Aloha, all! Hopefully this finds everyone feeling especially jovial and well-fed/rested after an excellent holiday long weekend. In the spirit of such things, our rankings this week will be an extension of something I have been doing for years, which is to put in order the best of this year’s Halloween television offerings.
How did this come to be a thing? Quite simply, it sprang from being raised in a midwestern town that’s claim to fame is the Pumpkin Show, a place where trick-or-treating, bonfires, football, and all things fall pretty much are the highlight of the annual calendar.
As such, I have always had a tremendous affinity for the holiday (far and away my favorite, and I’m suuuure the notion of copious amounts of candy had nothing to do w/ it. Nope. Not at all…) Spending most of the last decade in places w/o seasons though, it has become tough for me to truly celebrate in style, meaning I have become reliant on the annual specials to get my fix.
This year was no exception. ?
Let’s be honest, any show that dedicates an episode to all things Halloween deserves at least an Honorable Mention, regardless of execution…
The Mayor – Debut show, so we’ll give them another shot next year. (ABC always comes to play on Halloween, so they’ll be back)
Speechless – Another show I wasn’t familiar with, though I did enjoy the one man multiple costume changes as Michael Jackson running gag.
Ugly Betty – Too long, and unfortunately more of a subplot, but still present enough for it to count.
American Horror Story – I wish I knew what happened to this show. The first season was AMAZING. Every one since? Not so much.
Black-ish – This one killed me. Every prior year they’ve done a great job, we’re talking top-five caliber, but this year it was shoehorned into the last thirty seconds. Not even their usual excellent family costume could save it.
American Housewife – The inclusion of Ali Wong in the cast makes this show instantly more enjoyable.
The Office – How has this show been gone for so long already!?
Parks and Recreation – This is through no fault of their own. Leslie Knope’s love of Halloween rivals my own. The problem is, through heightened syndication, I’ve just seen them too many times at this point.
Last Man Standing – Same exact reasoning as above.
The Simpsons – To be fair, their Treehouse of Horrors has been going strong for like thirty years now, and always have at least something enjoyable in them. That being said, a Homer self-cannibalism angle was a little too much, even for me.
10.) Trophy Wife
A very solid offering from a show that I feel like should have been given more than just a single season. With that cast? Seriously?
9.) 8 Simple Rules
How had I not seen these before?! Extreme bonus points for seeing John Ritter and a young Kaley Cuoco sparring back and forth…
8.) The Mick
The is easily one of the shows on regular television pushing the boundaries the furthest, which happens to work perfectly for Halloween. (She nailed the Randy Johnson costume as well)
7.) Fresh Off The Boat
Seeing as I how may very well end up like Louis one day, and my ongoing crush on Constance Wu…Hmm, maybe I’m ranking this one a bit too low?
I knew they came to play for Thanksgiving every year, but somehow this one had slid by me. Lisa Kudrow plays Phoebe and her twin Ursula? A young Sean Penn shows up as her naïve and altruistic fiancée? Fantastic…
5.) Modern Family
Not quite as committed as years past, but I did enjoy canoeing in a giant pumpkin. Feel like I need to try that at some point myself…
4.) Brooklyn Nine-Nine
Big bump for their continued enthusiasm for Halloween, though this one was more about Jake and Amy getting engaged than the annual heist. I get it, as this is their most prestigious show each year and the only logical place to put it, but still…
3.) The Goldbergs
Big jump for the Goldbergs this year! The running storyline about finding balance in a relationship as put through the lens of Halloween costumes was genius. (As was the Star Trek v Wars ongoing dialogue)
2.) The Middle
Admittedly not their best Halloween work, but as I am extremely sad/nostalgic that this is their final go round, they get the two slot…which is essentially the winner, as we all know what the champ will be every year before this even gets going…
1.) It’s the Great Pumpkin, Charlie Brown
All hail the king!