresses, the surreal nature of the shrinking-doors remind me fondly (for the most part) of Willy Wonka and the Chocolate Factory.

But, alas, some things never change. I have always, and always will be, terrified of “Pathways into Darkness”. It was a computer game from the early 1990s, and, after 15 years, it’s still the most petrifying game I’ve ever seen. See for yourself:

Told you.

New Year’s Resolutions: more what you’d call “guidelines” than actual rules.

res-o-lu-tion (noun) 1. A firm decision to do or not to do something

I’ve never really been into the whole “New Years Resolution” construct. Sometimes I try and convince myself that a resolution wouldn’t be so bad, but, more often than not, I forget to set one or don’t manage to think of one in time. Last year I convinced myself that I could just set one for the Chinese New Year. (Anything to make me more like Mulan is fine by me.)

So, instead of falling into the chasm of failed resolutions of yore, I’ve decided to set goals. Guidelines, if you will. Every year dawns with promise. Anything can happen. Of course we tend to bank on the positive rather than the negative, but who wouldn’t? Each New Year’s I think, “Molly, this is it. This is the year for me.” And it’s rarely true. I have good years and bad years, but those are rarely measured in the 365 day span from January 1st through December 31st. More often than not it’s gauged from August 28 to May 10th, or whatever the length of my school year may be.

Confession: New Year’s always makes me a little depressed. It’s not the change so much as the divergence from comfortability. The past is my playground. Good memories made even more fantastic by rose-colored glasses. And, as I grow up, each year gets a little more realistic, a little harder to use my imagination, a little more difficult to keep in contact with everyone that I’ve grown up with.

This year is kind of big for me. It marks the beginning of my 3rd decade of my life. I turn 20 this year, y’all! That being said, my goals for this year are fairly simple:

  • have fun! If everything works out, I’ll be able to spend 4 months abroad, finally getting to travel Europe. Although I still have five months of sophomore year left, which I’m really looking forward to (honestly), I cannot wait to spend fall semester in Brighton. This, of course, also includes making 2011 as much of a Levi’s ad as I can.
  • find more me time. I spend a lot of time by myself, but that’s usually just reading or watching tv. I want to rediscover the wonder of spending hours at a time outside like I did as a kid. This shouldn’t be too hard with the nation’s capitol, the shores of Lake Erie, and the South of England as my personal playground. Spending time out of the house (or dorm) will be good for me. I can go to museums, monuments, walk the beach, listen to the hundreds of podcasts and new albums that keep piling up, unlistened to on my iPod, and just keep working on figuring out who I am.
  • finish a writing project (or two or seven). I keep discovering new things to write about that intrigue me, but I haven’t really finished one yet. Knowing that I have the potential to finish these stories, that so far the characters are floundering around, not completely whole actually makes me a little sad. The only thing that pains me more when I’m writing is the moment I discover that I have to kill one of my creations. (I’m still sorry about that, Sven.)
  • rediscover my love for photography. I’ve been taking pictures for as long as I can remember, but I can’t seem to make the time when I’m at school. And then I get depressed that so many people I know have gotten so much better at photography than I once was. I need to buck up and rise to the personal challenge!

That’s all. Really. Well, for now at least. Music-times!

Cheese Kills!

What kind of lives are we living? Anne and I were just mentioned by the New York Times via Twitter. This is the coolest thing ever!!!

So, when I woke up this morning (read: noon), Anne burst into my room complaining about the New York Times expose on cheese usage in America. Apparently, the government is concurrently warning Americans that too much cheese in a diet is bad for you (sodium, fats, whatever) while also pushing restauranteurs to add more cheese to their meals. The day anyone figures out what the government is trying to accomplish there I’ll worry about it.

Anyway, Anne does ridiculous things like this all the time. This article, combined with her severe disdain for cheese, made for a hilarious moment. She was all afluster and began gesticulating wildly and speaking emphatically about, well, cheese.

Of course this prompted me to tweet about it. Because, you know, just saying:

Roommate just burst into my room screaming: “Molly! There is an expose in the New York Times about CHEESE!… Cheese kills!”#whatismylife?

is not really worthy of its own blog post. Agreed? Well, it wasn’t until I was retweeted by the New York effing Times!!! That’s right, check it out:

@NYTtweets: RT @MollytheGhost: Roommate just burst into my room screaming: “Molly! There is an expose in the New York Times about CHEESE!… Ch …

Okay, well it turns out that the guy who retweeted dear Anne and myself does not actually work for the New York Times. In fact, he is a newsroom developer at the Denver Post. But still, kind of cool.

