Halloween is almost here and ghouls and goblins are everywhere. All month we’ve been discussing some of the great horror movies to get you in the spirit of the season. Scary can be fun, but horror is not for everyone. Maybe you enjoy horror, but a 2-hour block of time for Halloween-themed entertainment is not in the cards. Maybe you prefer a tv-appropriate level of gore and violence. Or perhaps, like myself, you’re just a great big wuss. No shame in that game. Whatever the reason, I’m here to help. Far from comprehensive, here are just a few fun and geeky offerings (beyond the obvious Simpsons’ Treehouse of Horror) you can fire up on Netflix to get you in the mood for Halloween without scaring your pants off.
Chuck – Chuck vs. the Aisle of Terror (S04E06)
Chuck and the team face off against a bad guy who uses fear as a weapon.
Highlights: Robert Englund guest stars and Jeff and Lester’s Halloween decorations in the Buy More are integral to Chuck plan to stopping him.
Castle – Vampire Weekend (S02E06)
Castle and Beckett investigate a murder apparently perpetrated by a vampire.
Highlights: Castle and Beckett go traipsing through the underground wannabe vampire scene, hilarity ensues. Plus, Fillion’s Malcolm Reynolds costume from Firefly makes an appearance.
Supernatural – It’s the Great Pumpkin, Sam Winchester (S04E07)
The Winchesters investigate some Halloween urban myth type deaths like swallowing candy with razor blades and drowning in an apple bobbing tub.
Highlights: Dean’s attempts to deter trick-or-treaters
Buffy the Vampire Slayer – Halloween (S02E06)
Sunnydale goes nuts when everyone gets taken over by real versions of their costumes.
Highlights: Buffy becomes a shrinking violet, Xander is a military badass, and Ethan Rayne outs Giles’ alter ego, Ripper.
Freaks and Geeks – Tricks and Treats (S01E03)
The geeks struggle with whether they’re too old to trick-or-treat while Lindsay asserts her independence by getting into trouble with the freaks instead of handing out candy with Mom.
Highlights: Neil’s Jamie Summers costume. ‘nuff said.
The Office – Halloween (S02E05)
Perhaps the scariest prospect for any adult, Michael has to fire someone. Dwight, Jim, and Pam engage in hijinks involving a job at another company that both salesmen would be good for.
Highglights: Everybody in the office in costume makes for some great jokes, plus Jim admits that Pam is the only thing keeping him at his job.
Parks & Recreation – Greg Pikitis (S02E07)
Leslie enlists the help of Andy and her cop boyfriend Dave to stop a suspected teenage vandal. Ann throws a lame party that livens up with the help of Tom.
Highlights: The first appearance of Burt Macklin, FBI agent, Tom and Wendy’s marriage secret is revealed, and, oh yeah, Ron Swanson dressed as a mothereffing pirate.
It’s the Great Pumpkin, Charlie Brown – TV special, 1966
Linus waits all night on Halloween for the Great Pumpkin to appear. Charlie Brown has rotten luck trick-or treating.
Highlights: pure bottled nostalgia, plus the highly quotable classic line “I got a rock.”
Whether you’re handing out candy or getting into your costume for a crazy Halloween party, hope these fun Halloween TV episodes help get you in the spooky spirit.
Karen Randazzo is a regular contributor to The Think Tank, and is one of the co-hosts of This Week’s Episode.