Married Geek Couple

Barb Approves of Stuff!

My husband Park and I spend a lot of time reading, listening to music, and watching movies, old TV shows, etc.

We’re also pretty picky about what we like.

So, I thought I’d make a list of some stuff I (and he) do approve of!

–“The Water Ghost of Harrowby Hall” (read by Jonathan Frid)

I’m putting this up at the top of this list front for my fellow Dark Shadows fans! My husband and I are huge fans of the old supernatural soap opera Dark Shadows, and the lead vampire actor, Jonathan Frid, had such a compelling voice! So listening to him read this funny ghost story about how to outwit a ghost that makes rooms and people wet with water, is a minor treasure and a major pleasure for me.

–“The Erl King” by John Connolly

“The Erl King” is a scary poem about a father and son riding on a horse at night. The son starts hearing the voice of the “Erl King,” who is the king of the fairies. The Erl King wants to drag the son away to his fairy kingdom…


The Wonderful World of Dismemberment

There used to be a television show called The Wonderful World of Disney, where a kid could see old Disney cartoons and live action films. We now have Disney Plus, which I have a free subscription to for six months because my husband got a new phone. But I’d trade Disney Plus for a horror channel that had as much old content as Disney has. About the best streaming service for horror is Shudder (we also have a six-month free subscription because of the phone thing), but it doesn’t have a lot of selection of older films, and I’m just not interested in their exclusive content. I do thank them for the quality of the prints of the movies they show. And I also thank them for all of the Giallo films they have. Finally, I thank them for showing my favorite folk horror film, Eyes of Fire. I appreciate Shudder, it just doesn’t have enough stuff that I’m into.

Married Geek Couple

Married Geek Couple #6: Watching the Detectives

Park: So recently– and funnily enough this had never come up before– you explained to me that the first adult books you read were mystery stories, and then I suppose entire mystery novels, yes? So is that how you got into Dorothy L. Sayers?

Barb:  As a child, I hated most children’s books.  Only Dorp Dead, The Pushcart War, and The Egypt Game appealed to me.  I hated kids’ mysteries where kids foiled jewel robberies, bank heists, found stolen loot, and so on.  See, I knew that kids would never do such things, so I couldn’t suspend my disbelief…


Dark Shadows: Anatomy of a Scene #4

Okay so here we are with Anatomy of a Scene #4! Today we’re doing the scene from the once-famous gothic daytime TV soap opera Dark Shadows (kind of two scenes, technically, or maybe just one longish one, depending on your point of view) where, in the year 1795, Joshua Collins finds out his son Barnabas is about to marry gorgeous servant girl Angelique instead of Josette DuPrés, who, just a few weeks ago, was the girl everyone (except Angelique, I guess?) thought he was going to marry…


Dark Shadows: Anatomy of a Scene #3

Okay so here’s the thing: Barb and I wanted to do another Anatomy of a Scene, because this, to us, is Fun. It is F-U-N, as they said one time on MST3K. But we weren’t sure what Dark Shadows scene really NEEDED us to deep-analyze it. There are certainly other great scenes on Dark Shadows, but we would need another one that (1) NEEDED analysis (so that seemed to exclude scenes with Willie Loomis, because they’re all amazing, but they’re also not as SUBTLE as the scenes we’ve done so far), and also scenes that (2) no one ELSE had already analyzed. There are other amazing scenes in Dark Shadows, but other writers have already done a good job of analyzing some of those.

Well, we talked about it, and finally realized that what we might need to get into is Barnabas’ relationship with his father—like, say, the first time we see them together.

As it happens, that moment ALSO happens to be in the same episode where we first get Angelique—just earlier in the episode.


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Married Geek Couple #5: Barb’s Turn

Barb’s Turn! Finally, I ask Barb some questions instead of the other way around!

Park: Okay, questions-for-Barb starts now! Favorite Actor?

Barb: OOOH, tough one. I really love Van Heflin, the old Hollywood star. He’s so tough yet so gentle. And I love Robert Ryan, as he has a “don’t mess with me, you’ll regret it” vibe. I don’t like a lot of modern actors. I love Tom Holland, but I don’t think Hollywood knows what to do with him, post-Spider-Man. Same goes with the other two modern actors I like, Tom Hiddleston and Ryan Reynolds. Of course, Ryan Reynolds doesn’t have a thing to worry about, as he’s a savvy business man. But Hiddleston needs to find some post-Loki roles. Maybe he should go back to Shakespeare.

