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'The Haunting Hour' recap: A boy and his robo-bear

Season 4 | Episode 6 | “Near Mint Condition” | Aired Nov 1, 2014

Halloween has passed us by, but don’t worry. The Haunting Hour is still here to give us all the campy horror stories we want and need. This week, that comes in the form of a teenage boy, who refuses to grow up, and his creepy robo-bear doll, who might just be more than he bargained for.

Ted (Luke Benward of ABC Family’s now-defunct Ravenswood) is a collector of toys of all kinds: action figures, stuffed animals—anything valuable and sufficiently geeky. On the day he knows a package is being delivered, he sits and watches the door like a creep, stewing with anticipation. His younger brother, Mark, and Mark’s friend, Jason, play video games and make fun of Ted for still playing with toys. Ted must be at least 17, and even Mark and Jason, who are about five years younger, think his toys are lame.

The delivery finally arrives, and Ted opens the package to reveal a robotic teddy bear. Ted explains to the younger boys that this is Mangler, a character from an older cartoon about robotic bears in the future (who look sort of like scary Care Bears). Mangler was a fan favorite, even though he was a double agent who worked for the bad guys. The Mangler toy got recalled after some nasty accidents where kids were scared to death by him—literally! That’s why Ted spent $5,000 to be the owner of one of only seven Mangler dolls left in the world.

Later that night, Mark and Jason sneak up on Ted with Mangler and scare him. He’s horrified that they would risk damaging Mangler as he places the toy back in the display case he built for it. That night while everyone is sleeping, we see Mangler get out of his case and go outside on his own. He’s alive!


Ted wakes up and notices an ambulance across the street at Jason’s house. Mark tells Ted that it looks like Jason was attacked by some kind of animal. He remembers what Ted said about Mangler’s recall and accuses the doll of attacking Jason. Ted tells him he’s being ridiculous and that he simply told them that urban legend so they would stay away from Mangler. Ted thinks this is still a part of a prank Mark and Jason are pulling and dismisses it as such. Mark is insistent, and he forces Ted to accompany him to Mangler’s previous owner’s house.

The previous owner tells them that Mangler was her brother’s toy, but her brother recently died from an animal attack. She doesn’t know how, because all he did all day was buy toys and play with them in his room—just like Ted! Mark tries to tell her his theory about Mangler, and she gets upset and asks them to leave.

That night, Ted agrees to put Mangler in the garage while they sleep, because Mark is still extremely nervous about the doll. Mangler makes his way back into the house regardless and attacks Mark, who screams for help. Ted rushes in, seeing Mangler on the ground unmoving and Mark standing over him with a baseball bat. He accuses Mark of trying to break Mangler, still not realizing Mangler is alive.

Suddenly, Mangler comes to life and runs out of the room. There’s no denying it now, and Ted grabs a sword. Mark sticks with his baseball bat as they wander the house searching for Mangler. They finally corner him, trapping him in a cabinet. They run through the rules of fighting supernatural beings (silver bullet for werewolves, wooden stake for vampires, etc.), but there isn’t anything for robotic teddy bears! They agree that cutting his head off should work.

Mark opens the cabinet as Ted readies himself with the sword. Mangler comes flying out at Ted, and he slices quickly, chopping Mangler’s head off. Mangler falls to the floor, decapitated. Ted says he can try to resell him to earn some of the money back. Mark is worried Mangler is still dangerous, but Ted says there’s nothing to worry about since they cut his head off. Ted packs him up and lists him for sale online—in near mint condition.

R.L. Stine’s The Haunting Hour airs Saturdays 4/3C on Discovery Family.

TV Families | EW.com
Mark Harris
February 23, 1990 AT 05:00 AM EST

The Bradys are back, with a passel of 90’s hassles. Do they represent the typical American Family? Did they ever? Who does? Stare and compare!

Kind Of Family
TheBradyBunch 1969-74: Blended
The Bradys 1990-: Enormous
Married…With Children 1987-: Postnuclear
Thirtysomething 1987-: Extended
The Flintstones 1960-66: Modern Stone Age

Family Pet
The Brady Bunch: Tiger
The Bradys: Alice
Married…With Children: Buck
Thirtysomething: Grendel
The Flintstones: Dino

Typical Guest Star
The Brady Bunch: Davey Jones
The Bradys: There’s no room
Married…With Children: Sam Kinison
Thirtysomething: Carly Simon
The Flintstones: Ann Margrock

Expression Of Joy
The Brady Bunch: Groovy!
The Bradys: Ritual hugging
Married…With Children: ”Oh, great.”
Thirtysomething: ”Of course I’m happy for you. Really. But what about me? Why does it always have to be about you?
The Flintstones: ”Yabba-dabba doo

Expression Of Rage

The Brady Bunch: ”Hmmm…”
The Bradys: ”If you back away from something you really want, then you’re a quitter!” (the angriest any Brady has ever been)
Married…With Children: ”Aaagh, God, take me from this miserable life!”
Thirtysomething: ”I’m not angry, OK?”
The Flintstones: ”Willllmaaaa!”

