Friday, April 29, 2011

The Tale of the Inception Dollhouse

Are You Afraid of the Dark? (1994-1996)

In which I provide commentary on an arbitrarily chosen mid-season episode of a children’s TV show that’s over 15 years old. Internet!
Submitted for the approval of the Midnight Society I blog you: The Tale of the Dollmaker. It’s a good start cause frankly I can think of only a few things more frightening than a dollmaker, one being the sight of Cliff Richards lounging topless by a poolside and the other would be somehow finding myself retroactively responsible for the production of A Serbian Film.
Dolls are great aren’t they? Her head goes all the way around! And this particular one can turn door knobs, I’m sure of it. Hang on, it’s Charlie Sheen’s favourite director.
Is there anything more normal than finding an eerily detailed replica of an abandoned house in the dark attic of that very abandoned house? I think not.

Let’s have a closer look.
“I agree with you honey, very normal. Now let’s see if we can’t chin our way across this room.”
 “Just a little further…”
I feel like I should say that at this point of the episode the mystery of the creepy abandoned house has been revealed and it turns out the little girl’s best friend vanished and her parents moved away because they couldn’t stand to look at the house anymore. That’s understandable, especially considering how many months and/or years it took them to meticulously build that weird replica of the house in the attic. I'm almost sick of looking at the house and I’ve only had to live with it for the twenty odd minutes of this programme.
I wish this show was real so I could go through that door instead of her!
I'll be honest, her sudden appearance from behind that wall freaked my shit right out. Anyway our plucky young hero gets dragged back from the Inception dollhouse (did I mention the replica dollhouse is an Inception replica dollhouse?) just in time. This part I have a problem with. That poor girl is staying at her aunt and uncle's place for a few days, and she has to sleep on the couch?
What in the hell is that all about? I mean I know I was a child in the 90s so my memory might be hazy, but I remember there being beds for children to sleep on. Maybe I'm misreading the situation though, in the very next scene it seems like the uncle might be building her a bed.
Either that or they're gathering leaves to fill her pillows with. This is when I started getting flashbacks to Funny Games.
Girl’s gonna smash up some porcelain I bet.
Or just some straight-up vandalism.
“Hey dollface, high five!”
Wait for it.
Waaait for it.
These guys know what I'm talking about.

Now our young protagonist meets a cute raccoon friend.
As you can see they just hit it off right away.
Ready for the kick?

Once the cabinet has been vanquished they're free to escape the dollhouse within the dollhouse by going through a Donnie Darko wormhole. At no point however does anyone contemplate the prospect of dying alone.
Dollface gets her hands back though. Hurray!
Unfortunately it seems like that is Dollface’s actual face. Well fear not - if anything this episode has taught us that life is complicated, and not everything will work out the way you expect it to. We could all die alone with porcelain hands in an Inception dollhouse that our presumably Wiccan parents constructed in the attic as part of their post-graduate degree in Multiverse Architecture. Now give us a smile.