Talk about a sophomore slump " "Tales from the Darkside: The Second Season" represents a precipitous drop in quality from its first year. Never mind budgetary issues, as funding for the syndicated horror anthology series was always small " these two dozen episodes, more often than not, lack energy, imagination and ingenuity.
Oh, there are exceptions. Tom Savini's "Halloween Candy" is kinda fun, until you realize it's a virtual remake of the final segment in "Creepshow." You'd think as the show's godfather, George Romero could be counted on to deliver a gem, but his "The Devil's Advocate" is dreadfully boring, with 20 minutes of Jerry Stiller's talk-radio host ranting until its inevitable "twist" ending.
The killer teddy bear of "Ursa Minor" is a kitschy respite from all that is dull, but it 's bested by the similarly themed "Monsters in My Room," notable for starring a young Seth Green. One of the very worst episodes " among all "Darkside" seasons " is the rambling, limp "Dream Girl," in which a stagehand has a dream that's seemingly staged and directed by the most incompetent theater troupe around. It's too not to laugh at it.
One major problem that sticks out with this set: The season's offerings are mighty short on horror. Anyone can do a "weird" tale, but the series was built on ones that offered terror. Even when those fell short, as they often did, they still were fun.