Friday, September 21, 2012

Friday the 13th: The Series 25th Anniversary

This Fall marks the 25th Anniversary of the airing
of the first season of my all-time favorite TV show,
Friday the 13th: The Series!

The summer of 1987 saw this brief commercial
airing on television stations across the country:

When I saw this, I was beyond excited.
There was no information given, other than the name
and the fact that a show was coming in the Fall.
Of course, many fans assumed Jason Voorhees was somehow
going to be dispatching campers weekly on our small screens.

But, as we all know now, that was not the case.
Jason was nowhere to be found.
In fact, this show shared its name and some
behind the scenes personnel only with the horror films,
due to producer Frank Mancuso, Jr. changing the name from
The 13th Hour to Friday the 13th: The Series in hopes
that name recognition would help draw in fans.
Did his plan work? I am sure it did, initially.

However, some casual viewers, upon realizing
there was no Crystal Lake connection, tuned out.
But, if you gave this show time to shine on its own, it did - and how! 

I was one of those Jason fans who tuned in to see what was going on,
but I was hooked from episode one by this show, all on its own merits.

The premise: Lewis Vendredi, owner of an antique shop, has decided to back out of his deal with Satan. See, Lewis is selling antiques that are cursed.
But Satan is not one to trifle with.
He sends Lewis straight to Hell.

Months later, Lewis' nephew and niece descend on the store, their inheritance. Ryan Dallion wants to reopen the unique place and sell the antiques. His cousin-by-marriage, Micki Foster, has other ideas. She wants to sell everything, including the store, and get back to her life. Eventually, she wins out and the duo has a "going out of business sale," sending even more of Lewis' cursed items out into the world.

Late one night, they are surprised by an intruder in the shop.
He turns out to be an associate of their uncle, a man named Jack Marshak.
A Renaissance man, Jack has supplied Lewis
with antiques from around the world for years.
He is devastated when he realizes what Lewis has done with those items,
and the cousins are confused and shocked, as well.

Soon, they are on their first mission, to get a cursed doll away from a little girl.
The trio realize they alone have the responsibility
to get all these cursed antiques
back and locked safely in the vault under the store.
Their lives will never be the same again!

The show ran for three seasons
in syndication before meeting an untimely end.
Why did it end?

There are conflicting reports. It did well in the ratings -
heck, in its first season, the show was second in ratings to
the hit Star Trek: The Next Generation!
Not shabby at all!

But cast changes, supposed pressure from morals groups and other factors
led the producers and Paramount to pull the plug on the show in 1990.

We never got to see the group collect the final antique.
We never had any resolution for the characters or premise, at all.
Yet, it still endures, with fans around the world thrilled
when the three seasons were finally
released on DVD these last few years.

I want to celebrate the show's anniversary.
Starting next Friday, I am going to do a weekly review
of each episode here on my blog.

There are 72 episodes, so this will be well over a year long celebration.
I hope you enjoy the reviews.
I know I will enjoy rewatching the episodes again!

A big THANK YOU to Rob Kelly for the 25th Anniversary banners!
Much appreciated!


  1. The blooper reels can count as a episode 73.

    1. I have them queued up in future 25th Anniversary posts already! :)