I’m going to withhold writing any premature thoughts I may have on the forthcoming reboot of the classic 1980s television show Tales From the Darkside, aside from my worry that while Sleepy Hollow producers Roberto Orci and Alex Kurtzman are riding a wave of success, the allure of the show they’re planning to revive wasn’t its cutting-edge special effects or good-looking actors and actresses. Rather, the show had the same grainy, dirty quality as most horror films of time, which added a kind of creepiness today’s big-budget TV shows can’t match.
There’s that, and also the fact that the new show probably won’t have any episodes based on John Cheever stories, like the original’s “The Enormous Radio.” Sadly, it’s not among the many Tales From the Darkside episodes you can watch online — but here are ten other great installments posted on YouTube.
10. “The Word Processor of the Gods”
Stephen King had teamed up with George A. Romero a few years earlier for the film anthology Creepshow, and the two reunited for this episode about a writer who inherits a word processor with a very special power.
9. “The Milkman Cometh”
Although the milkman hasn’t been a presence in daily life for a few generations now, this episode about a milkman who can also deliver wishes will still resonate with those of us who have only bought our 2% from the grocery store.
8. “Trick or Treat”
The show’s pilot, about an old miser who holds debts over the heads of townspeople unless their children can find the paper in his Halloween house of horrors, features a surprise guest at the very end.
7. “Monsters in My Room”
Yes, that’s a young Seth Green as a little boy who has good reason to be afraid of the monsters that show up in his bedroom.
6. “In the Cards”
This episode will make you think twice about getting your fortune told by a tarot card reader.
5. “Snip, Snip”
Ever think that practicing the dark arts is the perfect get-rich-quick scheme? This creepy episode might make you reconsider.
4. “The Circus”
One of the episodes written by Romero, this story focuses on a journalist who thinks he can crack open a story on the monsters and freaks on display at a local circus.
Horror writer Joseph Payne Brennan penned this episode that teaches us that you should never challenge a magician.
2. “The New Man”
Technically the first episode of Tales From the Darkside (although “Trick or Treat” is the pilot), it’s a little shocking that an episode this weird and confusing didn’t sink the show. But a great one nonetheless.
1. “The Madness Room”
Greed is a big theme with Tales, and this episode about a couple that scares an old man to death to get their fortune, is one of its best.