Are You Afraid of the Dark: The Complete Second Season
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A spookily exciting show, Are You Afraid Of The Dark centers on the exploits of The Midnight Society, a group of teens who take turns spinning scary tales around the campfire. Season 2 contains some classics episodes from the show's seven-year run, including The Final Wish, about a young girl who is obsessed with fairly tales but finds herself trapped in a nightmare world instead. Check out an appearance by the memorable Dr. Vink, who offers his old horror film to save the classic Rialto theatre from closing down. However, his actions have their own nefarious agenda. And investigate The Tale Of The Locker 22, when the new girl in school discovers to her shock and embarrassment that ghosts from the 1960s haunt her locker. For first time viewers or long time fans, this series is a must see.
The #1 Show For Teens -- TV GuideSee all Product description
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Note: I am providing variations of this review for all season DVD sets of this show.
To Start, the package design is appropriate as it is elegant - The aged book covers elegantly reflects the tone of the show, which involves a group of kids telling stories around a campfire once a week. I also like how the actual logo is used on the box art, rather than some other font - it's FAR better than the volume sets and the Candian Season Sets from the 2000s. Furthermore, it's a nice touch to have the discs printed with fine-quality ink with the cover image, so the phyisical product looks and feels quality.
In regards to the DVD content, all the episodes are here, according to production order (not airing order). The DVD menu features the show logo atop some worn textured paper to continue the book theme. To my dismay, the DVD menu design and navigation are bare bones. Maybe my childhood memories are too precious amidst the year 2015 where everything has flashy graphics and face-melting audio quality, but at the very least, a feathered looping video clip of a campfire crackling with some animated text in the font of an old, written book would've done the presentation justice. That's not too much to ask for, right? Please consider it for Seasons 6&7 Amazon ;)
Okay, menus and covers aside, let's get to the actual content. This show is excellent. It has a kind of relateable charm mixed with spooky goodness that still feels resh and enjoyable 20+ years later without being overly campy or gross like "Goosebumps" or "Eerie Indiana" of the same era. Whether you're reliving the memories of your youth or seeing this for the first time through word-of-mouth, you'll experience some of the magic that made nearly every 90s Nickelodeon show so great. These tales range from the strange to scary, with the occasional fairytale or love story thrown in the mix.
Personal favorites of this Season:
-The Tale of The Final Wish (Because Bobcat Goldthwait and his unique voice)
-The Tale of The Magician's Assistant (Shandu's timeless rules of magic can be applied to everyday life)
-The Tale of the Frozen Ghost (Features a cameo from another Nick show that was popular at the time)
-The Tale of The Whispering Walls (all kinds of weird and creepy, plus Betty Ann's entrance is icing on the cake of creepiness)
-The Tale of the Dark Dragon (the best of the bunch because of how REAL it feels to be struggling with self-image and accepting yourself as you are with all your flaws - seriously, it's a tearjerker).
Though it would've been nice to have some commentaries from the Midnight Society Members or some behind-the-scenes footage to truly make it feel like a propper DVD Release, I am stil very grateful that the content was treated with respect for the fans.
If you love campfire stories, or if you simply cannot get enough of the 90s Nickelodeon Nostalgia, get it. Seriously, it's only $14.
MY 3 FAVORITE EPISODES
1. The Tale of the Midnight Madness - Nosferatu comes out of the big screen and into a movie theater to stalk a couple of teenagers and their boss. By far one of the best episodes of the series and super scary.
2. The Tale of the Frozen Ghost - Melissa Joan Hart - need I say more?
3. The Tale of Old Man Corcoran - this episode honestly gave me nightmares. Who would have thought a game of hide and seek could be so creepy ... or deadly?
MY 3 LEAST FAVORITE EPISODES
1. The Tale of the Thirteenth Floor - The only thing scary about this episode is the reveal at the end which will forever be etched in my brain. Otherwise, this story was much too bright and colorful to be creepy.
2. The Tale of the Final Wish - OMG! The acting in this episode was atrocious. In fact, at one point, Bobcat Goldthwait aka the Sandman, seems to be reading off of cue cards. This is simply not good. Not at all. Especially to be a season opener.
3. The Tale of the Whispering Walls - a snooze fest. Two kids and their babysitter get inexplicably lost on their way home from an amusement park and end up at an abandoned home where people are trapped in the walls? Eh - again, not one of the better episodes.
Instead, the sets are nicely packaged, the menus are a little lacking compared to the older DVDs, but still well themed, and the discs themselves are okay for the most part. So they're definitely worth the as of this writing $14.99 price.
The transfer quality is about what you'd expect from a show this old, so it still looks pretty nice, and there's very few quality issues that I've noticed (about the only problem on my copy is some weird missing audio for a few seconds in the Tale of the Full Moon).
Given the prices on here for the prior sets, minor issues aside, you really can't beat these sets. I'd absolutely recommend them as a cheap affordable way to collect the original run of the show.
The only issue we had is one of the episodes has two brief moments where the volume completely cuts off. It's quick enough you only miss a word, but I checked the disk and there wasn't a scratch, so I know it has to be the way they were recorded. In the end, it wasn't such a big deal and my son is loving the series.
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