Dark Shadows and the original Barnabas Collins

Jonathan Frid, who died last month, originated the role of Barnabas Collins on Dark Shadows in the 1960s. The original tortured-vampire TV series was truly a soap — daily airings, haphazard plotting, bad production values and all; Frid regularly stared off into the distance for long pauses, in what he admitted was an effort to remember his lines.

But its gloomy, sepia stories were still compelling; I sucked down most of them one high school summer, when I stumbled across SciFi Channel reruns. And Dark Shadows laid a lot of groundwork for Buffy and Twilight and True Blood. Frid was haughty, frightening, magnetically ugly and romantically tortured over the death of his lost love; there’s a lot of Barnabas Collins in Angel and Eric Northman, although both of those vampire antiheroes have been played by younger and prettier men.

All of which to say is that I am extremely skeptical about the movie version of Dark Shadows, starring Johnny Depp in his Willy Wonka drag and recycled Addams Family sets. Whatever aspersions you want to cast on the original series, and there are many you can, intentionally wacky slapstick was never its thing.

The amazing eyeliner of Lost Girl

Fantasy series Lost Girl is basically the Canadian version of what HBO’s True Blood could have been, with better writing and no budget. A succubus living in a modern city has to navigate fairy-society politics and help avoid a looming civil war, supported by her sassy human sidekick-roommate, while juggling love interests of the brooding male-werewolf and brainy female-human variety. And they all solve crimes!

There is a ton to like about the show, currently airing on the Syfy channel — the sharp writing! The central friendship between two women! The matter-of-fact attitudes towards the title character’s pan-sexuality!

(And look, three women on screen at once, talking to each other — this must be the dreaded “labia saturation.”)

But what I really have to admire more than anything else is the eyeliner.

It’s amazing — through rain and tears and passionate all-nighters, the eyeliner remains. Even demonic powers can’t suppress it!

Serious question — how does one apply eyeliner so well, so consistently, so permanently? There’s got to be a Lost Girl spin-off beauty manual in this, or at least a good feature in an upcoming women’s magazine…