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"R.L. Stine's The Haunting Hour" Catching Cold (2011)

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Diary of a Wimpy Kid joins The Haunting Hour

Author: gasmaskproductionsbooks ( from Canada
10 February 2015

*** This review may contain spoilers ***

'Catching Cold' is no doubt one of the more hilarious episodes of The Haunting Hour. I can't say that it was one of my favorites, but it did make me laugh and you've gotta admit, the plot of this episode is pretty original.

Marty is an overweight teen boy, lazy to boot, and he has a fixation with catching an ice cream truck that frequently circles the neighborhood, playing 'Pop Goes the Weasel' as it drives and featuring a helluva creepy anthropomorphic ice cream cone mascot glued to the hood of the truck. Unfortunately Marty's parents and little sister Kayla are sick of Marty mooching off them for cash and so he steals a $5 bill from his father's wallet (his father is a cop for cryin' out loud!). Marty is unable to catch the truck and his best friend Ari says he's never seen or heard of it in the neighborhood. The local postman overhears their conversation and says that when he himself was a kid, a little boy named Jimmy Jeffries went missing in the neighborhood after becoming obsessed with the Kreamy Kold ice cream truck (yup, it's spelled as 'Kreamy Kold' in the episode).

One night Marty finds a mysterious cone of ice cream on the ground outside and begins to lick it (ewww, I'd check into a hospital if I was finding ice cream cones growing out of my front yard!). Marty gets addicted to the ice cream like a junkie and much to Ari's annoyance, it becomes all Marty can think about. He starts drawing the Kreamy Kold logo in his math textbook and whispering to himself about the ice cream, not to mention hallucinating the truck's 'Pop Goes the Weasel' melody in his head. Finally Marty decides to get the best of the ice cream truck and catch it, but he's in for WAY more than he bargained for.

This episode was pretty cool, and it was really funny, too. C. Ernst Harth was excellent as the older Jimmy Jeffries, really eerie when he's found hunched over in the ice cream truck with bits of moldy ice cream drippings in his beard and still dressed in an undersized kid's baseball uniform, and it was hilarious when he stands in the street screaming, "IT'S ALL YOU CAN EAT, HA HA HA!!!" My main issue with this episode was the cast choice for Marty and Kayla's roles. For anyone who doesn't know, Robert Capron and Laine MacNeil are two of the reoccurring, leading roles in a kid's comedy movie series called 'Diary of a Wimpy Kid'. It's not that they're bad actors, they're amazing actors, but while watching this episode of The Haunting Hour it was impossible not to keep thinking back to Diary of a Wimpy Kid. And Robert Capron is a great actor but unfortunately it'll be a long time before people keep thinking of him as "Rowley, the chubby dork from the Wimpy Kid" movies", no matter what roles he acts in, at least until he's in college or whatever. This wasn't a bad episode but it's never a good idea to cast leading actors from well-known movies in the same episodes of TV shows together.

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