Wednesday, April 15, 2009

TV Flashback

This post only sort of makes sense. I started looking at this "Bigfoot and Wildboy" intro clip and then posted a bunch of 70's and 80's era sci-fi stuff that I liked, but never really got much attention. This was back before I knew about TV ratings, separations between Prime Time TV and after school kid's stuff. Things like that.

Its kind of impressive what a practice in narrative economy these opening sequences are. You get the basic idea of what's happening, a funky 70's coke-fueled band, and a look at who you're going to see in the cast (and a surprising number of clips end with "John McCheese as Lt. Rodwhatsit". Why do we have to identify the cop's character, but nobody else?

Wonder Woman sort of does all this in song:

Got this clip at Calvin's Canadian Cave of Cool.

I can't imagine what the dudes were on who came up with this, but it must have been a bit stronger than Children's Advil.

Okay, let me rephrase that. I can maybe see coming up with the idea. It's almost as good as my idea for a show where FDR goes underground to run a crackerjack team of secret agents who refuse to play by the rules. But in the 1970's, dagnabbit, Bigfoot was in, but everybody knew our pal Sasquatch didn't talk. Hence: Wildboy. What I can't imagine is being the chain-smoking, chain-philandering, chain-cocktail-guzzling TV exec who looked at clips of this show and said "Bigfoot and Wildboy? That's TV GOLD, PEOPLE! AIR THAT SUCKER!!!!"

I do actually remember this show from the late 70's. But only very vaguely.

After shooting all day in the Southern California sun, that actor in the Bigfoot suit must have smelled like last week's Catch O The Day.

I also stumbled onto this on, and it blew my mind. I've asked dozens of people if they remember this show, and nobody ever knew what I was talking about.

They often thought I was talking about "The Power of Matthew Star". But, no, I was not. I was talking about "Phoenix". I don't think it ran even a whole season, or much of what it was about, but as a kid I remember thinking it was really cool and that Phoenix dude was weird.

Matthew Starr was a show about a cowardly space prince with questionable hair and Louis Gossett Jr.

Jason and I were also really into "Voyagers!" when we were kids. I remember that the Thomas Edison lightbulb episode blew my mind. Trivia. That boy is Punky Brewster's brother, and the adult accidentally died when he pointed a gun at his head with a blank in it and the concussive force killed him. That's why the show ended.

We were also into the briefly lived "Automan", even though we knew it was sort of a lame cop show with Tron-inspired FX.

I was also partial to "Manimal", which would have done much better had it come along about 10 years later when someone invented a piece of software that would blend two photos together. The dude could turn into a falcon and a panther and stuff, and when he was a human, he was rich British guy with okay hair. Not bad.

V: The Series. Which made no sense as the evil Diana and her cohorts STILL wore their "human" masks, even after everyone on Earth knew they were really lizards. It's like keeping on a monkey suit well after everyone realizes you're a person.

Despite the hair (or maybe becuase of it), Diana is better looking than I remember.

The Infrequently spoken of Spider-Man TV stuff. Probably closer to what Ditko had in mind than all that Toby Maguire hoo ha.

The also infrequently discussed Captain America

There was also this post-Heavy Metal Levi's Commercial I was very fond of. Its probably why I wear Levi's to this day.

And just for fun: the opening of The Adventures of Superman


Nathan said...

I remember watching Automan for the same reasons. Wow, they even copied the "Bit" for the opening titles. yesyesyesyesyes.

J.S. said...

The League + computer + lonely hotel room = entertainment for Leaguers

tachyonshuggy said...

I loved Automan. I think I remember Phoenix too, but I might just be confusing it with Wrath of Khan since that guy is in both.

Michael Corley said...

Dude! I totally got to inverview the "Phoenix" guy. .... Not because he was the Phoenix guy, but becuase he was in Star Trek II and we got to inverview a bunch of folk from star trek for our now defunkt radio show.

... we totally asked him about the Phoenix show. He agreed it was kind of weird.