Park: Favorite ACTRESS?


Dark Shadows: Anatomy of a Scene– #2

We’re back, with another installment of our feature Anatomy of a Scene, in which we take a deeper dive into a scene, this time once again from the classic gothic television daytime soap opera Dark Shadows, 1966-1971.

Okay so remember our first Anatomy of a Scene? The talk that didn’t go well between Angelique and Barnabas in Barnabas’ bedroom? Well Angelique has gotten RIGHT TO WORK and has acquired one of Barnabas’ handkerchiefs and a toy wooden soldier that was his when he was a boy, and she is contemplating some voodoo revenge magic for Barnabas…

She’s talking to her new little inanimate friends… ending with the line:

Angelique: You are all I need… to make him regret what he’s done to me…


Dark Shadows: Anatomy of a Scene #1

Okay, so this is going to be a thing we’re calling Anatomy of a Scene–specifically, this is going to be the first time Angelique and Barnabas are seen together alone in episode 368 (sometimes called number 368/369 for network numbering reasons I don’t want to get into right now) of the TV show Dark Shadows, in the 1795 storyline.

So here’s the set-up:

–Barnabas is the only son of rich parents, and the year is 1795. The place is the coastal fishing town of Collinsport, Maine—except back then, Maine was considered a part of Massachusetts, and not a state all by itself yet.

–Josette DuPres is a pretty rich girl of French ancestry, who has been living in Martinique in the Caribbean.

Now, Barnabas’ dad owns a very prosperous fishing fleet, and Josette’s dad owns a sugar plantation. They would both sort of like it if these kids got married (although Josette has had other suitors in the past who didn’t quite work out, apparently).

–Josette’s aunt Natalie is the Countess DuPres…

–And the Countess’ maid is a gorgeous blonde gal named Angelique.

Reader, Spoiler Alert: Barnabas took a little tour of the Caribbean (he stopped at Barbados, too), and he spent time around Josette. But in those days, young men and women with money were VERY chaperoned, and had to abide by LOTS of rules of being polite and not doing much touching—heck, one hardly ever left such people alone together for five seconds.

So, Barnabas met Josette, and liked her. Quite a bit, actually, to hear him tell it.

BUT, he had a self-esteem problem, and didn’t feel like Josette would return his feelings for her—

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Married Geek Couple #4: TV and Movies, Disney and Marvel  

Still my (Park’s) turn to answer questions from Barb! Today, Barb mostly asks about Disney and Marvel stuff.

Barb: What’s your favorite old-school live action Disney film?

Park: Oh dang… Tron counts, right?

Barb: I think that my favorite might be Pollyanna, because it’s a problem-solving film.  One perky kid can change the world.

Barb: Damned right, Tron counts!!!!

Barb: So, Tron?  Back when I met you, you were the only other person I knew who understood what a great film Tron was.

Married Geek Couple


It’s the Dark Shadows Frequently Asked Questions… list!

–WHY ARE SOME EPISODES IN BLACK AND WHITE? At first, it’s because they hadn’t started using color cameras yet. But then, some episodes can still only be watched by us in this century because they didn’t always save all the tapes of the color episodes—but they did save (almost) all of the black-and-white recordings of the shows. The easiest way to explain it is that they broadcast the show in color (once that started) on most stations. But some stations didn’t show Dark Shadows at the same time—for just one example, California is three hours behind New York (where the show was made) time-zone wise. So some stations would show a black-and-white recording of the show (oh well—not everyone had color televisions yet, so they’d hardly notice). So when no one saved a color copy of an episode, modern Dark Shadows viewers watch the black-and-white copy.

–“I HATE X CHARACTER—BECAUSE X CHARACTER IS SO MEAN//ANNOYING! WHEN WILL THEY GO AWAY?!?” This is a complex question because the answer depends on who we’re talking about. Let’s hit the most common characters that people say this about.