Archive for October 26th, 2006

Lost nights…

Hopefully the last in this thread for a while… I take a brief look at lost television – mostly from Prime Time. There are lots of series that I grew up with – the Cosby Show and Full House (didn’t we all), as well as Growing Pains and Murder She Wrote (did you know they are actually doing a book line for MSW now?). All of those are classics (now) that ran for several years and are readily available (somewhere) on DVD. But what about the more inventive shows, creative ones that just couldn’t find their niche or right time slot so they were lost.

With the internet, shows can be swapped and downloaded, but what about shows from the 80’s (or before) when there was no YouTube or KaZaa/ShareZaa, etc?

I remember watching Supercarrier (a Top Gun influenced show that ran for 8 shows); and The Wizard (a one season show about a toy inventor). There was also Misfits of Science (a bit of a take on the X-Men theme). There was Silk Stalkings (run on USA for several years – a spin on Miami Vice and Moonlighting), and Hunter; The Enforcer, Major Dad and My Two Dads. Remington Steele and Amazing Stories, Airwolf and China Beach; KNIGHT Rider and Riptide were also some of the shows that were watched.
There Was Alice and the A-Team, Bosom Buddies, Benson, Barney Miller, Crazy Like a Fox, Cagney and Lacey, Fact of Life, Fame, Fall Gy, Fantasy Island, Great American Hero; The Hogan Family and Hotel, Jake and the Fatman, Just the 10 of Us, kate and Allie. The Cavenaugh’s, Sledgehammer, Private Benjamin, One Day at a Time, Scarecrow and Mrs. King, Simon and Simon, Wiseguy and Young Riders would also be contenders for viewing time.

I guess a lot of the selections were influenced by my father (mostly the drama/mystery shows), and as I get older I can’t halp but remeber my father as I think of some of those shows.

It sounds almost trite, but they don’t really make too many shows like that now. Everything tends to be series based ensemble casts (CSI, Law & Order) that there are few “small cast” plot shows.

Maybe it’s time for a renaissance. Maybe dad would enjoy a new show. Hmmm…

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Lost days…

In continuing with yesterday’s theme, I bring you more “Lost days”. I work around phones all day, and one of the bosses came in and made the statement, “There are the masters of the phone universe.” I quickly replied that I was still looking for a green cat so we could go off to fight evil.

It took a moment to explain my reference (as I had drawn a blank on the character’s name) but everything quickly came together. We needed our Cringer/Battle Cat so we could fight the evils of the telephone world. A coworker was surprised (“scared” was more along his actual word choice) that I was able to rattle off a handful of the characters from the lost show “Masters of the Universe”.

But lost is relative – it is available on DVD, and they have resurrected some of the characters, but they are not the same. I remember coming home after school or watching Saturday morning cartoons – and playing with the original release toys (of which, I still have all of mine in a box in the attic).

It’s the same kind of feeling… seeking past joys and innocence by seeking the tv of my childhood. After the conversation this morning I spent most of the day skimming through webpages of MotU, some Transformers, and even saw references to MASK, Snorks and Pac-Man (yes, I had cable growing up, and I took advantage of it when I could). I remember watching two different versions of Ghostbusters, and watching Pound Puppies and Dungeons & Dragons; Dangermouse, Duck Tales, Darkwing Duck and GI Joe. I remember the Biskitts, and Galaxy High; Gummy Bears and Hulk Hogan’s Rocking Wrestling. Captain Video and Captain N:The Game Master, Lazer-Tag and the Littles, Rude Dog, and Muppet Babies, The Legend of Zelda and Mysterious Cities of Gold, Smurfs, Transformers and Thundercats, David the Gnome; Bigfoot and the Muscle Machines and a slew of other shows that filled my imagination and my time. (To calrify – I remember watching all of these – but I had to visit a site to actually identify the names… and many more that I just didn’t see the point in trying to retype…)

Yes, I watched a lot of cartoons… and there was always a plot to the shows, and often lasted a full 20-25 minutes (allowing commercial time to fill the 30-minute slot). Many of those shows are footnotes in time, with grainy pictures posted on websites as the last tokens of hours of fun and entertainment; lost keys to explain bastions of imaginary images and creative devices. The smell of freedom from hard core responsibilities like mortgages and electric bills, when cartoons could be watched in the morning and recreated in the afternoon (often with the action figure line of the same cartoon!)!

Oh, to be young again… even with all of today’s cable channels, none of those old shows seem to have found a home… *sigh*

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