Friday, March 24, 2017

Every Haunting Hour Ever #58: Worry Dolls

Season: 3
Episode: 18
Original Airdate: October 26, 2013
Director: Neill Fearnley
Writer(s): Nicole Dubac

Like with Poof De Fromage, this is an episode I've been wanting to talk about for quite a while. However, my thoughts on this episode are little different from my thoughts on Poof De Fromage. What do I mean by this? Well let's start the review to find out!

As a souvenir from her traveling parents, Jordanna (Katherine McNamara) receives a box of knitted dolls known as "Worry Dolls" said to magically fix people's worries -- which prove disastrous when their nanny (Gwynyth Walsh) goes missing, Jordanna's heirloom violin breaks, and Jordanna's parents (Kirsten Robek, Cameron Bancroft) quit their jobs and become obsessed with family togetherness. Jordanna eventually learns of the "Worry Dolls" effect and ends up burning them.

One of the things I liked about the episode is the story. So in this episode, we have workaholic parents, which on its own is rather cliche. However, they put a very interesting spin on it. Unlike in a lot of these stories, the parents play the cliche straight but slowly subvert it as the episode progresses. They do this by making it clear to the audience where they're coming from without seeming unlikeable. Not only that, but once they start to become too obsessed with family bonding, Jordanna and Max yearn to get out of the situation and become more appreciative of the fact that their parents work a lot.

The other thing I liked was the ending. Towards the end of the episode, the parents become obsessed with family bonding to the point where it gets very disturbing. To stop the madness, Jordanna lights a fire in the fireplace and throws the Worry Dolls right in there, effectively turning them into dust. When the dolls are burned, everything goes back to normal. That is, until the burned Worry Dolls gather around Jordanna's pillow in the dark of the night! While the whole "it's still alive" twist doesn't seem all that special, the way its planned out makes it work. From the music they play to the design of the dolls to the lighting scheme, it becomes a frightening scene and solid way to end an episode.

Overall, Worry Dolls is a surprisingly good episode that took a cliched story and put its own little spin on it.

Overall Grade: A-

1 comment:

  1. Talk of worry dolls/worry men always makes me think of the episode of Batman: The Animated Series with worry men that were more than they appeared to be. There's not much to say, but it sounds like they did a good job of showing how extremes of any kind can be bad (I know the moral is probably "Be careful what you wish for", but I think my interpretation fits too).