Every 90s kid knows about the awesome Nickelodeon horror series, Are You Afraid of the Dark? But did you know that it wasn’t the only horror anthology series Nick made? In 2012, the popular kid’s network threw their hat back in the horror ring and made Deadtime Stories, an anthology series hosted by a babysitter telling scary stories to her kids every night. However, this show only lasted 11 episodes before being lost to obscurity. Did the show disappear for good reason or is this a hidden gem that nobody remembers? Let’s find out with the fourth episode of the series, The Witching Game.
A girl named Lindsay is given an antique mirror for her bedroom. One day, Lindsay, her friends, and her younger sister decide to play a game of Bloody Mary to get a wish. And the wish comes true! So the friends decide to try the game again to see what happens. Unfortunately, the wishes come with some unexpected results.
I tried like heck to find the first episode, Grave Secrets, but the only one I could find was this one. Still, at least we got an original premise for this episode. Heck, I NEVER thought that a kid’s show would have the balls to mention Bloody Mary. The story itself was actually pretty interesting. Sure, we’ve all seen the “Be careful what you wish for” stories time and again, but this one is pretty cool with how it plays out. It’s interesting to see a ghost fulfilling wishes like a demented genie. The twist of the story, the true origin of the ghost, was not bad at all and I didn’t really see it coming.
The child acting was obnoxious. Either the kids weren’t even trying or the director had no idea how to direct children. Everything they said sounded rehearsed to hell and back. Nothing at all sounded natural. The adult acting wasn’t very good either. It’s like they were thinking “Eh, this is a kid’s show. I don’t HAVE to show emotion.” The best actors of all were probably the kids and babysitter from the bookend segments… And yet…
The horror “host” premise of a babysitter telling kids stories is pretty interesting and unique. However, the show, for some reason, has the kids constantly interrupting the story and asking obvious questions. Look, I know this true to life as kids are impatient and WOULD ask these questions during the story. But when we’re trying to watch a TV show or movie, we don’t want constant interruptions. That’s what the commercials are for. (Yes, I AM saying that the little boy segments in the Princess Bride sucked. BRING IT.)
This show was at least half decent. At the very least, I don’t regret watching this episode. The story was pretty good and I do like the premise of the babysitter. The acting could get really bad, but it didn’t distract too much from the unique story. Bottom line, based on this episode, I’m not entirely sure why this show was canceled after only 11 episodes. Then again, nothing Nick does will ever compare to the greatness of Are You Afraid of the Dark, so I guess it doesn’t really matter. At least we got something fine for what it was.