Are You Afraid of the Dark? – The Tale of the Final Wish


I effing loved this one when I was a kid, mostly because it had a certain Mr. Bobcat Goldthwaite as the villain. As a wee girl, I was kind of obsessed with the Police Academy movies, so much so that I used to host little mini-marathons. Unsurprisingly, I was usually the only one in attendance, save for my favorite stuffed animals. Later, Cheer Bear and the rest of the Care Bears would begin to make excuses not to attend my Policy Academy parties, so, you know…

Anyway, it’s Kristen’s night to tell the story and she’s all dressed up in this very cute Renaissance Faire-type outfit. In a few years, she could probably cut the skirt short so she could use it as a sexy ale wench costume at Halloween (or “dress like a ho day,” as it is sometimes called).


Kristen is reading some seriously disturbing shizz from an old book of fairy tales, a story involving some kind of fairy-tale vampirism that is decidedly un-sparkly and un-sexy.

Of course, Frank acts like kind of a douche about it, saying that “a kiddy story is still a kiddy story.” Two things: first, Frank, what the hell kind of stories did your parents used to tell you? And, second, you’re never going to get into Kristen’s pants if you keep treating her like crap.

Hmm, actually, depending upon the state of Kristen’s self-worth, maybe that is the way to get her to like you.

Whatever. Kristen tells us that her story is about a girl who is obsessed with fairy-tales and has a hard time telling fantasy from reality. That’s the point when a fairy-tale, can sometimes become… a SCARY TALE! Bum bum bum!

We start with thirteen-year-old Jill waking up from a lame nightmare about the evil queen from Snow White. It had something to do with the evil queen looking pretty, then suddenly turning old and ugly… because we all know that old, ugly women are frightening.

Then Jill wakes up and decides to get a drink of water. Finding her water glass empty, she decides to take a trip to the kitchen. She struggles to push aside her gigantic yellow night gown (I know it’s supposed to look princess-y, but mostly it just looks like a moo-moo) and gets out of bed.

But (oh noes!) there might be something under the bed, like maybe an old ugly woman. Jill’s solution is to grab the baseball bat beside her bat and investigate.


She doesn’t find anything, but I do think it’s sort of bad-ass that she would try to kill an imaginary monster. I’m sort of wondering with a fairy-tale-obsessed tween would keep a baseball bat by her bed, but hey, whatever.

Jill gets her water, gets back to her room, then starts to go back to bed, at which point two hands grab her from under the bed!


Jill runs off to her parents room screaming that there’s something in her room. Her mom and dad are total uncaring douchebags about the whole thing, but grudgingly get out of bed. Jill’s dad pretends to be pulled underneath the bed by the monster, scaring the crap out of his daughter.


Then Jill’s brother comes in and, after the ‘rents leave, tells Jill that he was the one that grabbed her. He says that maybe she wouldn’t be so scared if she would grow up a little and stop obsessing so much over her fairy-tales and unicorns and shit. He suggests listening to the radio or going to a concert. I suggest he kiss my ass.

Also, if something grabbed me from underneath the bed, I would totally pee my pants. Does that make me a bad person? I don’t think so.

The next morning, Jill’s family keeps treating her like crap. She spends an inordinate amount of time in front of the mirror trying to look mature and ends up missing the bus. Her mom bitches about having to drive Jill to school and be late for work, telling Jill that the family won’t “put up” with Jill’s immaturity for long. Whatever, Mom. You’re a skank.

At school, Jill goes to the library and finds an old book called, “The Sandman and Other Tales.” She catches her friends staring at a guy in acid-washed denim, remarking that they are being “pretty obvious” and acting like “a couple of silly gooses.”

Her friends act like bitches, then get all jealous and shit when the hot guy comes over and flirts with Jill instead of them.


Oh, snap. And check out the guy’s sexy outfit–you can tell he’s not effing around because his hat matches his jeans and he’s wearing a tie.

Jill’s friends try to embarrass her by showing off Jill’s fairy-tale books and troll doll, but the guy is actually kind of into it. Jill is still humiliated though, and stalks off.

Ugh. Jill, your friends are bitches.

So now that we’ve established that everybody treats Jill like a piece of crap, it’s time for the real shizznit to go down. That night, after Jill’s stupid-ass brother tries to scare her again, she goes postal on him and screams for him to just leave her alone.

She holds “The Sandman and Other Tales” to her chest and wishes that she could live in a world of fairy-tales where everyone would just leave her alone.

The next morning, she wakes up and finds that her house is empty. To me, that doesn’t sound like such a bad thing, but Jill is still weirded out. She wanders the house, looking for her family, and finally checks under the bed for her obnoxious little brother. She pulls up the bed skirt and finds–



Jill hauls ass out of there, and who can blame her? I love Bobcat, but I would so run away if I woke up with my family missing and a funny-talking middle-aged man under my bed. Yikes!

