Creepshow Season 2 Premiere: Bob Ross Versus Demons?
As an anthology, Creepshow is, like most anthologies, a mixed bag. While I liked the episodes included in Shudder’s Creepshow premiere, for instance, I found the rest of the season uneven. It was the same for the off-season specials. I was whelmed by the animation in the, uh, animated special, which hindered my enjoyment of the special as a whole. On the other hand, I really loved the Christmas episode. Still, despite the unpredictability, I was looking forward to the Creepshow season 2 premiere. Did it meet my expectations, though?
But First, A (Re)Introduction to Creepshow
In case you’re unfamiliar with Creepshow, then here’s all you need to know. The TV series is an adaptation of the two 80s Creepshow films, a collaboration of George Romero and Stephen King. (There is also a Creepshow 3, by the way, but it has no involvement from the original creators.) Inspired by the horror comics they loved in their youth, Romero and King made a movie with stories in the same vein–horror-tinged morality tales.
image via Shudder
Creepshow the series, from Greg Nicotero, functions in the same way. However, with the show, there is less of an emphasis on stories with morals, and more on just producing spooky tales. The episodes in season 1 were based on stories by King, Nicotero, Joe Hill, and others. And they were very just fine. (My personal favorite from season 1, by the way, was the Nicotero-penned “The Finger.”)
Creepshow Season 2 Premiere Starts the Season with…Heartwarming Horror?
Like every weekly installment of the first Creepshow season, each episode of this season will actually feature two “minisodes.” The Creepshow season 2 premiere was no different, of course. The premiere episodes were “Model Kid” and “Public Television of the Dead.” In the first story, “Model Kid,” written by John Esposito, young Joe (Brock Duncan) is like a lot of Creepshow viewers, probably. He’s obsessed with horror. However, it’s not slashers or anything modern that catches his eye–he loves the classic Universal-style monsters. His mom instilled in him a love for movies, and it’s something that he clings to when she passes away from cancer. It’s also something that gives him strength when his aunt Barb (Jana Allen) and Uncle Kevin (Kevin Dillon) move in with him. Uncle Kevin is a walking study in fragility, who gradually becomes abusive. He turns his ire most frequently on Joe, whose obsessions Kevin just doesn’t get.
In the second story, “Public Television of the Dead,” written by Rob Schrab, the series explores meta-horror. It takes place at a public television affiliate in Pittsburgh, which is surely a nod to Romero. A few of the public TV network’s shows are filmed there, including a demented children’s reading show that Mrs. Bookberry (Coley Campany) hosts. Other shows include the Bob Ross homage The Love of Painting and The Appraiser’s Road Trip, a take on Antiques Roadshow. It’s during the filming of the antiques show that the trouble starts. Ted Raimi is there to get an appraisal on the Necronomicon from his brother Sam’s Evil Dead films. For some reason, the host, Goodman Tapert (Peter Leake), insists on reading aloud from the infamous tome. All hell literally breaks loose after that.
What I Thought About All This
The first segment, “Model Kid,” was quite okay. If I were rating it on an alphabetical scale, then I’d probably give it a B minus. It’s fun enough to watch, but it feels too slight to have an impact. Creepshow film fans will recognize it as a throwback to the original film, which had a similar story as a framing device for the movie. However, it’s not much more than that. If this had a message, then it would be something like, “We all love the horror classics, don’t we, folks?” Yep. It was a good idea to expand the wraparound; I just wish they had expanded it just a bit more.
image via Shudder
On the other hand, I truly adored “Public Television of the Dead,” which gets a lot of mileage out of its Bob Ross-alike, Norm (Mark Ashworth). He’s a Vietnam vet, like the urban legends about Ross. (The common story, if you didn’t know, is that the gentle painter was a sniper during the war. However, while Ross was a veteran, he was never deployed.) So when the old Sumerian incantation sets free the Deadites on the TV studio, he’s more than equipped to handle it. Norm just wants to paint his happy scenes, but he’ll eff up some demons if he has to. Marisa Chanel Hampton, as studio exec Claudia, and Todd Allen Durkin, as Norm’s producer/cameraman/everything else George, are also great.
The Creepshow season 2 premiere episodes are currently available on Shudder. Each double feature will air weekly after that.
What did you think of the Creepshow season 2 premiere? Tell us in the comments below or on our social media.
featured image via Shudder
Salomé Gonstad is a freelance writer who grew up in the swampy wilds of south Alabama. When she's not yelling about pop culture on the internet, she's working on a supernatural thriller about her hometown. Also, we're pretty sure she's a werewolf. Email her at firstname.lastname@example.org.