Tuesday, November 7, 2023

My Halloween watching 2023 Part 2

Yesterday I discussed a few Halloween-related TV episodes I watched from shows we covered in our most recent season. While both are enjoyable, "Night Terrors" from the first season of Hart to Hart is a real gem. It's an example of the show at its best, the kind of episode that makes you appreciate how much fun it can be.

Jonathan and Jennifer head to a house party--a haunted house party, that is, because their wacky friends have invited folks to a quirky dinner. It becomes evident how quirky when dinner is served, and then everyone is urged to go on a scavenger hunt in the confines of the roomy, spooky, and allegedly ghostly mansion.

I like that "Night Terrors" shows all sides of the campy series. At first it looks like it will be totally jokey, and there are some great moments when Jonathan is in top form with his quips. I don't mean his lines are that funny, but it's the way he delivers them--breezy, confident, but treating everything as a lark. When another guest says he knows he has seen Jonathan somewhere and suggests maybe the athletic club, Jonathan says he usually does his workouts AT HOME. When he utters this, he smirks and looks right at Jennifer, and the whole moment is glorious.

Yet when the hunt begins and the stakes increase, there is some genuine peril, and everyone involved takes things with appropriate seriousness (I mean, it's still Hart to Hart). The dialogue is sharp, and the script shows is really clever. There are twists and turns and some vivid performances by guest actors like Barney Martin and other familiar faces.

"Night Terrors" is not only a fine Halloween episode, it's one of the best episodes I have seen yet of Hart to Hart. I recommend seeing it even outside of the season.

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