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17 out of 17 people found the following review useful:

The ending is one of the best and saddest of the series.

Author: fdlockhart from United States
19 February 2008

This is a correction on the previous comment. The little girl doesn't have the power to kill people, she says this at least twice during the episode. She let her love struck sister and her potentially abusive future brother-in-law believe she had that power, out of anger. What she has is the ability to see the deaths of people, with apparently no power or desire to stop it, but she's compelled to say good-bye. Whether she's always had this ability or not, isn't addressed. I'm led to believe it is newly acquired. The child is very detached, which in itself is rather compelling and disturbing. The ending is one of the best and saddest of the series.

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9 out of 9 people found the following review useful:

Effectively creepy

Author: brimfin from United States
11 July 2007

*** This review may contain spoilers ***

This episode concerns a little girl named Karen who can sense when people are about to die and is compelled to give them a dramatic "goodbye". It happens first with her mother. When it happens again to a friend of Karen's, her sister Libby and Libby's fiancé Max accuse her of causing the deaths. To defend herself, she threatens to "say good-bye to Max" if they continue to accuse her. So Libby and Max begin to fear her and walk on eggshells around her. However, when Karen is alone talking to her doll she confesses that she is not causing the deaths, and doesn't want anyone to die. She is merely aware the deaths are going to happen, and she can't help saying good-bye. But Libby and Max don't hear this, and it leads to tragic results. Despite the usual low budget sets and effects, this is an effectively creepy and chilling episode. Alison Sweeney as little Karen is particularly good.

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5 out of 5 people found the following review useful:

Most Depressing TFTD Episode Bar None

Author: rikkermortis from United States
17 January 2010

*** This review may contain spoilers ***

This episode, even after over 20 years, still has the ability to depress and give you goose bumps all at the same time. I remember this episode when it first ran and I was an 8 or 9 year old and all these years later it still stuck with me how painful that ending was. It was only after seeing it again that I actually *got* the ending and realized exactly how the little girl died. I assumed she just drowned whereas when you watch the episode as a grown up, you realize she probably had a little help. And therein lies the even more depressing angle of this show. There really was no "bad guy" in this episode except for possibly the older sister and shes the only one who lived. Some people have posted on here about how the girl *made* those people die and I don't believe that at all. I think she just knew and couldn't help it. Sad, sad show.

Interesting postscript is the girl who played the little girl is now the host of The Biggest Loser.

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Tales from the Darkside: I Can't Help Saying Goodbye

Author: Scarecrow-88 from United States
20 September 2015

*** This review may contain spoilers ***

Chilling episode starts out all sugary and sweet but ends incredibly tragic and startlingly grim. Nothing about this episode provides comfort to the characters; this is as close to a Twilight Zone from the Serling era as I can think of Darkside getting. A little girl (Alison Sweeny of Days of Our Lives and The Biggest Loser fame) has dealt with the memory of her father (he fell from a building when she was born!) explained in nostalgic and sighfully pining detail by her mother since she was born. There is this curse (not particularly a gift as the haunting finale concludes) Sweeny's Karen has that allows her to see the upcoming death of people she cares for. It is this premise that the direction and writing produce an ongoing fracture within the family of Karen's. Karen's older sister, Libby (Loren Cedar), is engaged to jokey Max (Brian Benben, perhaps best known for Dream On), while Karen's mother reminisces about how different her husband was from the current man hanging around the family. When Karen says "goodbye" to mom, an exorbitant amount of gas from a stove (she planned to bake a cake) in the kitchen explodes as she goes towards the pilot light with a lit match. Karen is off for swimming practice with her sister and Max taking her during this. Then up next is Karen's friend, again saying goodbye in the house after a recital practice. Max has severe asthma problems which set him up as the next doomed victim. Libby is incensed with Karen when she approaches Max, as he struggled to breathe, face sweating profusely. As Libby's world falls apart, Karen is blamed for it all as if she had some control over the fates of those they love when saying "goodbye". Karen's "going along with this theory" when Libby upsets her, claiming she'd endanger max doesn't help matters.

What makes this such an odd but surprisingly potent is that we watch a family disintegrate due to fate. That a little girl can see fate's hand dealt through a peculiar ability infuriates and scares those around her, close to her due to how close death is when she ominously (this isn't done with affection or warmth, but Sweeny acts it icy and emotionally vacant which somehow makes the goodbyes all the more lump-in-the-throat) approaches eventual victims. Max is an intriguing character due to his personality shifts. He can be obnoxious with unnecessary (even impolite and uncalled for) humor in light of loss and familial strife. He can be selfish (he wonders to Libby if Karen she be put up for adoption!) and assertively hostile (the "tug of war" where Libby and Max criticize Karen for her "killing people" is difficult to watch). Libby loves him so much that she's willing to send Karen away, anything to keep him as hers. With Karen seemingly on an island, her looking into a mirror after Libby has pretty much disowned her due to Max' fate as the sight she has is shown to us, The Darkside leaves us with "one last goodbye". Tonally dark after a somewhat syrupy open, this episode is as bleak as they come. Perhaps one of the series' most disturbing episodes involving a child.

