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'The Haunting Hour' recap: Reversal of Christmas fortunes

Season 4 | Episode 10| “Goodwill Toward Men” | Aired Nov 29, 2014

When you’ve got rich parents, life can be easier. When your rich parents act rudely toward poor people, life can feel unfair. But what if someone—or something—could teach your parents a lesson? Christmas is the perfect setting for The Haunting Hour to teach us about the true meaning of the holidays.

Joey King (fresh off FX’s Fargo) stars as Missy, the one member of her rich country club family who’s got a heart. On Christmas Eve, Missy tells her father, Lyle, she wants to do something for their gardeners, Jake and Pete, for Christmas. Lyle says, “I already got them something—a job.” Later that day, Missy invites Jake inside and gives him some cookies. Lyle gets upset that “the help” is in the house getting comfortable, so he fires them.

That night, Jake brings Missy a present. He says he was shopping, and someone shoved it in his hands. The mysterious person said, “This is for your sister.” Since he doesn’t have a sister, he brought it over for Missy. She opens it to find a ceramic angel tree topper inside. Her parents won’t let her put it on the tree, so she keeps it by her bed. She wakes up in the middle of the night to Christmas music and flashing lights. The angel is gone. She walks into the hallway and sees the now life-size angel, marking her family’s bedroom doors with fiery X’s.

Missy runs, but the angel keeps appearing silently near her. She passes out in the living room and wakes up to Christmas morning. The angel is now on top of the tree. All of a sudden, Jake and his family come downstairs in pajamas and claim this is their house. They call the police, and Pete says that Lyle is their gardener. Lyle tries to prove they live there with his driver’s license, but when he looks in his wallet, it’s completely empty.

Forced out of the house, Missy and her family roam the streets until they find a vagrant community. Missy’s brother, Henry, gets fed up with being cold and hungry and runs off to find some food. Their parents follow him, but Missy sees familiar flashing lights. She heads toward them and finds the angel. Missy asks why they’re being punished, and then she has to run off when she hears her brother getting in trouble. The angel gives Missy $5, and she’s able to pay for the sandwich Henry was trying to steal.

Missy gives the sandwich to one of the vagrants, telling her family that they’ve never been cold or hungry in their lives, and the vagrant needs the sandwich more than they do. Lyle gets someone to let him use her cell phone, and he calls his credit card companies and his boss—who both say they’ve never heard of him. That night, while her family sleeps, the angel comes back. Missy begs for forgiveness and asks for things to turn back to how they should be.

She wakes up in her bed at home and runs downstairs. There she sees Jake’s family still living in their house. But wait—now Lyle, Henry, and Missy’s mom are all working at the house. Her family has become the help, and she … she is a part of Pete’s family. She smiles and looks up at the angel on the top of the tree, saying, “This is how things should be.”


R.L. Stine’s The Haunting Hour airs Saturdays at  4:30/3:30C on Discovery Family.

TV Families | EW.com
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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