The Shame of Barnabas Collins…

I have two scholastic Josette=Kitty=Maggie helpers who have been pressed upon with so much stress and obligation that it’s lead me to find other people as sources of comfort. This isn’t such a good idea but some interesting discussions came out of it.

As some of you know I’ve been working over a month to finish Episode 12 of The Pit of Ultimate Dark Shadows. Not only is it detailing many distinct vocal impressions and inflections, as well as editing just for the bland version without music or sound effects, there is a very difficult session of hypnosis for Maggie Evans in which she sees her lives and understands her flashes of insight into who and what Barnabas Colllins means to her.

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This is not a happy girl. I think that’s why Hansel Bachmeier is a fitting additive because it may allow her to go completely into realms of utter kick-ass in The Pit of Ultimate Dark Shadows on the chance anyone else messes with her during the series. (Hansel’s favourite curse word thus far when he talks to me is “Stier-shiste.” Nice, Mr. Bachmeier, nice.)

The pain of this episode looms before us in its darkness, as well as the loneliness I’ve felt in my two best helpers having so much trouble that I don’t hear from them. I need to know more about this woman, if not for her, but for the knowledge that we can share this experience of unraveling what, I’ve had to deduce, was where the series wanted to lead. But control of the story was removed from it’s creator, Dan Curtis, moving to what may have been preferred by the family of Hall. And I only suggest this because I listen to the characters and adhere the best that I can to the original story line, trying to solve problems rather than causing them.

I cannot use source material beyond the television show. I felt bad enough doing that for that tiny joke from a Marilyn Ross novel and made a very defined asterisk on that point. That “mod & way out” line was simply a great thing Carolyn Stoddard could likely have said. She is the most with-it hipster-lass of them all. If I used source material from Big Finish audio dramas that would conflict with what I’ve channeled in Caleb Collins who I believe is very accurate to the program in terms of a helper at any rate. I want this based on the television program alone as much as possible.

I also do this because I feel much of that newer material is based on the popularity of what the fans wanted rather than the content of what I see was originally being aimed for.

What continues to daunt me is how fragmented any other Josette=Maggie fan is I can find. They were pummeled for more years into a type of quietude. My more youthful lasses have this understanding so fresh in their minds they’ve taken notes and analyzed the whole relationship. But my sweetnesses are currently in danger and they are in trouble and I miss them terribly. I also pray for their safety.

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But what is the shame of Barnabas Collins? Ah… I’ve had to explain this again and again to those who do not understand it. Barnabas is ashamed for having a single one-night-stand with a powerful woman who wreaked havoc on his entire family as a result. Ooo, he slept around ONCE! Yes it was the wrong dame… but BIG WHOOP! Why does everyone case on him?

Is it anything like THIS guy who bloody owns his slutty behaviour?

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Quentin Collins

Or THIS guy who has spread his seed far and wide across the entire galaxy?

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Captain James T. Kirk

So why are so many fans so damned hard on Barnabas Collins?

Because he admits to being in the wrong at times. His sensitive nature exists under his putrescent misdeeds and errors. He kidnapped Maggie Evans not for lustful needs. It was because he missed someone. And he missed her desperately. And he could not remember what had happened after over a century of being locked in a coffin. He mainly just felt it. I’d love to see someone else endure that agony better.

He wants to make his lost lady happy and live with her forever, as Dracula does, a specific lady with the same qualities. This is, of course, jagged and twisted and wrong to do in this manner, but the best part is in Maggie Evans saying, “I’m not her! I can’t be her!”

please I want us to be happy

No… of course she can’t. But like anyone who can’t wrap their minds beyond a single genre of entertainment: drama, comedy, romance, family, horror, etc… Is there not a way to engage in a mixture, which is what life is?

And this is his mistake: forcing, not asking, not requesting. And later he understands this and feels that guilt. The complexity is stronger with Barnabas Collins, and when people see that guilt the bully in them ignites. They won’t touch someone who says, “Yeah, I screw with people’s heads. I get-off on it.” Those types are too hot to handle.

However, a man who confesses to being in the wrong?

Oh… those bullies feed on that. And it’s much easier to kick down a complex fictional character who also happens to be an icon. And they ALL truly believe THEY know what’s best for him. That mommy-knows-best attitude. No asking the gentleman… just tell him.

But bullies do cast these same fires on real people. They do.

My family, my friends, my peers, the social organizations and institutions of schools and “guiding” adults: They did this to me most of my life, which is almost 4 decades long now.

I see what’s happening with Barnabas Collins.

It happened to me.

Now… even with the lack of support a comedienne generally requires from her audience, coupled with the bullied history…

Can you see why I have been so pissed?

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And don’t even get me started on Willie Loomis…

😉

Analysis of Preferred Pairings For Barnabas Collins #6

6) Leutinant Mary Sue

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As the list grows in these preferred pairings I’ve turned my attention to a stranger oddity. I found Roxanne Drew to be a unique addition, and then surmised why Dark Shadows brought in another red-head when they already had one: Barnabas isn’t likely to be romantically inclined to Julia Hoffman as her analytical and authoritarian attitude made her closer to a friend than a marriage companion minus the possibility of pity for her which I find undeserving. Roxanne Drew does come off as the younger type that Barnabas has a preference for when people look superficially, but she also contains the gentler gregarious nature he admires.

