Review #4: The Tale of the Super Specs

Another episode from the first season today, here are the links:
Part 1:

Part 2:

Part 3:

I believe today’s episode is the only one to not begin either during a story or during a Midnight Society meeting.  It begins in Kristen and Gary hanging out in his father’s magic shop, which is where Gary says he gets the inspiration for all his stories.  Now right there we have a problem, Gary told us in the first episode that The Midnight Society all go to different schools and hang out with different people.  I’ll never understand why he told us such lies.  And what the hell, he’s not even wearing his glasses!  How far do the lies go!?

My name's not even Gary, it's Ross

Anyways, Kristen tells Gary that the group doesn’t think his stories have been very scary lately, then Gary shows her some x-ray glasses called Super Specs and soon we’re cutting back to the familiar campfire setting, where the rest of the Society is discussing whether or not Gary’s stories aren’t scary. When he finally shows up, Gary informs the group that David is too sick to attend this evening, and takes their challenge to tell a scary tale.  He reaches into the magic bag, which is probably full of coarsely ground black better, stokes the flames, and begins.  Submitted for the approval of the Midnight Society, he calls this story….

We’re introduced to Weeds, who’s into magic and tricks and with a name like that, is almost certainly a drug dealer.  April Fool’s day is coming up and he’s preparing at his local magic shop.  He recites a random spell from a magic book, then throws some powder in the air, possibly cocaine, dusting a display of Super Specs, in a move that will surely not have any effects on the rest of this story.

Or maybe it was some crushed up ecstasy.

Weed’s girlfriend is Marybeth, who’s less than amused with his spell casting and trickery.  They’ve been dating for two weeks and she’s not sure he’s very mature.  She should probably back off, or Weeds might have to choke a bitch.  Next, we’re introduced for the first time to another iconic AYAOTD character, magic shop owner Sardo.  He’ll appear in almost all of Gary’s stories, like a greasy haired, flamboyantly dressed safety blanket.

That's Sardo! No Mr.! Accent on the do'h!

Sardo talks Weeds into buying a pair of Super Specs, which is says gives the wearer X-Ray vision.  Weeds doesn’t see anything while wearing them, but when Marybeth tries them on, she sees a strange black figure in the store, who of course isn’t there when she removes the glasses.

Okay, it was definitely ecstasy.

Cut to school the next day and Weeds steals some girl’s yogurt and pours a mysterious white powder in it.  After the girl eats it, her voice becomes high pitched and in her own words she “sounds like a chipmunk.” Given what we know about Weeds drug connects, one can only assume the white powder was some potent form of LSD and that poor girl is now tripping balls.  April Fools indeed!

I didn't know you liked to get wet.

Back in school, Weeds is pulling more pranks when Marybeth again ends up wearing the Super Specs, and again sees a strange black figure.  Maybe she had some yogurt too.  Outside the school, the same thing happens and Marybeth freaks out and throws the Super Specs in the trash.  Problem solved?

Of course not, the Specs magically appear in her bag.  Marybeth is of course disturbed and tries to return them to the magic shop.  Finding it closed, she slips them through the mail slot.  Of course they again reappear in her bag once she gets home.  This apparently leaves her with no other choice but to put them on again.

In her defense, she does look FABULOUS!

This time she doesn’t immediately see a black figure, but instead sees a kettle on her stove, which of course isn’t there when she has the glasses off.  She attempts to touch the kettle and her hand goes right through it.  If she had someone to talk to at that moment, I’m sure she’d express how much she’s freaking out, man.

My hands are so big...they can touch anything...except each other...whoa

She ventures through her house with the Specs on, and what a surprise, comes across not one, but three black figures, and begins screaming.  I think it’s safe to say the only reason they gave her an African American boyfriend is so this episode doesn’t carry some overtly racist undertones.

Maybe her house is just getting robbed.

We get a cut back to The Midnight Society discussing the story, always a welcome transition.  Lets take a moment to look at how absurdly large Gary’s glasses are.


Marybeth goes in search of Weeds, to see if he has any idea why she’s seeing black people.  See Weeds would know about seeing black people because he likes magic, certainly not for any other reason, and definitely not because of the color of his skin! Anywho, Marybeth finds Weeds…playing basketball.  Well, they are really not making this very subtle.

He got game.

Moving on, Marybeth tells Weeds that she’s seeing thing with the Specs, and then puts them on again and…

You’ve got to be kidding me.

Oh, of course the black figures are playing basketball. If she keeps the glasses on long enough will they start eating fried chicken too?

As always, Marybeth screams at the sight of these black people and again tries to visit with Sardo.  He seems delighted that the Specs actually work and begins to search for a reason why.  They discover that Weeds cast a spell that enables the Specs to see into another dimension.  Of course Sardo is more than happy to help her close this window to another dimension for a small fee.

Maybe he's looking up the definition of stereotype for the show's producers.

This leads to Marybeth, Weeds and Sardo gathering at Marybeth’s house and conducting a counterspell.  Things go awry, and the black people show up and are now visible to everyone.

Or maybe her house is just getting robbed, again.

Everyone panics and Sardo finishes the spell, causing the black figures to disappear.  All seems well, but suddenly the trio encounters a gigantic pair of eyes.  A terrified Sardo screams “take the children!” and hides under a table.  I applaud him for this.

Sauron during his emo phase. No one understands his pain!

Apparently they’ve tampered with cosmic forces and balance must be restored.  It’s a process that involves what appears to be a painful amount of wind and a lot of screaming.  We fade to black and when we come back, we see a boy and girl who look quite similar to Marybeth and Weeds, but are definitely different people.   They’re joined by one of the black figures, who takes off her hood and tells them that they’ve closed the parallel universe that they opened

This...explains very little.

The people in the parallel universe were trying to get rid of them, but she doesn’t think they’ll be a problem anymore…

Great, now they'll have to kneel before Zod.

The End.

Well, not quite, because Gary gets the rest of The Midnight Society to put on Super Specs and David shows up dressed in all black and scares everyone off.  Gary makes sure everyone pays for their insolence!  Muahahaha!

Now The Tale of The Super Specs is exactly the kind of episode that made Are You Afraid of the Dark? so great.  We get the introduction of Sardo, and a creepy tale that scared the crap out of me as a kid.  It’s also got an especially unhappy ending, which are pretty rare for AYAOTD.   But the best part is that now, years later it’s a hilarious tale that comes off completely racist, while still retaining a creepy vibe.  It’s all I can ask for and more.


7 thoughts on “Review #4: The Tale of the Super Specs

  1. Pingback: Are You Afraid of the Dark? Review Index « My Rotting Brain

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