AYAOTD Review: The Tale of The Chameleons

Well, I couldn’t think of a better way to kick of the post-10,000 view era than by reviewing what got me here, and continues to get the most people to pass through. Plus someone has been hounding me to review this episode since last October.  Anyways,  as always, here are your links:

Part 1: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=XVlZXiXOrnM

Part 2: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=0DRUM9OD2mU

Part 3: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=RaUMS1MRT7g

We open with the Midnight Society assembling, and Betty Anne has brought her new pet Spike along.  Not to show him off though, as strangers disturb him.  Instead he just sits in his cage, covered by a tarp.

In Elementary School, Betty Anne was terrible at Show and Tell.

It seems Spike has inspired a story, something about strange animals from the dark, unexplained corners of the Earth.  I hope this isn’t Cloverfield.  Betty Anne tosses some kitty litter on the fire and begins.  Submitted for the approval of The Midnight Society, she calls this story…


Right off the bat, I should let you know that we’re in for a treat because…..

Oh shit, guest stars!  Yes, it’s Tia and Tamera Mowry, famous for their sitcom Sister, Sister.  They’re like the Olsen Twins, but less pale and anorexic.  Just like everyone else is.   I have no idea which one is which, but at least for now they’re playing the same character: some girl in an ugly hat who has a fish.  She’s at the pet store buying some food, when she intervenes to stop a soulless ginger child from bothering animals.  The animal he was bothering?  A chameleon.

Wait a second...

Problem is, as my friend often points out, that is clearly an iguana.  Are You Afraid of the Dark? cares little for correctly identifying animals.  If it’s green and reptilian, it’s a chameleon, deal with it.  The chameleon does a very iguana-like thing and bites the Mowry sister, prompting her to knock over its cage, setting it loose.  To make matters worse, the creepy ginger kid then pops up and says “Bite you once, bite you twice, a little water, pay the price!”  Whatever that means.

Look at his soulless ginger eyes, it's like staring into an abyss.

The “chameleon” ends up hitching a ride back home with the Mowry sister, and we get some background on her character.  Namely, she’s an annoying teenager whose mother won’t let her do anything.  It’s soooooo unfair.  We also meet her dad, who seems vaguely effeminate.  Just looking at her parents, it’s pretty obvious who wears the pants in the family.


Later in the evening, we get more teenage whining, with the Mowry sister telling her friend how good she has it because her parents are never at home.  The friend tells her it’s not that great, sounding dejected and unloved while doing it.  The Mowry sister ignores this.  As she sleeps that night, the “chameleon” crawls into her bed and bites her.  She’s obviously pissed and chases it down, but instead of a “chameleon” she finds…herself.

Second Mowry Sister says the same stupid rhyme the soulless ginger boy said earlier: “Bite you once, bite you twice, a little water, pay the price.”  Except she says it while filling a cup of water in a fish tank, so I guess it’s meant to be taken a bit more seriously.

Shit is on now.

Original Mowry Sister screams and runs away, then hysterically recounts the events to her friend, who clearly thinks she’s insane.  Mowry mentions that she thinks the “chameleon” wants to be her, which I find ridiculous.  Doesn’t it know how fucking terrible her life is?  Her parents won’t let her do anything!  The “chameleon” would be much wiser to try to be her friend, whose parents apparently care nothing for her.  That’s some sweet, loveless freedom right there.  Her friend convinces her it was all a dream, despite the fact that Mowry Sister wakes up with a gigantic purple rash.


That's probably just from hanging out to close to a member of Immature. Now there's a reference that will go over everyone's head.

To calm her hysteria, the friend simply mocks her ridiculous fears about a “chameleon” coming to get her.  Let that be a lesson to you kids, if someone you know is scared of something, mercilessly patronize them about it.  They’ll either drop it, or start crying, at which point you make fun of them for that.  Anyways, Mowry Sister calms down long enough to start her day, but she doesn’t get very far, as she’s attacked by Other Mowry Sister while brushing her teeth.  Other Mowry Sister pushes her into the shower, and when she hits water, she’s turned into a “chameleon” which Other Mowry Sister finds hilarious.

The iguana, however, does not seem amused.

The imposter Mowry begins doing a terrible job impersonating Original Mowry, basically telling her parents that she’ll stop being such a brat.  She does this completely unprompted.  I have a feeling the parents totally know something isn’t quite right, but prefer it this way instead.  The parents take off for the day, leaving Imposter Mowry alone with the friend, who also seems to be buying into the whole façade.  That is until Imposter Mowry orders a strange package that she’s super protective of.  Or the friend could have been tipped off when Imposter Mowry eats a goldfish straight out of the fish tank.


According to Are You Afraid of the Dark's Big Book of Animals, that's actually a hump backed whale.

While Imposter Mowry is distracted, the friend (who’s name I’m pretty sure is Sharon) pokes around her room and discovers the contents of the mysterious box.  Surprise surprise, it contains more “chameleons.”  I assume one of them will turn into Taj Mowry and start acting like he isn’t a genius, since these “chameleons” are terrible at blending in.  I, on the other hand, are terrible at making Smart Guy references.

And another one can turn into Omar Gooding!

Some fairly unremarkable and predictable things happen next.  Original Mowry, now a “chameleon” bites Imposter Mowry, which confirms for Sharon that something is wrong.  Imposter Mowry attempts to kill Original Mowry in a garbage disposal, but Sharon saves her.  Imposter Mowry then threatens Sharon with a meat cleaver, but is interrupted by her girlish father before she can do any real harm.


The mother has probably already used that on him anyways.

Ultimately, the episode reaches it’s inevitable conclusion, Original Mowry bites Imposter Mowry again and transforms back, leaving Sharon to try and figure out which one is which, apparently by seeing who can do a better Bill Cosby impression.


Sharon has no idea what to do until one of the Mowrys tosses the box of “chameleons” down a well.  This is apparently all the evidence she needs to make a decision which could doom her friend forever if she’s wrong.  She sprays the other Mowry with the hose, transforming her back into a “chameleon” but not before giving us some wonderful 90’s CGI effects.

We think all is well, but later that evening, the Mowry returns to the well and retrieves all the other “chameleons” except of course, the one that’s is really the Original Mowry.  Great work Sharon, you’ve doomed us all.


The End
In case you’re wondering, Betty Anne’s pet Spike turned out to be a snake, which caused The Midnight Society to flee in terror.  As for The Tale of the Chameleons, it’s a good little take on the classic Invasion of the Body Snatchers story.  I’d say it takes a bit of a dive in the middle of the episode, but the odd looking father saves it, because he looks like he’d get his ass kicked by Dr. Huxtable.  As far as guest star episodes go, it comes in third behind Melissa Joan Hart’s episode and of course the episode featuring Eric Matthews.



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