Tonight we take a look back at “The Inheritance”, the pilot episode of the misleadingly titled “Friday the 13th: The Series”.
Purposely titled in order to capitalize on the popularity of the titular and still-popular slasher franchise, despite an utter lack of notable connections to those movies, the show itself chronicles the adventures of Micki Foster and Ryan Dallion, two cousins who inherit their uncle’s antique shop, a shop that also happens to house a number of cursed objects. And in this first of 72 episodes (originally airing on October 3, 1987), The Inheritance is quick to establish how Micki and Ryan inherit the shop–and all its cursed objects–before immediately rushing into their first adventure, which focuses on a cursed doll that will do anything for the angry, selfish little girl who comes to hold it.
The show itself is largely forgettable though not-quite bad. But the tone and performances are not at all in line with the movies the show steals its name from. Instead, it’s more in line with the sort of anthology shows seen in the 60s and 70s. Yes, the material itself is a bit darker. But it’s handled in such a melodramatic manner that it lacks any real bite. And while it would be easy to find fault in the performances and hackneyed dialog, the show actually embraces its out-of-date production and style. So it it all works fine enough in that context.
That having been said, it doesn’t necessarily make the show watchable for audiences with more modern sensibilities
The show itself has served as a template for a number of others in the decades since it first aired, including other cult-hits like Buffy the Vampire Slayer and Warehouse 13. And while I can’t honestly bring myself to recommend Friday the 13th: The Series to even the most die hard fans of horror or retro-styled anthology programming, it’s legacy and influence isn’t something that should be so easily dismissed.