Coming Soon:

Halloween, Halloween, Halloween!!! You know what that means: No, not costumes, not trick-or-treating, not egging houses or smashing pumpkins (Smashing Pumpkins is okay), but DCOMs!!!!

This is the month of, among many:

  • Hocus Pocus
  • Halloweentown
  • Don’t Look Under the Bed
  • Phantom of the Megaplex
  • The Scream Team (How had I forgotten about this!? It was fantastic.)
  • Tower of Terror

Tower of Terror is, perhaps, my favorite. It’s tied with Halloweentown. Just… I’m past the point where I’m totally excited about the holiday. Probably because in the last 5 years I’ve had killer headaches the day of Halloween. That, combined with the fact that I’m really not a huge fan of candy and the fact that Halloween’s on a Sunday this year doesn’t really do anything to get me stoked. Not to mention the Rally for Sanity and the March to Keep Fear Alive both take place the same weekend. I’m geeky enough that those things more than take precedence. And I have no costume ideas. Oh, well.

Only one more week until Halloween. I think I’ll celebrate by watching my favorite “freaky” films. Of the Disney Channel variety, of course.

Darwin Was a Pilgrim

This post is a three-fer:

1) I was trolling around on one of my favorite music websites and I found this. It reminded me of my high school anatomy teacher, who once read a freshman biology essay in which Darwin was, in fact, a pilgrim.  It went something like this:

Darwin was a pilgrim. He arrived in America sometime between 1400 and 1800 on the Santa Maria.  After living through the winter, which was quite uncommon in those times, he travelled from Plymouth Rock to somewhere else in New England. The journey took him 3 or 4 years, which is strange because my family and I made that trip last summer and it only took us three weeks. Later, Darwin travelled to the “G” islands off the coast of South America. They are located somewhere near where Fort Lauderdale is today. He studied birds there before moving back north where he died fighting the Indians.

2) To catch up with some posts, here’s a quickie: While chatting about favorite songs, Ellen shared that hers was “Stupid Cupid” from the Princess Diaries. Yeah, I didn’t expect that one either. But apparently she has sung it at multiple auditions. She refused to sing it for us, but I’m sure it would have been spectacular, especially with Ellen’s enthusiasm.  That got me thinking about my favorite song. I’m not positive, but it just might be “God Bless the Child” by Billie Holiday.  For your delight, here’s Lisa Simpson’s rendition, complete with Simpson home videos.

3) We’re spending the rest of the night watching Pocahontas. Not just the Crawford 202 roommates, oh, no. We’ve annexed Rachel (who has the single on the floor), and Erin (Anne’s younger sister who’s in for the weekend). This may be the greatest night ever. We already went out to dinner at Bertucci’s with Anne and Erin’s parents. Here are some of the golden gems of conversation that we’ve shared whilst watching Pocahontas:

– It was the 1700s! Everybody fucking talked to trees! It was the era! Amanda responding to my defense of Pocahontas casually chatting with Grandmother Willow.

Why did I even go to the Native American museum that day? Amanda, realizing she could have just popped the VHS into the tv.

Heehee, that puppy’s in the bath! It’s too funny! I don’t think you understand how funny this is, Anne. He’s doing things a human would do.

– What’s he doing? Oh, he’s slowly falling for the native. On Pocahontas’ first interaction with John Smith.

What’s your favorite Disney movie? Cinderella. Useless! Q interviewing Amanda on her favorite Disney animated movie.

– I think that when they hold hands and all the symbols float around, they learn each other’s languages. It was a different era. She’s actually a witch. This is actually The Crucible. It has a completely different ending.

– You could get a cannon that shoots chainsaws. That would move fast.

– Is Kokuom trying to stake John Smith? Does he think that he’s a vampire?

– It looks like Plymouth rock! Really? Cause Plymouth rock was really small. Oh, damn! I meant Pride Rock.

Word of the day: cuddle-slutting (n): the act of snuggling without discrimination. To be a snuggle-whore.


I wanna get out of here so I can eat my weight in fries

I really should be working on my take-home midterm for Political Campaigns that is due tomorrow morning. Really, I should.  But that does not seem to be happening.  Instead, I’ve spent the last 45 minutes with Amanda, Anne, and Ryan discussing the relative merits and plot lines of every Disney Channel Original Movie (DCOM).  Every DCOM since they began production.  Ryan has an encyclopedic knowledge of these films.  I was in awe of him and thoroughly impressed.  It was hands-down the best 45 minutes of my day.  I’m going to procrastinate some more by watching Wish Upon a Star (starring a young Katherine Heigl).  It’s not a DCOM, it actually pre-dates them! Fun fact: before 1997, DCOMs were called Disney Channel Premieres.  So, while I’m “busy”, you can enjoy one of our favorite DCOM songs: