American Gothic

Caleb and his sister Marley.

American Gothic
(1995)

Aired on CBS.

Created by Shaun Cassidy and Sam Raimi.

Starring Gary Cole, Lucas Black, Sarah Paulson, Nick Searcy, Paige Turco, Brenda Blake, Jake Webber

Rating: ******
              6/6

“Someone’s at the door,” she says.
“Someone’s at the door.”
That’s all the young teenager says
As she’s staring at the floor.

Their dad.

Her eyes don’t seem to focus.
Her brain doesn’t seem to click.
She seems to barely function.
Repeating that line’s her only trick.

Her abusive dad starts screaming.
He seems mentally unhinged.
The only other child there
Tries wisely not to cringe.

The interior of their house
Lights up white and blue and red.
The police are pounding on their door.
The girl’s now focused eyes show dread.

“Someone’s at the door.”

“Someone’s at the door!
Someone’s at the door!
Someone’s at the door!
Someone’s at the door!”

The messed-up child can’t help herself.
She’s scared and talking fast.
It seems like somewhere in her brain,
She’s remembering the past.

The Sheriff kills Marley.

Her father panics and escapes
Out through the back door.
There he meets the Sheriff
And he finds out what’s in store.

The Sheriff looks unfriendly
And gives him a mean stare.
Without a word, the unhinged man
Puts a bullet through his hair.

The boy inside hears the shot
And runs out towards the man.
The Sheriff quickly steps inside
And shuts the door again.

The Sheriff is seen.

The Sheriff looks towards the girl.
Compared to her, he’s big.
He puts his arms around her skinny neck,
And snaps it like a twig.

He wasn’t as alone as he thought he was,
For his deputy was looking in.
He was standing at the window
And could not fail to notice him.

The Deputy sees him.

The audience doesn’t understand
Why these things are going on,
But as the episode progresses,
We begin to learn a ton.

Sometime later, the surviving boy
Is living at the orphanage.
The Sheriff tries to adopt him,
We somehow know it will give him an edge.

Caleb’s cousin.

The boy takes kindly to this man,
Though he’s suspicious as a rule.
He wonders why the Sheriff
Wants to see him at the school.

The boy is named Caleb
And he’s about to find out why,
And some terrifying secrets
Related to this guy.

The kind doctor.

One day his sister visits him.
She appears out of thin air.
One minute she was buried and dead,
And the next saw her standing there.

“I’m a ghost,” she tells him.
“The Sheriff murdered me that night.
When he raped our mother in front of me,
I was traumatized for life.”

Marley as a ghost.

“Sheriff Buck is evil.
He’s the Devil in disguise.
He has weird, unnatural powers,
Moral lows and wicked highs.

“In our small town of Trinity,
There’s scant he doesn’t know.
He’s a manipulative master,
And he’s always on the go.

“Listen to me, Caleb.
Don’t trust anything he says.
He’s a living, breathing nightmare,
And also…he’s your Dad.”

The charming Sheriff.

Caleb is shocked to hear these things,
And is more wary as a result.
He’s young, but not naïve.
His sharp mind is without fault,

But the Sheriff’s warm and charming.
He can seem the perfect man,
But the bad things just continue,
Since he always has a plan.

Caleb’s teacher.

In addition to his sister,
A reporter is his kin,
And he’s friends with a young doctor.
They’re good influences on him.

When the Sheriff tires to turn him,
His friends keep Caleb in check,
But they are all oblivious
To the Sheriff’s ace-filled deck.

He knows things they can’t possibly know,
That he’ll never explain,
Like the fact that Caleb has demon blood
Coursing through his veins.

In the game of check and counter-check,
The good guys think they’re even,
But the Sheriff, ever patient,
Knows which side the boy will be leavin’.

This show lasted one season,
And thrilled with great suspense.
I’ll give this show six out of six,
As the entertainment was immense.

Caleb.


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Not to be confused
With the newer series,
You can get on DVD
American Gothic: The Complete Series.

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