Dark Shadows outtakes 1966

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While there’s lots to enjoy in the original television series, and in Tim Burton’s stylish film version, supernatural soap Dark Shadows has an unexpected spin-off when the show’s blooper reel appeared on You Tube. These aren’t bloopers per se, since the show was filmed as live; what’s revealed in over 40 minutes of wonderful awkwardness is actors struggling with doors, intrusive cameras, flies, props and some of the most tricky dialogue ever heard. Contrived comedy is rarely as funny as real life, and the Dark Shadows blooper reel is contagiously amusing; the multiple attempts to hang a picture, the startled looks to camera, the off-screening banging during key speeches, each happy accident is rendered all the more amusing by the period dress, and the brave way the actors have keep the scene going rather than corpse.  Creating drama is a complex business, and the cast of Dark Shadows inadvertently created comic gold while their minds were on other, more Gothic things.

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