Happy HalloVeen

Tomorrow night, ghosts, goblins, fairy princesses, and other assorted pint-sized masqueraders will engage in the annual custom of trick-or-treating. As a culture, this is one of our strangest rituals. The munchkins disguise themselves, knock on doors of neighbors, and demand candy – or else!

No treats to offer? Then those tricksters just might make you the victim of a Halloween prank. Don’t they know their time would be better served waiting in the most sincere pumpkin patch for the Great Pumpkin to arrive?

All joking aside, I loved Halloween as a kid. Not only did you get to dress up in a really cool costume, but the night also ended with a huge bag full of a variety of candy. How can you beat that? Once you threw out all of the Mary Janes, Sugar Daddies, and other yucky inedibles, you still might have had enough left to make it until Christmas if you rationed properly.

That’s how it worked as a kid. You tried to stretch your Halloween candy to Christmas and your Christmas candy to Easter. Only a few kids in history ever managed the ultimate feat – stretching their Easter candy all the way to Halloween. By the time Halloween rolls around, kids’ candy stockpiles are in short supply – which may explain the disguises and threats.

As an adult, I have not found Halloween nearly as fun. Neighbors do not seem to take too kindly to a 6-foot-tall man dressed as Mork from Ork demanding candy at their front door. I am still not sure what their problem is. They seem to have plenty of Snickers bars in that plastic pumpkin every year. I only want one or maybe two. Three at most.

Rather than admit defeat or roll my neighbors’ yard, I instead usually try to find the spirit of Halloween by creating a marathon of either horror movies or Twilight Zone episodes. It suits my inner couch potato just fine. In fact, I was planning yet another trip into the Zone this year when I remembered a new TV show starting next week that abruptly made me change my mind.

Instead, the focus this year will be on a couple of DVDs that feature Robert Englund, best known as Freddy Krueger. I have done the Nightmare on Elm Street marathon thing before, though. I am speaking this time of the role I first knew Englund as – the goofy alien Willie on V.

To celebrate V‘s return to television on Tuesday, I am going to watch the original V (1983) and V: The Final Battle (1984) mini-series as my Halloween marathon Saturday night.

On second thought, that is probably not a very good idea at all. That is nearly eight hours worth of marathon! I am 34 years old now, which means I am no longer able to keep my eyes open for an extended period. By “extended,” I mean longer than, say, six minutes on average.

If I start my V marathon at 8 PM, once all of the would-be tricksters have gotten their candy, I might be able to make it up until at least 8:15 PM before I fall asleep. I will then wake up at 9:34 PM and rewind the DVD to see all of the parts I missed. This will last until about 9:38 PM when I fall asleep again.

At 10:43 PM, I will awaken again, annoyed that I have missed even more of the show. After wiping away my drool, I will start rewinding the DVD yet again. This time, I might even fall asleep while it is rewinding. I am getting sleepy now, just thinking about it. At that rate, I should have my Halloween marathon complete by Christmas . . . of 2012.

* * *

ABC’s new V series is a reboot featuring new characters. It is not based on V-creator Kenneth Johnson’s recent V: The Second Generation. That is a good thing, too, because that novel was so horrible that I could not even finish it. Maybe it would have made a fine script, but it was awful as a novel. I even like V: The Final Battle better than the original V mini-series, though, so there is no accounting for my taste.

This is not the first attempt at a regular V series. After the success of the two mini-series on its network, NBC tried launching a regular V series back in the 1984-1985 TV season. The results are nearly unwatchable now. I say “now” because, at the time, as a nine-year-old, I thought V: The Series was just about the best thing ever to hit television. There was not exactly a lot of new science fiction on the airwaves back then.

Well, tricksters, you have finally made it to the end of this rambling post. What treat do I have for you? ABC’s preview for the new V, of course. I would send you a Hershey’s bar, too, but I have not figured out how to attach those yet.

[Video source: YouTube: ABCNetwork]

Have a safe and happy Halloween, kids!