|RIP Jonathan Frid (1924 - 2012)|
Through Depp's mastery of playing the same androgynous character over and over again with greater amounts of clown makeup, we will finally see the Collins family's greatest disgrace in all his unbridled, cringe-worthy Pride Parade glory. If Ichabod Crane was conceived as "Ronald Reagan, Girl Detective," and if Captain Jack Sparrow was "Charles Bukowski as Keith Richards, Fire Island Go-Go Dancer," then we can now expect a Barnabas Collins more akin to "Joan Collins, the Man-eating, Scissor-handed, Mad Hatter Bitch of the Carrington Dynasty."
Perhaps Barnabas' chain-girdled coffin had always been a metaphor for a closet where the "love that dare not speak its name" sought refuge, but it took the bravery of Burton and Depp to break those chains and leave their comfortable paradigm of gothic camp to deal with the controversial topic of deviant homosexuality in the family -- through the lens of a queer, undead dandy with an oral fixation.
Frid, a Shakespearean actor, had played Barnabas Collins straight -- so to speak. Observing an audience laughing at "Dark Shadows," which they presumed to be written as over-the-top humor, hurt him deeply. He said he would rather die than be remembered as a comical buffoon in a badly produced display of ostentatious camp. Thanks to Tim Burton and Johnny Depp, Frid's last wish was honored. He was 87.
(c) 2012. See disclaimers.