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2 out of 4 people found the following review useful:

Annoying kid episode

Author: Leofwine_draca from United Kingdom
23 September 2015

I CAN'T HELP SAYING GOODBYE is a family-themed episode of the TALES FROM THE DARKSIDE TV show. The plot is fairly novel, one of those ones dealing with a murderous kid, although the all-American Alison Sweeney is rather bratty and obnoxious as the pigtailed child. Sweeney has an unusual gift - or perhaps it's a curse - when she says "goodbye" to people, they invariably die. Now, is her power the gift of foresight, or is something more sinister at work? Is she in reality a killer?

The ambiguity surrounding the central premise is the best thing in this tale. Otherwise the script is fairly routine and the acting hardly of note. Still, that's TALES FROM THE DARKSIDE for you...

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0 out of 1 people found the following review useful:

Offbeat and interesting episode

Author: Woodyanders (Woodyanders@aol.com) from The Last New Jersey Drive-In on the Left
25 July 2014

*** This review may contain spoilers ***

Libby (an appealing portrayal by Loren Cedar) and her jerky asthmatic fiancé Max Smith (a nicely irritating performance by Brian Benben) discover that Libby's aloof little sister Karen (capably played with rather discomfiting cool detachment by Alison Sweeney) possesses a most unusual and unsettling ability: Karen can predict someone's immediate demise, so she says goodbye to anyone who's going to die right away. Director John Strysik does a sound job of crafting a haunting melancholy mood and grounds the fantastic premise in a believable everyday reality. Jule Selbo's fresh and intriguing script gains a lot of provocative mileage out of its compellingly novel premise: Although Karen is tormented by her odd power, she nonetheless uses it to her own selfish advantage in order to ensure that she gets her own way from her sister by threatening to say goodbye to Max. The tense battle of wills between Karen and Libby reaches a truly chilling conclusion. Moreover, this episode makes a spot-on startling statement on the fragility of mortality and the inevitability of death. A genuinely strange and unnerving show.

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1 out of 6 people found the following review useful:

Strange and odd episode hard to call. When you say goodbye it means it both literally and figuratively!

Author: Danny Blankenship from Petersburg, Virginia
28 August 2008

This without a doubt has to be one of the strangest and oddest episodes of the series as it's really a hard one to call. Cleary the episode has a theme of death yet you wonder what are the cause and effects behind it. You have a little girl who grew up without a father and all of a sudden one day when she says goodbye to her mother one by one her family and loved ones start to die. After the mother she loses a friend then next it's her sister's fiancé. Only it ends weird as the little girls run seems to have drowned out. Was she an angel of death? Or a clairvoyant with special powers? Or just an unlucky one with bad luck? Really an episode that's hard to make the call on it will cause a viewer to form their own conclusion. Look for Brian Benben(star of the early 90's sexy hit comedy drama "Dream On" that aired on HBO)as the fiancé. Overall good episode that many will find disturbing.

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2 out of 14 people found the following review useful:

Didn't do much for me at all.

Author: Paul Andrews (poolandrews@hotmail.com) from UK
16 April 2008

*** This review may contain spoilers ***

Tales from the Darkside: I Can't Help Saying Goodbye starts as a young girl named Karen (Alison Sweeney) says goodbye to her mother (Helen Duffy), moments later & her mother is killed in an explosion. It seems that Karen can see when someone is about to die & can't help saying goodbye, her sister Libby (Loren Cedar) realises this after Karen says goodbye to her fiancé Max (Brian Benben) who then also dies soon afterwards. Libby decides to take drastic action to prevent her little sister Karen from saying goodbye to anyone else...

Episode 2 from season 3 this Tales from the Darkside story originally aired in the US during October 1986, directed by John Strysik this is a somewhat heartfelt & occasionally sad little tale of a young girl with an unwanted gift. The script by Jule Selbo never actually makes it clear whether Karen causes the death's of the people around her by saying goodbye or she merely senses the future & is compelled to say goodbye, either way the one glaring plot hole in I Can't Help Saying Goodbye is that if indeed Karen can foresee someone's death why doesn't she take adequate steps to prevent it? I mean why not save her mother? Why stand by & let her best friend Susie break her neck? For me the story doesn't quite work although as already pointed out in the other user comments the ending is quite sad, rather poignant & a bit of a downer.

Like most Tales from the Darkside episodes I Can't Help Saying Goodbye is set in a single location. There are no special effects in this one to speak of & it's not even really horror themed either, in fact I'm not quite sure who I Can't Help Saying Goodbye was made to appeal to. The acting is good from an unknown cast although Brian Benben did get his own sitcom telly show imaginatively titled The Brian Benben Show (1998 - 2000) which ran for nine episodes & was a massive flop.

I Can't Help Saying Goodbye is a good example of the wide variety of story lines from this series but it strayed from it's horror anthology roots a little too much for me.

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2 out of 16 people found the following review useful:

Almost depressing.

Author: Tommy Nelson from Long Beach, California
2 August 2006

A little girl has the ability to kill people simply by touching their face and saying goodbye. She does this to many people, including her bast friend, which shocked me that they'd kill off a little girl on a TV show. You feel pity for the family suffering through her, but you feel just as much pity for the poor little girl and the end results may be slightly depressing. The ending made me feel really sorry for the little girl who couldn't help her problem. It's a good episode that could be great, but it would have to be less sad. I do however recommend you see this!

My rating: Excellent episode. 22 mins. TV PG V

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