Episode 72: Great Moments in Mayonnaise: Cooking in Collinsport

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“Ooh, this mayonnaise doesn’t smell fresh to me. I think you better complain to the firm that made it.”

Beats complaining to the team who wrote it – the episode scripts for Dark Shadows.

In those days the major companies that made all the brand-name products were still thought of by some folks as firms rather than corporations, because at least you could still complain to a firm about something and even expect a human response as well as a solution.

Then again no public relations department of any firm would have known what to do with “Mrs.” Sarah Johnson, the first and only housekeeper on television you could think of offhand who regards her menial job with the devotion of a loving wife that never was, except that today she is a bereaved widow who has nowhere left to go in life since the only man she prepared homemade mayonnaise for has gone away forever. One could only hope she carried the same torch for her actual real-life late husband from some years ago, at least throughout that first day or two of mourning.

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Episode 40: Coffee Time

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One of the best things about the first year of Dark Shadows is Nancy Barrett. Despite all of Carolyn Stoddard’s faults, not the least of which being her borderline incestuous crush on her uncle Roger, the emphatic range Nancy Barrett brings to her performances simply makes the character nothing short of enchanting. It’s here in episode 40 where such a quality is brought home to epitomize what makes Nancy Barrett so great in the role of Carolyn Stoddard.

 

There are a good many fans who only follow the show from episode 210 where the Barnabas era begins, and for this reason alone the first two hundred nine episodes remain one of the best kept secrets among Dark Shadows fandom. Yet for those who appreciate the fantastic performances of talented actors bringing characters to life with definitive depth, these early episodes contain some of the finest, most memorable moments in the entire series.

 

Here in episode 40, greatness abounds not only in scenes with Nancy Barrett as Carolyn Stoddard, but also in those with David Ford as Sam Evans. In the post for episode 41, we’ll recognize what David Ford achieves in one of his more magnificent moments on Dark Shadows; for now, let’s shine a light on what Nancy Barrett brings to define her portrayal of Carolyn Stoddard in the absolute.

 

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