Crypt-ober: Sharon Sharalike (Tales from the Cryptkeeper)

Tales from the Cryptkeeper first aired in 1993 with it’s first season and and got a second season the following year. However, due to some corporate thingy or other, the third season of the cartoon didn’t air until 1999. We also saw the show completely change channels in both the US and Canada. The new season brought along some changes to the show’s formula along with a new title, NEW Tales from the Cryptkeeper. Totally a different show, see? The added NEW to the title! Unfortunately, we also lost the fantastic bookend segments with our beloved Cryptie. Did they try to doll up this show only to have it stab them in the back? Let’s find out with the first episode of the third season, Sharon Sharalike.

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Shauna is a horrible, bratty older sister who will not share her toys with her little sister, Katie. When they suddenly get a new doll in the mail, Shauna takes the doll for herself even though she in no way is interested in it. She literally just takes it to spite her 4 year old sister. However, the doll doesn’t like when its owner won’t share…

Oh great Ceasar’s ghost, the animation of this show got horrendous in this season. I know I usually talk about the story first, but holy hell, the animation sucked. The colors are all washed out, everything looks dull and lifeless (in a bad way), and it just looks way too cartoony. This is a HUGE departure from the heavy black lines and comic book aesthetic from the previous two seasons. Cryptie looks… Okay. I do like that he seems to be a bit more stylized than the rest of the show. But he still looked a lot better in the previous seasons. But even without the terrible visual quality, this episode was a great big stinker.

I hate unlikable characters and Shauna is one of the brattiest children I have ever seen in a kid’s show. I wanted to smack her every time she opened her mouth. But… What age is she supposed to be? Is she a teenager? Her design and her actions (talking on the phone for hours) seem to indicate she is but her attitude? She’s a 5 year old at MOST. She constantly whines, she always acts like a brat, and I simply never liked her even after she got her comeuppance.  The story and characters were mishandled. There’s a way to write selfish without making the character a total unlikable brat. Instead of making us want to see her get killed by the doll, the episode should have tried to make her sympathetic so we would WANT to see her change. Instead, we got a total brat and it made the episode a chore to slog through. Not to mention, if you get your butt kicked by a doll and you’re anything but a baby, your butt deserved a kicking.

CRYPTIE CAMEO: Instead of actually telling the story for the third season, Cryptie just shows up to influence the story in some way in each episode. In this one, he plays the delivery man that brings the doll to the girls. It’s a shame. The series really feels incomplete without our awesome ghoulish host taking the reigns.

If this episode is any indication about the quality of season 3, then I don’t think I want to look at any more episodes of that season. With terrible animation, bad storytelling, and thoroughly unlikable characters, it just doesn’t seem worth the effort. I kinda hate that the lesson of the episode is blatantly spelled out for us at the end, too. Well, I suppose we’ll have to see. For now, I’ve had enough of kid’s stuff for a bit. Join me tomorrow for something totally different.

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