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Brandon’s Halloween Watchlist 2021 – Part One

I’m a huge fan of Halloween and ever year I spend time watching various 90’s Halloween sitcom episodes, horror movies, and anything else I can get my hands on. Since Halloween is just two weeks away, I thought we’d take a look at what I’ve watched thus far this season.


Fresh Prince of Bel-Air
Season Four, Episode Seven
Hex and the Single Guy
Original Airdate: October 25th, 1993

Hillary’s fiancee has recently passed away during a bungie accident and on Halloween she decides to visit a TV psychic that will allow her to get in contact with Trevor.

The psychic is portrayed by Glenn Shadrix who you’d most likely recognize from Beetlejuice. He’s wonderfully over the top as usual and after Will insults his character as being a fake, the psychic places a curse on the family.

Chaos ensues as bad things begin happening to the family and Will is put into a position where he needs to go back and beg for forgiveness from the psychic.

This is the first time I’ve revisited Fresh Prince of Bel-Air since watching it syndication in the late 90’s/early 2000’s. It was one of my favorite sitcoms and well… I was disappointed that it did not hold up well. Will’s character is so absurd and over-the-top I just struggled to enjoy the episode. I’m not sure if this is an isolated thing, or if his antics just didn’t age well along with the series.

On the other hand… this song that never made it onto the Nightmare on Elm Street soundtrack by Will Smith and DJ Jazzy Jeff is totally worth a listen.

Halloween Theme: B
Re-Watchability: F


Full House
Season Two, Episode Three
It’s Not My Job
Original Airdate: October 28th, 1988

The show starts off with some incredible costumes! DJ’s dressed as Cleopatra, Michelle as a pumpkin, Stephanie as a bunny, and Danny, Jesse, and Joey as The Three Stooges. Right off the back, you get hit in the face with Halloween and I’m all for it.

Sadly, that is the extent of the Halloween celebration in this episode. The episode centers around Jesse wanting to let his father know that he wants out of the family business of exterminating and focus on his music career.

As far as a Full House episode, this is pretty solid, but as a Halloween episode, it stinks. Feel free to check out the opening scene and then move onto your next Halloween show if you add this to your watchlist.

Halloween Theme: D
Re-Watchability: B


The Middle
Season Two, Episode Six
Halloween
Original Airdate: October 27th, 2010

I just started watching The Middle earlier this year, and I instantly fell in love with the show. As my wife said, if we had kids and I died, she’d show them The Middle and let them know that Mike Heck is probably the closest dad on TV to who I am. I took that as a compliment.

In this episode, Frankie is trying to convince Mike to dress up for a party at the neighbors while the kids are all dealing with their own Halloween problems (Brick not wanting to trick or treat with Sue, Axle trying to find a mature Halloween party, and Sue heading to church for a Haunted Hayride).

It’s a great episode that never shies away too far from it’s Halloween theme. I also love the church Halloween scenes, because it’s an unrepresented part of society on TV.

Mike: We both have different definitions of fun. You think adults dressing up and bobbing for swine flu is fun, and I’m right.

Halloween Theme: A
Re-Watchability: A


Friends
Season Two, Episode Six
The One With the Halloween Party
Original Airdate: November 1st, 2001

This episode takes place almost entirely at a Halloween party, which is my favorite type of Halloween episode. The various conflicts between the cast members boils over as temper flare up. Ross and Chandler debate whose the stronger, while Pheobe gets the hosts for her twin sister’s fiancee.

One of the best parts of this episode is the fact that the characters are in costume almost the entire episode. Also, the party is well decorated and the plot doesn’t have any sort of weird “fantasy” elements the way some sitcoms tend to go. Also, I related quite a bit to Ross in his clever costume that no one understood. Back in 2018, I went to a Halloween party dressed as Daredevil from season three. Not a soul understood who I was and I got asked if I was a mummy. Even then it seemed like a line out of a sitcom.

