Plot: It’s Halloween again in Bluffington, and Connie has developed a new hobby of spreading rumors. One of her newest rumors is that there is a bat master at the school who will control the bats within the bell tower. Doug spots Skeeter going up into the bell tower and soon everyone suspects that Skeeter is the bat master; a vampire!
Breakdown: Alright, now, Disney’s Doug wasn’t as prevalent on my radar. Since it only aired on ABC’s One Saturday Morning, usually around the time other things were playing on other channels, I didn’t follow it as much as Nickelodeon’s Doug. I followed it enough to know the major events and changes between versions, but I didn’t have as much of a stake in it as Nickelodeon’s Doug.
So this is an episode I just flat-out don’t remember, and it’s entirely possible I never saw it. And that might be a good thing because this episode was pretty stupid.
Every kid in town is convinced that Skeeter is a vampire with nothing but Connie’s stupid lies and some circumstantial evidence to back up their claim. Everyone starts avoiding Skeeter like he has the plague, leprosy and BO, and even Doug starts staying away from him, leaving Skeeter all alone for days and on his Halloween party.
Let me go over the ‘proof’ that Skeeter is a vampire. He went into the bell tower. He had bat food in his locker. Connie’s stupid rumor about a bat master. That’s it. That’s all they have. They even throw in legit proof that he’s not a vampire, like saying he walks around in daylight just fine, and no one believes that evidence because idiots like Roger state that that type of lore is probably just a lie to help conceal themselves in public.
I’ve seen plenty of shows with similar plotlines (hell, Alvin and the Chipmunks Meet the Wolfman is one, though they ended up being right) and they usually have the decency to try harder with the evidence, like they could’ve seen Skeeter drinking from a blood bag but it was really just a prop for his vampire costume filled with Kool-Aid or something. They could’ve had him freak out over eating something garlic and say he’s allergic or just really hates it. They could’ve seen him sleeping in a coffin that was another prop for his party and costume. They somehow could’ve set it up to have Skeeter not give off a reflection in something (hell, checking his reflection would’ve been a quick and easy method of disproving this whole thing). It’s vampire lore, it’s not hard to replicate realistically.
And really, if they believe all of the bats are vampire bats, under the command of a vampire, why do they need bat chow? They’d drink blood.
It’s all so stupid, even for a bunch of kids. And poor Skeeter ends up feeling like a friendless loser, even without his best friend, Doug, all because of this crap.
To be honest, Doug and the others are a bit too old now to be believing in vampires, especially with such flimsy evidence. If Doug’s birthdays over the course of the series so far is any indication, he should be 13 right now.
I can actually forgive Doug for going along with this because he lets his imagination run wild with everything, plus mob mentality and whatnot. It’s an asshole move to ditch Skeeter, but he’s a bit nutty in the head, so you can give him a bit of a pass. And it’s pretty solidified that everyone else in Bluffington is crazy or stupid, including the adults such as his father, Phil, who reacts to his questions about vampires by giving him the sex talk (yes, really). However, I blame most of this whole thing on two people.
First, Patti should be the voice of reason here. She’s almost always the sensible one and she never really seems like she ever believes Skeeter is a vampire in the first place. Sure it’s difficult to talk down a mob, but she at least should’ve hung out with Skeeter when she saw he was all alone or went to his party when she realized no one would be there. Or hell, she could’ve talked Doug down from this vampiric ledge. But no. She did nothing.
Second, Connie is the biggest one at fault here because she started this whole retarded rumor and knew from the start it was a bunch of lies but she never speaks up and tries to quell the whole mess when she sees Skeeter suffering. She not only lets it happen, she purposely makes it worse and keeps it going by building on the rumor and spreading it further. Why is anyone even believing Connie anyway? Her rumors all sound stupid and easily debunked like saying Skunky Beaumont was grounded until he was 21. Gee, that could be cleared up by just asking him if that’s true.
She only fesses up when it’s proven that Skeeter’s not a vampire, which is so far past too late it’s ridiculous. And can I ask what caused the jump between being a ‘bat master’ and being a vampire? I mean, yeah, vampires are closely related to bats, but the rumor was specifically about just a person who could control bats, which isn’t the same. They never had any reason to suspect anything actually vampiric about the guy. All they proved was that Skeeter was doing something with bats. The end.
What was he doing with those bats you may ask? The school was having a bat problem and the maintenance guy for the building, Mr. Crushy, was afraid of bats. So to save Mr. Crushy some anxiety and to save the lives of the bats, he went up to the bell tower, captured them safely and released them into the park. He said it was for a science project, but I don’t see how.
So yeah, Skeeter was doing a kind deed for a person and a bunch of bats and his reward is to be shunned by his peers and temporarily losing his best friend. Nice, guys. Real nice. Oh and go to hell, Connie.
There’s also a side-plot that is entirely useless except to maybe give Connie some comeuppance. She convinces the crazy band teacher that there’s a spy for the Bloatsburg band floating around planning to sabotage them so Mr. Fort goes on lockdown and initiates Plan B, which is a convoluted plan involving lasers and traps to release a bee in front of the Bloatsburg conductor to make the band mess up. Like some sort of lackluster Looney Tunes sketch.
She also waits until the very very very last minute, IE when the Bloatsburg band was already playing, to reveal to Mr. Fort that she lied, even though she had plenty of time to warn him beforehand. He can’t stop Plan B in time so she gets in some vague trouble for that.
Go to hell, Connie.
This whole special is just not entertaining or funny. It’s extremely clear to the audience that Skeeter’s not a vampire, so everything the kids are doing just seems really mean. There’s no reveal of a ‘real’ monster at the end of the episode like the Nickelodeon Halloween special, and even the costumes this time around were lame. Let me compare costumes between specials. N for Nick, D for Disney
Doug: N – Race Canyon
D – A jar of paste (no I’m not kidding)
Skeeter: N – A cool collapsible rocket
D – A vampire
Roger: N – A mask/bandit maybe?
D – A knight (okay, this one’s an improvement)
Patti: N – A cat
D – A pencil (if I wanted to read into this, I’d say Doug chose to be paste so he and Patti could be some sort of dumb stationary theme)
Connie: N – No Costume because apparently Halloween’s for children and 11 years old is so not a child.
D – A pair of lips with braces on the teeth.
*sigh* The Nickelodeon Special may not have been brilliant, but this one’s just dumb. And there’s still one more Disney’s Doug Halloween special….One that I cannot find anywhere, so I can’t even review it. *huff*