Greetings again my atrocious audience, your ol' pal Eerie Evan has yet another trip down memory lane for you. This time, we'll take a good look at one of my favorite 90's series when I was just a wee little lost soul - a show by the name of Are you Afraid of the Dark?
While this was a show for the kiddies cooked up by YTV in Canada, it received considerable airplay in the United States. From 1991 to 1996, AYAOTD effectively fueled my nightmares without being outright banned by the Hand of God (I.E. my overlords who thought that I could handle Poe, but decided terror on the silver screen was just too much for lil ol' me. Unless it was Ridley Scott's Alien). This show was head and shoulders above Goosebumps, with better characters, better plots, and legitimately scary moments. Even now, there are a few episodes I watched which would probably be considered racy, even a little too much to show to a kid today. While there are some obvious ones that would be fitting to mention (The Tale of the 13th Floor, The Tale of Laughing in the Dark, The Tale of the Midnight Madness....)I'm going with an underdog today. My choice? An episode entitled The Tale of the Dark Music and man oh man, I have not the foggiest idea how this one got past the Nickelodeon censors.
In this one Andy, his sister and his mom move into his old Uncle's house. His Uncle kicked the bucket a while ago, and according to his mom had a reputation for not being terribly liked amongst his neighbors and the rest of the townsfolk, mostly because he never seemed to want for anything and on top of that, he just seemed a bit...off. Andy's mother isn't exactly rolling in the dough, so he does things like pick up a paper route. Hey, Andy's life is looking up!
Or was, that is. It seems a bully named Koda (What kind of name is that? Is that a Stryper shirt?) really has it out for him, greasy locks 'n all. We get a rare glimpse of empathy with our terribly named bully, as we see that he's belittle by his own dad in one scene - something rarely seen in kids television. But if all that wasn't terrible enough, there is a thing living in the root cellar.
So once Koda tosses Andy's bike into the street and ruins it, Andy decides he's had enough. He lures Koda down to the basement, traps him in it and contacts his otherworldly friend. What happens next you ask? Well, this is a pretty good indication.
When Andy makes it back down into the basement, Koda is nowhere to be found. What IS there however, is a brand new bicycle, even better than the one Andy had before. Perplexed, Andy watches as the cellar door opens and a voice announces that it'll happily give Andy anything he wants - as long as he supplies his friend with plenty of food. Cue his sister being annoying upstairs, and what does Andy do?
Oh yes, I think that with a smile like that it is pretty damn obvious what Andy decides to do. This is by far the most dark episode of AYAOTD that there is. It has a murder in it. It ends with a second implied murder (not to mention all those people his Uncle must have offed to get his stuff...or what happened to him). But even better than that, it showed the audience that there are no guaranteed happy endings in life, and the 'angels of ones better nature' do not always triumph over evil.
Feel free to watch the episode below, and as always, until next time kiddies.