But Jill can’t run away! She’s being sucked under the bed by some kind of powerful vortex!


Is it just me, or does that look like a big, blue birth canal?

In any case, Jill finds herself in the Sandman’s lair. The Sandman obviously digs theme rooms, because there are a bunch of clocks and shit everywhere. Jill wanders for a moment, then comes upon all of her friends and family floating in the air, sleeping blissfully.


Jill finds all of the Sandman’s special sleeping powders and a giant hourglass. When she approaches the hourglass, the Sandman screams at her to stay away from it.

He explains that Jill is in the Land of Nod, where everyone goes to dream. Jill refuses to believe what’s going on, at which point the Sandman points out that this is exactly what Jill wished for last night when she held his book to her chest.

Umm… Not quite, Bobcat. I’m pretty sure Jill wanted to be a fairy-tale princess, not shacked up with some strange older man in a shiny blue outfit. Jill runs off and the Sandman yells that Jill should have been careful what she wished for, mwahahahaha!

As Jill runs through random doorways, she comes upon a white one with red question mark embellishments. It looks a lot like a playing card. Assuming that she’ll end up on the set of the movie Swingers, she opens it and finds:


Run, Jill, run! It’s an older woman and she’s got too much makeup on!

She opens another door and finds the evil witch from Hansel and Gretel stoking the fires of her oven, then finds her way back to the Sandman. Along the way he yells, “Welcome to your fairy tale!”

Umm, I call, “Shenanigans!” on this, Sandman. This is not a fairy-tale. It’s clearly just an excuse for you to get a free, live-in housekeeper.

Jill grabs the giant hourglass and, like a bad-ass, threatens to break it unless the Sandman turns everything back to how it used to be. You’re cool, Jill. We should hang out.

When the Sandman makes some bitch-ass excuse about fairy-tales being unchangeable, Jill breaks the hourglass and triumphs. Hell yeah!

Jill wakes up in her own bed, screaming as usual. She is overjoyed when her family runs in and treats her night terrors as an inconvenience. She even apologizes for being “kind of a pain” and promises to stop reading fairy-tales and stuff.

Jill’s mom embraces her and tells her that she doesn’t need to grow up completely. Way to send mixed messages, Jill’s mom. What do you want, woman? Will nothing placate you?

Jill goes back to sleep. A magical breeze (duh, chime noises) blows into her bedroom, opening the cover of the Sandman book and ruffling the pages all the way to Jill’s fairy-tale. We end with the Sandman narrating, telling us that there’s more scary shit on the way for Jill, though he’s annoyingly vague about it.


Flash back to the campfire, where Kristen finishes her story with a warning to take fairy-tales seriously, because you never know which ones are real and which ones are fake.

Umm… isn’t that what Jill was doing all along? And wasn’t that supposed to be a character flaw or something?

Anyway, the moral of the story is… if you like to read anything but high-brow literary fiction, you’re basically a loser who should be euthanized. This episode was more than a little lame because the main character supposedly realizes that her previous interests were lame and, presumably, she’s going to stop reading and start watching MTV or something. Nothing against MTV, but seriously, let the girl read!

She’ll probably grow up to be the next Diana Wynne Jones or something, and then who’s the lame one?

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Posted in Are You Afraid of the Dark?, Danger, Questionable Parenting, TV recaps
6 comments on “Are You Afraid of the Dark? – The Tale of the Final Wish
  1. outpostroad says:

    Everything about this post is total win. Bobcat Goldthwaite would have scared the crap out of me too, as well as that scary as hell queen of hearts.

    Yeah, I totally don’t get the moral of this one either.

  2. R. G. Quimby says:

    Word! BTW, I think I’m going to use that Bobcat pic for my Halloween e-cards this year. As far as things coming out from under my bed, he would probably be one of the scariest possibilities…

    Sorry, Bobcat. I know you’re probably reading this since you probably Google yourself periodically… I know I do, and I’m not even famous

  3. Fear Street says:

    My love for this show knows no bounds…

    This episode seriously freaked me out back in the day….

  4. R. G. Quimby says:

    I remember seeing the ending and thinking, “OMFG! That’s an amazing ending!” Perhaps a young M. Night Shyamalan thought the same thing, which would explain an awful lot 🙂

  5. Sadako says:

    Hey, I tried posting this earlier, but not sure it went through…just wanted to let you know that I posted an award for you on my blog:

  6. Shannon says:

    Quimby, I also posted that award for you. You’re so totally loved.

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