Halloween Theme: A
Re-Watchability: B


Raising Hope
Season One, Episode Five
Happy Halloween
Original Airdate: October 26h, 2010

I just discovered Raising Hope a few months ago and it has quickly become one of my all-time favorite shows. It absolutely speaks to me and I love everything about it. The fifth episode of the series was a Halloween episode called Happy Halloween. The story is based on Jimmy accompanying Sabrina to a Halloween party that her boyfriend could not attend, while Virginia takes MawMaw out trick or treating.

The short dance scene and the costumes at the party are by far my favorite of any show I’ve seen in quite some time. They are generic costumes like Elvis, angels, clowns, but they are all incredibly well done. No half-assed costumes here. I particularly love the green bean.

Great costumes, Halloween party, TPing houses, and an epic prank. This as close to a perfect Halloween episode as they come.

Halloween Theme: A
Re-Watchability: A



Wayans Brothers

Season Two, Episode Seven
Sacred Straight
October 25th, 1995

I enjoyed The Wayans Brothers while in middle/high school and haven’t seen an episode since then. HBO listed a Halloween episode and I decided to give it a shot. I expected it to be terrible but I was pleasantly surprised. The humor was pretty spot on and the Halloween theme was fun and a bit over the top.

Who would have guessed that I would think The Wayans Brothers would hold up better than The Fresh Prince.

This episode is about Pops, who keeps a tradition of leaving out a donut and coffee for a ghost who died by falling into an elevator shaft years earlier. Shawn and Marlon decide to teach Pops a lesson.

Halloween Theme: B
Re-Watchability: B



Just Shoot Me

Season Seven, Episode Four
Halloween? Halloween!
October 29th, 2002

This episode comes from the final season of Just Shoot Me, when the show was beginning to go downhill. Despite, the drop in quality, this is a very solid Halloween episode. The bulk of the episode takes place at a Halloween party with lots of great costumes. The best part of the plot is that Finch and Jack have a bet on who can score with a new model played by Brooke Burns. Things quickly lean towards Finch and we find out that’s because Brooke Burns’ character is a lesbian and thinks Finch is a woman. It’s a simple case of mistaken identity that results in hilarity.

Halloween Theme: B
Re-Watchability: B



The Muppets: Haunted Mansion

Well, this isn’t a sitcom, but instead a brand new spooky special on Disney Plus. Gonzo and Pepe decided to take on a challenge inside the Haunted Mansion and they encounter all sorts of fun ghosts. This special did an amazing job at utilizing various aspects of the actual Haunted Mansion ride, along with traditional Muppet humor. It was way more entertaining than I ever imagined it would be and this may end up in my yearly Halloween watch rotation.

Halloween Theme: B
Re-Watchability: B



Home Improvement

Season Three, Episode Six
Crazy For You
October 27th, 1993

Earlier this year, I came across a recording from the original airing of this episode of Home Improvement. It came complete with the commercials from 1993. I’ve seen this episode probably half a dozen times and its always a fun watch. Tim is stalked by a crazed fan that ends up being a well orchestrated prank. Home Improvement always had some of the best Halloween episodes and they really go all out to celebrate the holiday with great set design and costumes.

Halloween Theme: A
Re-Watchability: B



Cheers

Season Three, Episode Four
Fairy Tales Can Come True
October 25th, 1984

This was a first time watch for me and I was pleasantly surprised. The first half of the episode takes place on Halloween and features lots of decent costumes and fun banter at Cheers. The second half takes place the next day as Cliff waits around to meet a woman he danced with the night before but he’s never seen since both of them were wearing masks.

It’s a good humored, positive episode with some heart.

Halloween Theme: B
Re-Watchability: B

 

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4 Comments

  1. I am so glad you included The Middle. That show had the charm to make any holiday episode enjoyable. I particularly loved this one!!

  2. I like that you included newer shows form the 2010s on the list. Any episode of The Middle with Reverend Tim Tom is a good one. The Halloween Raising Hope episode was the one that got me to keep watching. A lot of shows don’t talk about the poorly self made last minute costume. It really looks like something somebody would make at the last minute.

    • Yea I think The Middle does a great job of properly creating realistic situations people face which isnt something you see all that often on TV.

      Reverend Tim Tom is a favorite of mine so I like it every time he shows up.

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