Goosebumps S01 E04: The Girl Who Cried Monster

So for reasons I won’t go into I’m having a month of “no ability to concentrate,” which means my reading time has been devoted entirely to Sweet Valley and similar fluff, and I’ve been watching television.

Well, actually I’ve been watching DVDs and Netflix, but in my head it’s all categorized under “Watching Television,” that faintly forbidden time-wasting activity I wasn’t allowed to do much of as a child.

As a result all sorts of stuff everyone else has already seen and practically memorized is brand new to me, and I actually get excited about it. It’s fairly pathetic, but at least it keeps me entertained.

I shamelessly love the opening credit sequence.
I shamelessly love the opening credit sequence.

So I’ve started watching Goosebumps. I literally had no idea this had ever been a show until about a year ago. Netflix starts off with what wikipedia swears is episode four. I won’t argue.

girl who cried monster

Lucy, the girl who cried monster, is so genuinely awful I hope she gets eaten. I mean, I suppose she won’t, since this was a children’s show, but it would be satisfying if she did. It’s not even that she teases her brother by making him believe in monsters (though that is mean, and the way she KEEPS DOING IT right in front of their mother immediately after being told to stop makes me want to swat her).

Girlwhocriedmonster_1_randy_lucy

It’s the insolent way she looks at and speaks to the librarian. Imagine having obnoxious children roll their eyes at you and disdainfully hand you books to check out. I would be a serial killer after a week of that.

Actually the librarian’s a little creepy, so maybe he’s thought of that already.

Wait, their library is a huge stone building with a turret? That is so not fair. Lucy’s on her way back into the library alone, btw, to retrieve her “blades.” By which she means inline skates, I think? Also she has a very 90s backpack, one of those cloth stripey ones that I think came from Guatemala, or rather, from shops that sold “fair trade” coffee and hammocks and worry dolls and cloth backpacks.

Ha. Obligatory black cat just dropped down in front of her from nowhere. I’m picturing someone standing just out of view of the camera and tossing it at her. I want that job: Official Cat Tosser.

Ewww. The librarian is feeding his pet spiders. I actually like spiders, but I think anyone who keeps them and feed them LIVE CREATURES is a bit sociopathic. I’m sorry, that’s not the circle of life, that’s the circle of you being a creep who keeps predators in glass cages.

The librarian (Mortman? I think that’s what she called him. Subtle.) is also giggling and gnashing his teeth. This would be a good time to run, Lucy.

Annnnnd now he’s eating some crickets. The overacting is ridiculous, and the monster he’s changing into right now is gooey, eyeball-y, and generally not scary, but…there is something slightly unsettling about this, all the same, and I think it’s the fear that adults–if you caught them unawares–might not be ordinary and reliable after all; they might be somehow horrific and scary rather than reassuringly boring. (Which is, unfortunately, true of many of them.)

Lucy runs home and tells her parents. They blandly tell her to wash up for dinner. I’m sensing an impending RLStine twist here.

She phones her friend, who also doesn’t believe her.

Back at the library, presumably the next day, the librarian tells her we all have a little monster in us. She looks unimpressed by his depths. Hang on to that expression, Lucy, you’ll need it often as an undergraduate.

She pretends to leave by slamming the door, and spies on him as he turns into a bubble-eyed cricket eater again. Only this time he’s eating one of the tarantulas. JUST WHEN I GOT THROUGH NAMING YOU, YOU JERK.

Lucy has a pink camera. Snapping the monster’s picture alerts him to her presence, of course. She escapes and runs home with her camera, but as her friend tells her on the phone, Mortman knows where she lives. She tries to leave the house but he’s on the front step, and she stupidly blurts out that he can’t come in because her parents aren’t home.

Her recovery effort is cute–“Hey Mom, is Dad still cleaning his rifle?”–but doesn’t work. He leaves her backpack on the front step as asked, though, and politely waves goodbye, telling her he looks forward to their next little chat.

chris-hansen-2

When her parents come home she tries to tell them what happened, and her dad says “He followed you home for no reason,” in an utterly unconvinced voice. Dude: if the librarian is following your daughter home you need to take that seriously, and not because of monsters. Her mother is equally clueless, arguing that it was “awfully nice of him” to return Lucy’s backpack when he lives all the way across town and it wasn’t on his way at all. MY GOD. These people are like a PSA about how not to protect your child from predators.

But they take her to get the pictures developed. Ha. These days she’d have had them uploaded and shared by now. #monsters_of_instagram #creepylibrarian

Her brother knocks them out of her hand, and as she’s gathering them up from the sidewalk the monster in question shows up and her parents INVITE HIM TO DINNER. This is so creepy, and not because I know exactly what kind of thrilling RLStine-typical twist is in store.

Oh wait, they aren’t irresponsible parents after all! They’re fanged snake monsters, who kill and eat him because “we can’t have any other monsters in town.” That’s a relief.

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