Kitschy, cheap-looking, glacially slow, and silly as it is, the show still holds some appeal, particularly for those who either remember watching Dark Shadows on afternoon TV reruns, or for modern fans of vampire myths. Dark Shadows was utterly unique in its era and timeslot. Afternoon soaps of the day usually featured good-looking doctors and nurses in life-and-death dramas, or melodramatic love affairs. This weird show, with its spooky music and horror-movie happenings, was about as freaky as it got in the 1960s, and for that reason alone it still has a following.
That being said, things move mightly slowly in Collinsport, and there's a lot more talking about what just happened, or what might happen, than actual happenings. As Barnabas Collins, actor Jonathan Frid is hammy, sensual, and still sometimes menacing. Young kids may get spooked by his antics; older ones will probably tee-hee at how restrained he is compared with more bloodthirsty modern vamps. Nonetheless, things pick up whenever he's onscreen, and his twisty story of obsession, betrayal, and revenge is the best thing the show has going for it. Oh, and the abundant kitsch, the many technical flubs, and the overall cheapness of the production, which will amuse media-savvy young viewers to no end.