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Monday, July 31, 2023

FEARnet Series “Holliston” Was a One-of-a-Kind Sitcom for Horror Fans [TV Terrors]

For this month’s installment of “TV Terrors” we revisit the horror-comedy sitcom “Holliston,” which aired for two seasons on the now-defunct FEARnet in 2012 and 2013.

Adam Green and Joe Lynch are two filmmakers and genuine horror fans who have given their fellow horror fans so much over the years, including some great movies like Mayhem, the Hatchet franchise, and Frozen, as well as the upcoming Suitable Flesh. Among their many contributions to the genre was their horror sitcom, “Holliston.”

The best way to describe the series for the uninitiated would be if “Spaced” had a head on collision with “Friends” and was re-attached into a weird, funny monster. Originally premiering as the first original series on the now defunct FEARnet in 2012, “Holliston” is set in the small town of Holliston, Massachusetts, and stars Adam Green as “Adam” and Joe Lynch as “Joe.” Both stars play fictional versions of themselves that are best friends and roommates.

Both characters are chasing their dream to become horror filmmakers, and throughout the series’ run they desperately seek funding for their horror film Shinpads. To pay the bills, the pair hosts a horror program at a local cable access station. Complimenting Joe and Adam are a great supporting cast including Laura Ortiz, who is hilarious as “Laura” (duh), Joe’s morbid and artistic longtime girlfriend. Corri English (who, of course, plays “Corri”) is Adam’s ex-girlfriend and longtime sweetheart who he tries to consistently win back throughout the series.

And I’d be remiss if I didn’t mention their beloved cat, Axl.

There’s also the deliriously out there appearances by the legendary Dee Snider as Adam and Joe’s cross-dressing, glam rock loving boss “Lance Rockett,” a parody of Snider himself.

And then there’s Adam’s imaginary friend and spiritual guide “Oderus,” as played by the late, great David Brockie (GWAR). “Oderus” is not only a source of big laughs but also contributes a lot in helping Adam realize certain things about himself. Throughout Adam and Joe’s adventures, they also bump into a gallery of other assorted horror icons.

During its run, “Holliston” accrued a bevy of guest stars that all appear for a few episodes and have some obvious fun poking fun at themselves. This includes Tony Todd, Kane Hodder, Derek Mears, Danielle Harris, the late great Sid Haig, Darren Lynn Bousman, and James Gunn. And that’s just the tip of the iceberg.

Although Green likens “Holliston” to “Taxi,” the series is a lot more like watching a demented version of “Friends.” Green and Lynch break (often shatter) fourth walls, never hesitate to get as meta as possible (even staging the sitcom freeze frame gag), and offer a peek into a world that horror fans can definitely relate to. And therein lies the beauty of the show. “Holliston” is the only sitcom we’ve to date ever seen about horror fans and film buffs, serving as a unique love letter both to the world of horror and to classic sitcoms all at once.

“Society forgets sometimes that horror fans aren’t all about realistic violence or sadistic disturbing imagery,” Green told The Hollywood Reporter. “It’s about time that horror fans were represented as main characters and real people.”

For a horror glutton like yours truly who also grew up on sitcoms with laugh tracks and multiple cameras, “Holliston” really does hit that sweet spot quite often in the way it utilizes the format to help develop episodes often so random in sub-plots and running gags. Season one is rough around the edges, but season two is where the series really comes into its prime.

Among some of my favorite episodes, there’s the season one finale “Weekend of Horrors,” where the group ventures to the Fangoria horror convention in hopes of passing their trailer for Shinpads on to John Landis. Along the way they cross paths with Danielle Harris and Kane Hodder, the latter of whom hilariously punches Joe out for a joke he made about him earlier in the episode.

Another favorite is season two’s “Hobgoblin,” where the group ventures out to film their own found footage movie. I also love “Halloween Girl,” where Danielle Harris stays with Adam and Joe to help with their movie, only for Adam to learn that Danielle is completely unhinged. The best moment of the episode involves Kane Hodder having a seizure when character Sarah the waitress remarks on how much she loved him in Freddy vs. Jason. The guest appearances by horror icons allowed us to see some of our favorites in a whole new – often hilarious – light.

“Holliston” aired for two seasons with seventeen episodes total, including a one hour Christmas special. It also spawned a one shot comic in 2017. The unofficial series finale maddeningly ended without resolution despite a big confession, a huge revelation, a potential departure, and a—zombie apocalypse, for some reason. Although there were plans for a third season after an extended hiatus (and the sad passing of David Brockie), the episodes never came. The series did garner a brief resurgence after being streamed on Shudder for a few years, however.

Before or after, there’s truly never been anything else quite like “Holliston.”

Is It On DVD/Blu-ray/Streaming? The entire series is currently streaming on Amazon Prime Video and Apple TV. You can also get both seasons of the series on Blu-ray and DVD.

The post FEARnet Series “Holliston” Was a One-of-a-Kind Sitcom for Horror Fans [TV Terrors] appeared first on Bloody Disgusting!.


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Got any friends who might like this scary horror stuff? GO AHEAD AND SHARE, SHARE!

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