Typical Problem
The Brady Bunch: Marcia and her rival both want to be the prom queen.
The Bradys: Bobby gets paralyzed.
Married…With Children: Al doesn’t buy his family Christmas presents.
Thirtysomething: Nancy gets cancer.
The Flintstones: Fred and Barney are staying out too late.

Typical Solution
The Brady Bunch: The prom committee decides to have two queens.
The Bradys: Bobby gets married.
Married…With Children: They hate him.
Thirtysomething: If only we knew…
The Flintstones: Wilma and Betty decide to follow them.

House Style
The Brady Bunch: Conservative but mod, circa ’69
The Bradys: Conservative but mod, circa ’90
Married…With Children: Roach motel
Thirtysomething: Enviable
The Flintstones: Suburban cave

Clothing Style
The Brady Bunch: Early Osmonds
The Bradys: Made in the USA
Married…With Children: Flammable fabrics
Thirtysomething: Eclectic earth tones; nice ties
The Flintstones: One-piece

Most Annoying Character
The Brady Bunch: Alice’s cousin Emma, the substitute housekeeper (too strict)
The Bradys: Marcia’s husband, Wally (chronically unemployable)
Married…With Children: Steve (supercilious)
Thirtysomething: Ellyn (goes through Hope’s drawers, babbles, changes hairstyle every other week, generally mistreats her friends)
The Flintstones: Mr. Slate (bossy)

Attitude Toward Sex
The Brady Bunch: Never heard of it
The Bradys: Omigod — even Cindy does it!
Married…With Children: Peg: Yes. Al: No.
Thirtysomething: They didn’t get all those kids by accident.
The Flintstones: Prehistoric

How Spouses Fight
The Brady Bunch: They don’t.
The Bradys: Infrequently, but it happens
Married…With Children: Tooth and nail
Thirtysomething: They stop talking
The Flintstones: Fred and Barney go bowling while Wilma and Betty max out their charge cards.

How Kids Get Into Trouble
The Brady Bunch: Greg takes a puff of a cigarette.
The Bradys: Carol’s grandson steals her business cards and sticks them in the spokes of Bobby’s wheelchair.
Married…With Children: By committing felonies
Thirtysomething: Ethan plays with a forbidden toy rocket.
The Flintstones: They don’t.

How They’re Punished

The Brady Bunch: ”It’s not what you did, honey — it’s that you couldn’t come to us.”
The Bradys ”Next time, ask.”
Married…With Children: By the authorities
Thirtysomething: It blows up in his face.
The Flintstones: They’re not.

What Family Does For Fun
The Brady Bunch: Takes special three-part vacations to Hawaii and the Grand Canyon
The Bradys: Has flashbacks
Married…With Children: Exchanges insults
Thirtysomething: Talks
The Flintstones: Attends showings of The Monster at the Bedrock Drive-In

Unsolved Mysteries
The Brady Bunch: How exactly did Carol’s first husband and Mike’s first wife die?
The Bradys: What’s with Marcia’s new face and Bobby’s blonde hair
Married…With Children: What kind of hair spray does Peg use?
Thirtysomething: Why did Nancy take Elliot back? What do Gary and Susanna see in each other?
The Flintstones: How does Barney’s shirt stay on if he has no shoulders? Where do Fred and Wilma plug in their TV?

Worst Behavior
The Brady Bunch: The Brady children once made Alice feel under-appreciated.

The Bradys: Marcia’s son Mickey watches Bobby’s car-crash tape for fun.
Married…With Children: The Bundy’s kill their neighbor’s dog.
Thirtysomething: Elliot has an affair and talks about it.
The Flintstones: Characters don’t wear under-clothes.

Best Reason To Watch
The Brady Bunch: This is what life should be.
The Bradys: They’re all grown-ups now!
Married…With Children: Terry Rakolta hates it.
Thirtysomething (Tie) This is your life. This isn’t your life.
The Flintstones: This is what life might have been.

Best Reason Not To Watch
The Brady Bunch: Blurred vision from rerun overdoses.
The Bradys: You’re all grown-ups now.
Married…With Children: She has a point.
Thirtysomething: After a while, you think it’s real.
The Flintstones: The Simpsons

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