Tales from the Darkside—Season 2

tales from the darkside season 2 dvd episode guide list
7.0 Overall Score
Story: 7/10
Acting: 7/10
Visuals: 7/10

Some fun episodes, short and quick

Low production value, lots of clunker episodes

 
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Take a walk on the Darkside

Man lives in the sunlit world of what he believes to be reality.  But…there is, unseen by most, an underworld, a place that is just as real,but not as brightly lit…a darkside!  The portal to the Darkside is open again and those who enter may never come out!

Tales from the Darkside—Season 2 ran from September 29, 1985 to July 13, 1986 in syndication.  The anthology series often had a focus on horror but also dove into science-fiction and fantasy with a comedic touch.

Tales from the Darkside was always hodgepodge.  With a much spottier record than something like The Twilight Zone, the series just sometimes misses while at bat.

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Tune in!

Season 2 has its moments.  I generally prefer the horror episodes to the out-and-out comedy horror or the sci-fi ones.  Episodes like “Halloween Candy”, “Monsters in My Room”, and “The Last Car” have some great moments.  Other episodes like “Ursa Minor” could have potential if they didn’t feel completely derivative of other stories (“Ursa Minor” might as well have just taken the doll out of Night Gallery’s “The Doll” and replaced it with a bear…with a less satisfying ending).  “Devil’s Advocate” falls into the “funny” horror, but feels more like a Twilight Zone episode than many of the others.

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You won’t be bored to death

Tales from the Darkside often had very low production values. The transfers aren’t much better to DVD.  I wish that the makers had worked on the prints just a little to clean them up.  Often the series is overexposed or too dark…a little color correction couldn’t hurt either.

The series often employed the who’s who of actors at the time…or the who’s that.  Like the episodes, the cast was sometimes spotty.  Sometimes you got one or two recognizable actors…other times you got nothing.  In addition to the actors, the writers and directors sometimes were quite good…or marginally bad.  Tales of the Darkside is a toss of the dice in that sense.

The best part of Tales from the Darkside is the eerie opening, but the series itself does have merit.  You are much more likely to get a clunker when you watch the series, but fortunately the half-hour shows go by quickly.

Tales from the Darkside—Season 2 Complete Episode Guide:

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“The Impressionist”

2.1       The Impressionist Airdate:  09/29/85

A master impressionist named Spiffy Remo (Chuck McCann) finds himself forced to work with the government to communicate with an alien.  As Remo tries to get the aliens movements down to learn the secrets to fusion reaction, Remo finds his life changing.

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“Lifebomb”

2.2       Lifebomb Airdate:  10/06/85

An insurance agent (Robert Riesel) offers a big time executive Ben Martin (Bill Macy) a device called the Lifebomb which protects its wearer from death…at a cost.

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“Ring Around the Redhead”

2.3       Ring Around the Redhead Airdate:  10/13/85

Billy Malone (John Heard) tells a reporter his story as he awaits for his turn on death row.  Billy reveals an earthquake opened a portal to other dimensions and how he met a woman named Keena (Penelope Ann Miller) from the portal…but the discovery led to death.

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“Palour Floor Front”

2.4       Parlour Floor Front Airdate:  10/20/85

A couple (Donna Bullock and John Calonius) finds they cannot evict a tenant named Mars Gillis (Adolph Caesar) who lives in the house they purchased.  When they discover that he is a witch doctor, they find their actions toward Mars could lead to being cursed.

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“Halloween Candy”

2.5       Halloween Candy Airdate:  10/27/85

A cruel old man (Roy Poole) hates Halloween.  When he refuses to give out candy to children, he finds that tricks will come…maybe not just from children.

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“The Satanic Piano”

2.6       The Satanic Piano Airdate:  11/03/85

Peter Bancroft (Michael Warren) is at a creative lull in his music career.  When he is contacted by Wilson Farber (Philip Roth) who possesses a piano that transfer thoughts into music, Peter think he’s found a gift…but the piano might be more interested in his daughter Justine (Lisa Bonet).

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“The Devil’s Advocate”

2.7       The Devil’s Advocate Airdate:  11/10/85

Luther Mandrake (Jerry Stiller) has a popular radio talk show in “The Devil’s Advocate”.  As he crassly deals with his listeners, playing Devil’s advocate can change a man.

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“Distant Signals”

2.8       Distant Signals Airdate:  11/17/85

A man named Mr. Smith (Lenny von Dohlen) comes to entertainment manager Lew Feldman (Joseph Bova) and reveals he wants a cancelled ’60s detective program named Max Paradise revived.  Now, Mr. Smith is will to pay whatever he needs to get the writer Gil Hurn (David Margulies) and Max Paradise star Van Conway (Darren McGavin) to put Max Paradise back in production for his mysterious backers.

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“The Trouble with Mary Jane”

2.9       The Trouble with Mary Jane Airdate:  11/24/85

A demon has possessed a girl named Mary Jane (Tanya Fenmore) and amateur demon exorcists Nora and Jack Mills (Phyllis Diller and Lawrence Tierney) find that money talks when it comes to taking on the demon.

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“Ursa Minor”

2.10     Ursa Minor Airdate:  12/01/85

It the big birthday day for Susie (Jamie Ohar) and now she’s got a new teddy bear.  When Susie starts to blame things on Teddy, her parents find it is getting out of control.  Getting rid of Teddy is a must…but Teddy has other plans.

