Ryan Dallion is one of the people who inherited an antique store from the late Lewis Vendredi. At the start of the series he is a young man who has been wandering around for a while, looking for something to do with his life. Ryan initially came across as an impetuous and sometimes childish person, but this attitude soon diminished as he kept recovering the antiques cursed by his Uncle Lewis.
Ryan had other internal demons as well. Jimmy, his younger brother, was killed when they were children. Ryan has blamed himself for the incident and for the subsequent divorce of his parents. His mother eventually left and seemed to vanish without a trace, and the relationship between Ryan and his father steadily decayed to the point where they did not speak for many years. Ryan was unable to re-establish that relationship before his father died, but knew that, in the end, his father cared for him very much and sacrificed himself to save his son from the killing smoke of a cursed pipe.
Ryan seemed to have little luck with women as well. Of the few girlfriends he had, most were killed by people using cursed objects, and one was already dead when she came back into his life as a pawn of the Devil. At one point, he says to Micki and Jack that "it's not the objects that are cursed; we are."
One refuge Ryan has is in comic books. He has quite a collection and reads them often; he is also quite an expert on the field.
Ryan has wanted to quit chasing cursed objects on several occasions, the most notable of which was when Micki was killed by a cursed coin. He and Jack were later able to return her to life, but before they came up with a plan he was bound and determined to leave Curious Goods.
As his third year at Curious Goods began, Ryan was turned into an unwilling tool of the Devil and almost helped in the sacrifice of a young girl. In the end, though, his humanity showed through and he sacrificed himself rather than allow her to die. Because of this he was transformed into a boy of twelve and was reunited with his mother, having been given the chance to relive his childhood in a better way.
Michelle Foster - more commonly known as Micki - is the niece of Lewis Vendredi and co-inheritor of his antique shop. She is a socialite and, at the start of the series, is engaged to a lawyer named Lloyd. The last thing she wants to do is run some dusty antique shop far away from her fiancee. At first Micki seems to be, for lack of a better word, tight-assed. She is also a very sharp dresser and never wears the same outfit twice. Like Ryan, she changes during the pursuit of the cursed objects; she becomes more open and kind, and even dedicated to the cause. Once found, her desire to recover all the antiques never wavers.
Micki's family is not mentioned much, and neither is her past. Her mother is named Catherine and both her parents are alive. Early in the first season she and Lloyd broke off their engagement, and never communicated again over the course of the series. She did have a former love who returned for one episode, but he was killed at the end of the episode.
As for hobbies, Micki seems to be most interested in fashion. In the second season finale, though, she demonstrates considerable mystical power. This potential was never explored further during the final year of the series, however.
Micki was killed in pursuit of a cursed coin early in the second season of the show. This incident would haunt her a year later when the coin, which had not been recovered, resurfaced. Micki was convinced that it wanted to kill her because it had been tricked into giving her life back, and it very nearly did before she killed the coin's wielder.
Jack Marshak is the stabilizing force among out heroes. He is a traveler of the world, a man who has done just about everything at one time or another. He's been a soldier, a magician, a stock procurer for Uncle Lewis and a renowned expert on the occult. Now he is spending his days in pursuit of antiques cursed by his old friend Lewis Vendredi.
Jack and Lewis were childhood friends, and Jack taught Lewis about the power of magic. Later on, when Lewis married a woman named Grace, Jack was saddened that he was not able to know her better. Grace eventually died because of Lewis' involvement with magic, an event Jack mourned very much. Jack himself was married for a time and had a son named Peter. This child was endowed with great psychic powers, and he died while using them to help a young girl with mental problems.
Jack's father was a sailor named Cawley, who died with the sin of a murder marking him. He came back a decade later and, with Jack's help, found his place in the afterlife. No other relations are mentioned, but several friends and even his first fiancee have appeared on the show... and nearly all have died. He was even planning on marrying her again when she was killed by someone using a cursed object.
Jack knows something about everything, it seems. He has vast knowledge of the occult, religion, sleight-of-hand (on many occasions he had to use his trusty lockpicks to gain access to an object), astronomy, and many other things. His travels have taken him across the world, and he has connections that any reporter would kill for. He can find information about most everything much of the time, which makes him invaluable to Ryan and Micki (and later, Johnny).
Johnny Ventura was introduced late in the second season and appealed enough to the show's producers to be brought on as the replacement for Ryan when John D. LeMay decided he wanted to leave the show. He is a not particularly bright young man, but he has a good set of street smarts and was taught to know right from wrong by his father. But that was before he became involved with hunting down cursed objects.
Johnny's father, a security guard, was killed by a man using a cursed kamikaze jacket and Johnny was almost sent to prison for murder, but he was later found innocent. His mother has apparently been dead for some time. Johnny has had a few girlfriends, but none have died because of a cursed object; he just can't seem to keep a girlfriend. He has shown some sexual interest with Micki and she has even shown a response, but both agreed that the time wasn't right.
Johnny has a few hobbies; he builds model ships, works on cars and is an aspiring author, which is his favorite hobby. He doesn't like the fact that Micki and Jack won't let him write about what they do at the store, but he accepts it.
Johnny is sometimes incredibly naive in regard to the cursed objects. Early in the third season he allowed his emotions to get the better of him and returned a cursed wheelchair to a crippled girl... and she went on to murder another person, and died in the process. Later on he used the coin that had killed Micki to resurrect his father... and later to kill him. He also has allowed some objects to pass right through their fingers without checking in the Manifest first, with tragic consequences. By the end of the third season, though, Johnny had become much more thoughtful about his actions and understanding about the importance of what they are doing.
Lewis was terrified of poverty, and of growing old and dying; the reasons for this terror were never made clear. He was a childhood friend of Jack Marshak and eventually got Jack to teach him magic, and then proceeded to learn about things that Jack wanted nothing to do with. He married a woman named Grace who disapproved of his use of magic and who later died, which changed Lewis greatly. It was not too long after when he made his deal with the Devil. Jack even served as an unwitting partner, supplying Lewis with antiques after the tragedy which befell his son Peter. Lewis apparently had a short memory when it came to the money he owed others, a fact which irritated Jack greatly before he learned of Lewis' death.
Lewis has appeared several times on the series, usually attempting to escape from Hell and return to position selling his cursed antiques. Each time his plans have been thwarted by Micki, Ryan and Jack... but not by much. Each encounter has ended in a close call. Lewis has lost all semblance of his humanity (if he ever possessed any) and is now in the full-time position of trying to escape from Hell.
Lewis also left several surprises behind for our heroes. Secret compartments are hidden throughout the store containing files on some of the objects and the curses placed on them. He even constructed two whole concealed rooms, one on the main floor and another beneath the Vault in the basement. Besides that, on one occasion a powerful member of a witches' coven he had created returned to take a powerful tool Lewis had created... and almost drove Ryan insane. Lewis never appeared in the third season, but there was always the feeling that he might try again... and that one day, he might win.
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This page was created on March 28, 1998.
Last modified on February 10, 2005.