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Dark Shadows, the daytime soap (1966-1971)

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Anyone a fan of the original series?

 

I watched a few episodes last night from the Leviathans storyline. They are on Hulu-- this particular story is from early 1970. With the exception of classy Joan Bennett who understands the point of subtlety to convey emotions, most of them scream their lines and are way too over the top. And these are performers who went on to success in other things, so I think the problem is with the director encouraging them to overplay it.

 

I love what the writing suggests, but the hammy acting and the silly werewolf costume and obviously low budget make it very amateurish to me. I can see why people find it entertaining, but not as a serious form of television.

 

And though they have Jonathan Frid's Barnabas supposedly pining after his late Josette (and her various incarnations), there's such a strong gay subtext with the character, it nearly overshadows everything else.

 

Thoughts..?

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I remember Dark Shadows, though I didn't watch it, probably because it was on during the day. I did watch Strange Paradise, a Canadian horror soap, on around 11 pm, that was inspired by Dark Shadows. (Many episodes online).

 

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Strange_Paradise

 

 

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Raxl and Quito

 

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Anyone a fan of the original series?

 

I watched a few episodes last night from the Leviathans storyline. They are on Hulu-- this particular story is from early 1970. With the exception of classy Joan Bennett who understands the point of subtlety to convey emotions, most of them scream their lines and are way too over the top. And these are performers who went on to success in other things, so I think the problem is with the director encouraging them to overplay it.

 

I love what the writing suggests, but the hammy acting and the silly werewolf costume and obviously low budget make it very amateurish to me. I can see why people find it entertaining, but not as a serious form of television.

 

And though they have Jonathan Frid's Barnabas supposedly pining after his late Josette (and her various incarnations), there's such a strong gay subtext with the character, it nearly overshadows everything else.

 

Thoughts..?

I never got to watch this but the show has a huge cult following so they must have done something right- but imagine most of the fans saw the series as kids and it brings back fond memories.  What the is Barnabas gay subtext about?

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I never got to watch this but the show has a huge cult following so they must have done something right- but imagine most of the fans saw the series as kids and it brings back fond memories.  What the is Barnabas gay subtext about?

 

There's a caretaker who discovers his crypt and finds out he's a vampire. So Barnabas bites Willie on the neck and makes Willie his slave to watch over him during the daytime hours. 

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I have watched a few episodes online and I didn't see any gay subtext on the show. I would have to watch that particular episode.

I don't know what Bram Stoker had in mind, I read the book decades ago, but in some movies and books, vampirism is sexualized. The vampire is a sexual predator, who transforms himself usually into a wolf, the violent representation of a womanizer. 

A vampire attacking a man may definitely be a homoerotic image, but I think it depends on how the scene is written and staged.

Dark Shadows has one of my favorite intros of all time.

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There's a caretaker who discovers his crypt and finds out he's a vampire. So Barnabas bites Willie on the neck and makes Willie his slave to watch over him during the daytime hours. 

 

Couldn't one say that any master \ manservant relationship has a potential gay subtext?     E.g. Eric Blore and Edward Horton often were cast in the manservant role and their mannerisms fit the stereotype but I don't view there being any type of actual relationship involved between the master and manservant.    In the vast majority of the cases the master is chasing females rather aggressively in these films.  

 

Of course the manservant could be gay.   E.g. is this the type of job a working class gay man would love to have;  helping (shopping for, and dressing of etc..) a handsome,  younger rich man?       

 

But I don't see this with Willie since he didn't take on the job voluntarily. 

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I have watched a few episodes online and I didn't see any gay subtext on the show. I would have to watch that particular episode.

I don't know what Bram Stoker had in mind, I read the book decades ago, but in some movies and books, vampirism is sexualized. The vampire is a sexual predator, who transforms himself usually into a wolf, the violent representation of a womanizer. 

A vampire attacking a man may definitely be a homoerotic image, but I think it depends on how the scene is written and staged.

Dark Shadows has one of my favorite intros of all time.

There is new biography of Bram Stoker that suggest he was probably gay.

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Couldn't one say that any master \ manservant relationship has a potential gay subtext?     E.g. Eric Blore and Edward Horton often were cast in the manservant role and their mannerisms fit the stereotype but I don't view there being any type of actual relationship involved between the master and manservant.    In the vast majority of the cases the master is chasing females rather aggressively in these films.  

 

Of course the manservant could be gay.   E.g. is this the type of job a working class gay man would love to have;  helping (shopping for, and dressing of etc..) a handsome,  younger rich man?       

 

But I don't see this with Willie since he didn't take on the job voluntarily. 

It's all about subtext- yes the character might be chasing women in public but who knows what they did with the manservant at night

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It's all about subtext- yes the character might be chasing women in public but who knows what they did with the manservant at night

 

Yes, that's what I think too. 

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It's all about subtext- yes the character might be chasing women in public but who knows what they did with the manservant at night

 

Subtext is in the eye of the beholder.

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Subtext is in the eye of the beholder.

 

Not exactly. Sometimes it is in the script, indicated in the stage direction. It's not something explicit in the dialogue but the actors are told to play it as if they are referencing something else. Of course, the audience (and critics) can debate if they pulled it off and if it really meant such-and-such.

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