Towards the end of 1987 the local TV channels were advertising about a bold new direction in syndicated entertainment and it was going to be called Star Trek: The Next Generation. Now to be quite honest I was totally jazzed over the idea of a new Star Trek series finally being broadcast again after 21 years.
But there was another promo that caught my eye as well. This one had myself and some school chums talking excitedly during lunch the weekend after it began airing, for a group of fifteen year olds this was an intriguing concept.
They were going to attempt to make the Friday the 13th slasher films into a weekly television series?!
[Via] Josh Hadley
Of course as we learned when the first episode aired on October 3, 1987 this didn’t have a single thing to do with Jason Voorhees or even Camp Crystal Lake. This was a totally original concept that had two cousins…by marriage, Micki Foster (Louise Robey) and Ryan Dallion (John D. LeMay), inheriting their Uncle Lewis’ old antique shop and who learn with the help of an old friend of their Uncle’s named Jack Marshak (Chris Wiggins) that Ol’ Lewis had been selling items from his shop that thanks to a deal with the Devil were cursed and causing all manner of grief and death for innocent people and not so innocent people as the trio would quickly learn. So the trio found themselves tasked with getting those items back.
Now if you’ve not had the pleasure of seeing the TV series for yourself you might be thinking that it would be a whole heck of a lot less trouble if they just decided to destroy the cursed objects, ensuring that they couldn’t cause any more harm. Yeah. The Devil made sure that wouldn’t work, they truly can’t be destroyed so they are housed in the vault in the basement of the shop called Curious Goods. So Micki, Jack, and Ryan…and later Johnny Ventura (Steve Monarque) have to become guardians of these artifacts and keep them locked up as well as to help atone for what the greedy and evil Uncle Lewis (R.G. Armstrong) accomplished in his lifetime.
Now since this was a syndicated program you might find where you were living it aired in the afternoon (Like Alyse mentions in her book) but in my neck of the woods on Saturday night I would turn on my little color television just a few minutes before the 10 O’clock news was finished to first catch Star Trek: The Next Generation and then Friday the 13th: The Series. It was a fantastic time…to not have a social life to speak of…and while I of course did very much enjoy the new Star Trek series it really was Friday the 13th that captured my interest and heart.
Which is why I was so absolutely excited when Bearmanor Media contacted me about reviewing Alyse Wax’s new definitive guide to the television series with Curious Goods: Behind the Scenes of Friday the 13th The Series. First of all I’m going to state that if you too are a fan of this TV series you need to stop reading my review right this second and order your own copy on Bearmanor Media’s site or on Amazon. I’ll wait until you get back.
Did you order your copy? Awesome. Trust me, you are going to love it.
Now for those of you that are on the fence about the book let me explain some of the reasons I have been so absolutely blown away by what Alyse has crafted. First of all she has a detailed synopsis for all three seasons of the show, that is 72 episodes in total. But this isn’t a dry retelling of the episodes as she humorously adds her own views on the episode in particular as well as calling out rather interesting lapses in logic that the episode might have presented. In that synopsis she will share info on the Director, Writer, and original air date, as well as what the cursed object was that our three heroes succeeded or failed to track down. At the end of the synopsis Alyse has also included a Status of the item itself from the ending of the show and then usually shares anecdotes about the episodes from her interviews with the cast and crew that worked on it, giving us fans a TRUE behind the scenes look at the making of the series.
Wax has exclusive interviews as well with the likes of not only stars of the show Louise Robey and John LeMay but the creator for the series and Executive Producer Frank Mancuso Jr., Executive Story Editor William Taub, Story Consultant Marc Scott Zicree, Director/Writer Rob Hedden, Composer Fred Mollin, Director and Story Editor Tom McLoughlin, and J. Miles Dale who was the series’ Line Producer to name a few.
All of these interviews like Alyse’s detailed synopsis are pleasingly informal, relaxed, as if you were just listening to an old friend. Of course the fact that Wax is an absolutely huge fan of the show is one of the reasons I found this book to be so very entertaining, you can tell she is excited to share her love of the series.
Alyse has also included almost fifty never before seen behind the scenes photos from the personal collections of the cast and crew that worked on the series, that are just amazing. For what it’s worth I hope to have an interview with Alyse scheduled in the next week or two on the site, so keep an eye out for that. So if you are looking for an incredibly detailed but entertaining behind the scenes view of the Friday the 13th television series you owe it to yourself to add Curious Goods: Behind the Scenes of Friday the 13th to your collection.
Just…don’t purchase the book from Uncle Lewis, okay?