With Roxanne we’re also delving further into the series which I’ve heard many concerns by Dark Shadows fans that at a certain point it was being run into the ground as for loss of ideas or lack of continuity going even farther over the edge than is sustainable. Having reached facebook with its sudden and enormous wealth of so many Dark Shadows fans all at once, many things were overwhelming for me. Then when I read a ton of posts and listened to their thoughts I found a great deal to admire. Distaste for too much lack of continuity was one of them.

By the time we pick up on Roxanne there could be too much going on for plausibility in general which is likely why the fans of her as the preferred pairing to Barnabas are harder to reach or find. She comes to mind in this Lt. Mary Sue consideration because of what I’ve seen when people put together the preferred pairing of a Mary Sue for Barnabas Collins.

The standard line is, “Well I felt he needed someone else to get over Josette Dupres.”

I see. Wouldn’t Roxanne Drew be the ideal candidate for this?

Another response I’ve heard a number of times is, “Oh, I felt the Maggie/Josette thing is just over done.”

The only sign I saw after starting my own work was Tim Burton’s Dark Shadows film. Remember at the beginning she does say, “Hello, my name is Maggie Evans.” In any case, I’ve excitedly requested where the hell THESE stories are because I couldn’t find them no matter how much I combed. Maggie=Josette is over done? Where?!

“On the show…”

………………………..

I must heave a massive and very tired sigh. Maggie=Josette was so overdone no one put it together in so many decades? Sheez… it was so over done and SO obvious no one bothered to do it? Had to make ME come in and do it? Then again, I have felt the very warm appreciation of which I’m most grateful because I’ve heard from several sources much gratitude for “Margaret Josette Dupres”. And from these lovely ladies I have heard many times, “Finally… FINALLY! Someone had the same understanding *I* did and managed to put it together.” I gather it was the complexity and only someone who would want to solve ALL the problems and invite other spooky extras along for the ride would likely be the complicated weirdo to do the research and put it all together.

So when it comes to what I felt was blatantly obvious in terms of what Barnabas Collins desired, what would relieve Josette Dupres and what would allow Maggie Evans to uncork puzzles she’d been wrestling with since she was a child, as well as show just how much she could deeply understand and forgive, the situation was clear. I do listen to Maggie Evans. I did see confusion and frustration, not in her knowing who she was as Maggie but who she was when finding all these puzzles on Dark Shadows she never could solve. I find her one of the wisest characters on the program, which she likely inherits from her Pop, who I intended to save for more than myself. Maggie Evans and Josette Dupres are indeed beautiful, but more than that they are deeply kind and intelligent.

Barnabas on The Enterprise

So the question remains, why Lt. Mary Sue for Barnabas Collins? Lt. Mary Sue I use as a metaphor for an original character, a girl who has no canon value and is either the usual wish-fulfilment or an attempt to give Barnabas Collins the kind of girl he likes when there have been plenty to choose from on the program already. One lady, who I fear has passed away, explained it this way:

“Oh, a Mary Sue or a Marty Stu is typically a character a fan makes up that is really … I’m not sure how to describe it well … a ‘fantasy’ based on the fan herself or himself: A wish-fulfillment, basically.

A Mary Sue is often a skinny, lonely, (perhaps unusually pretty or has something VERY special about her) person who turns out to be the hero’s ‘true love’ instead of the canon love-interest, of course.

The term originated with a story written by a Star Trek Fan way back when, when the girl falls for Kirk, and he for her, but ultimately (in a rare show of good judgement) the girl (who may have been named Mary Sue) finally realised that James Kirk’s true love was the Enterprise.

Ever since then the term is used as I described above. Google the term and you’ll find all the nauseating details of how fans to this day create Mary Sues galore.

Oh, and we can see how Barnabas Collins would find someone other than Josette DuPres to be his ‘true love’ now, can’t we? After all, this new girl is truly everything we realised his Josette wasn’t. Prettier, more tragic, more in need of him, and loves him more than all women in the Universe combined! Lol! Well, I shouldn’t laugh…it really isn’t funny. It’s rather pathetic, actually, and people post such drivel and regale us with the awful results. Ugh…”

Ah, true. It is a strange concept to me unless this is closer to the creation in terms of a mere hobby which wasn’t what I went into it for. We know that some of these writers don’t put this together for wish-fulfilment alone and sometimes not at all. But there is this longing to find another gal for Barnabas Collins that meets his needs but just happens to not resemble the girl he fell deeply in love with. Part of that is likely because people see Barnabas Collins as a sexual object and the only interest he would have is in the superficial. Rare is the character whose motive only moves in that direction. The other part, of course, is the more complex nature of his love for Josette Dupres and seeing her in Maggie Evans. It’s either too hot to handle or not worth the time to explore. Sadly, I believe the main problem is it was viewed as him wanting the invalidating and obnoxious acronym of SYT: sweet young thing. (Not a bad song by Michael Nesmith.)

After studying reincarnation, Josette Dupres, Kitty Soames and Maggie Evans thoroughly, and continue to do, I must come to the conclusion that Lt. Mary Sue makes much more sense in other fandoms.

As far as I’m concerned Captain James T. Kirk is welcome to Lt. Mary Sue. I’m sure he can manage to make her happy. I wouldn’t put it past Kirk to hang on to her and his beloved Enterprise. ^_^

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Peace and long life.

Live long and prosper.