Wednesday, August 9, 2017

Tales from the Darkside: Deliver Us from Goodness

To this point in the series, I've preferred the serious episodes of Tales from the Darksides to the larks. Maybe they don't always succeed at scaring, but they're trying, they fit better on the show, and they don't irritate me with unfunny schtick.

"Deliver Us from Goodness" is another mostly unfunny lighthearted episode, but it didn't get on my nerves the way some other episodes did. The central idea - deliberately committing sin to fall from grace - might have worked as horror, but here the execution is a farce that's more cute than anything else.

Housewife Valeria Cantrell has a problem. When she speaks, she glows, literally, as if lit by angels, and occasionally, she can make things appear by wishing for them. Her apparently blessed condition is undermining her husband Julian's mayoral campaign and freaking out their daughter Charlotte. Not wanting to be a burden, Valeria decides to sin, so she won't be a saint anymore.

Technically, she's not a saint anyway. I grew up in a Catholic household to know that, but the other characters, including a priest, refer to her as such, and I won't begrudge the episode for being theologically unsound.

Like I said, the episode is more cute than funny. Valeria's family make a poster-board checklist of the 10 Commandments, checking them off as she violates them. Valeria's idea of murder is killing houseflies. She also is rude to her mother over the phone. The worst thing she does is try to seduce the priest, which fails. She also tries worshiping false idols, include Buddha and Bruce Springsteen.

"Deliver Us from Goodness" is silly, but I can't bring myself to hate it. It could have been worse.

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