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“Effect and Cause”

2.11     Effect and Cause Airdate:  12/08/85

An artist named Kate Collins (Susan Strasberg) thinks it is bad karma to reuse canvases.  When reality begins to alter, it seems like fun…but fun turns dangerous quickly.

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“Monsters in My Room”

2.12     Monsters in My Room Airdate:  12/22/85

Timmy (Seth Green) fears the monsters in his room, but his bigger problem is his stepfather Biff (Greg Mullavey) who thinks he should grow up.

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“Comet Watch”

2.13     Comet Watch Airdate:  01/02/86

Englebert Ames (Anthony Heald) desires to watch Halley’s Comet despite his wife’s lack of interest and support.  When a woman named Lara Burns (Sarah Rush) comes through his telescope from Halley’s previous pass, Englebert learns the comet contains a time window.  When Sir Edmund Halley (Fritz Weaver) comes down the telescope, decisions must be made before the portal closes.

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“Dream Girl”

2.14     Dream Girl Airdate:  01/19/86

Director Andrea Caldwell (Carolyn Seymour) and writer Syd Grossinger (Jon Cedar) find themselves trapped in a nightmare version of the play they are performing when the fantasies of a stagehand named Otto Schrog (Lou Cutell) begin to warp reality.

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“A New Lease on Life”

2.15     A New Lease on Life Airdate:  01/26/86

Archie Fenton (Robert Rothman) has found an apartment for a steal.  With a strange landlady named Madame Angler (Marie Windsor), Archie finds odd rules and scared tenants.  Fenton also learns that a building has to eat.

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“Printer’s Devil”

2.16     Printer’s Devil Airdate:  02/02/86

A starving writer named Junior P. Harmon (Larry Manetti) finds he can’t pay the bills.  When he decides to respond to a radio ad by Alex Kellaway (Charles Knapp), he learns the key to writing could be sacrifice…literally.

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“The Shrine”

2.17     The Shrine Airdate:  02/09/86

Christine Matthews (Lorna Luft) returns home after years away after a breakdown.  She discovers her mother (Coleen Gray) has befriended her younger self Chrissie (Virginya Keehne) and now Christine is in competition with her past.

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“The Old Soft Shoe”

2.18     The Old Soft Shoe Airdate:  02/16/86

A travelling lingere salesman named Chester Caruso (Paul Dooley) finds himself trapped at a small motel during a storm.  Reserving a haunted room, an old radio brings back the ghost of a woman named Glenda (Dorothy Parke) and Chester finds himself in for a night of dancing…and horror.

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“The Last Car”

2.19     The Last Car Airdate:  02/23/86

A girl named Stacey (Begonya Plaza) catches a train home for Thanksgiving to find herself stuck in the strange last car.  With only a handful of other passengers, Stacey discovers the real horror comes in the form of the tunnels…which reveal the dark side of the train which never seems to stop.

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“A Choice of Dreams”

2.20     A Choice of Dreams Airdate:  05/04/86

Jake Corelli (Abe Vigoda) is a gangster facing a death sentence.  Suffering from terminal cancer, a new treatment may be able to make him live on forever at a huge cost.

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“Strange Love”

2.21     Strange Love Airdate:  05/11/86

Dr. Philip Carrol (Patrick Kilpatrick) in 1935 finds himself forced to tend to a vampire Edmund (Harsh Nayyar) and his young immortal wife Marie (Marcia Cross).  When Marie begins to fall in love with Dr. Carrol, a plot against Edmund could be brewing.

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“The Unhappy Medium”

2.22     The Unhappy Medium Airdate:  05/18/86

A corrupt televangelist has died and summoned his sister Caroline Bright (Connie Stevens), his assistant Jonathan Reed (Richard Kuhlman), and his niece Jenny (Carolyn Ann Clark) for his last will and testament.  When Farley uses Jenny as a medium, they learn that they are stuck between Heaven and Hell as the battle for Farley’s soul is waged.

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“Fear of Floating”

2.23     Fear of Floating Airdate:  05/23/86

A man named Arnold Barker (Sherman Howard) comes into a recruitment office with the ability to float and a story of the angry circus people trying to kill him.  With a pregnant girl (Yeardley Smith) and an angry father (John Ridge), Barker’s key to stop floating might be finally facing the truth.

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“The Casavin Curse”

2.24     The Casavin Curse Airdate:  07/13/86

The Casavins have been under a curse for years, and Gina Casavin (Catherine Parks) is the most recent victim.  Is it a curse or insanity when Gina’s boyfriend continue to die.

Related Links:

Tales from the Darkside—Season 1 Review and Complete Episode Guide

Tales from the Darkside—Season 3 Review and Complete Episode Guide

Tales from the Darkside—Season 4 Review and Complete Episode Guide

Tales from the Darkside:  The Movie (1990)

Author: JPRoscoe View all posts by
Follow me on Twitter @JPRoscoe76! Loves all things pop-culture especially if it has a bit of a counter-culture twist. Plays video games (basically from the start when a neighbor brought home an Atari 2600), comic loving (for almost 30 years), and a true critic of movies. Enjoys the art house but also isn't afraid to let in one or two popular movies at the same time.

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