Saturday, November 20, 2010

Nurse the Hate: My Five Favorite 70s Kid Tv Shows

1) Jonny Quest: What's not to like about a bunch of dudes flying around in high tech transportation and having big adventures in exotic locales? Yes, they may have used that little Indian kid Hadji like a point man too often, as in "There might be poisonous snakes in there. Hadji, go in there and check it out. Race and I will stay back here and monitor you on the closed circuit TV.". You always got the feeling if Hadji had been bitten in half by a giant lizard, not too many tears would have been shed. Still, they seemed like pretty good guys all and all. I'd knock back a few beers with Race Bannon any day, although that Dr. Quest was a bit of a blowhard.

2) Scooby Doo: Why a bunch of kids in their late teenage years were driving around with a dog in a van with no clear destination is never made clear. I had always assumed that they were going to Grateful Dead shows, and solved mysteries in between tour dates. Shaggy is definitely high in most of the episodes. I also believe Fred was having a consensual sexual relationship with Daphne. Oh, and why were they always surprised to find out it wasn't really a ghost, but just a guy in a sheet? You would have figured that after "solving" the first dozen of these capers, you wouldn't be afraid of the supernatural anymore. Yet every week they would freak out if they saw a mummy. If they weren't smoking so much weed, they would have seen the pattern. Trivia question: What is Shaggy's all time favorite Dead venue. A: Shoreline.

3) The Chan Clan: What would now be considered clearly a racist program, in 1972 was considered Quality Children's Programming. Like Scooby Doo, Charlie Chan and his ten kids drove around in a van and solved mysteries. The older kids also had a band that would somehow set up and rock out by the time the show was over. My favorite part was when the kid who played guitar would say his big line, "Wham Bam, we're in a jam!". Surprisingly, this line did not become a cultural phenomenon. And no, I am not making this up. That sexy little Suzy Chan is probably a reason why otherwise normal men in their forties find themselves strangely hoarding Asian porn, and asking their wives to call them "GI" in bed.

4) Ark II: A live action show that featured a rugged dude, a sexy girl, a young boy, and a chimp. These people were allegedly the last scientists in a post apocalyptic nightmare Planet Earth. They would drive their giant RV (the Ark II) around in the dust, and get in scary situations. Obviously a perfect show for young minds. And what was with the chimp? Even as a kid I would think, "Why would you bring a fucking chimp with you? That chimp is a pain in the ass." There must have been a board meeting at the Network where some big wig said, "Look, we'll green light this show, but only if you put a chimp in it. Kids love chimps. Hell, I love chimps!" The writers nervously shifted in their chairs, looked at each other and said "Ah..That's a great idea Bob. A chimp. Why didn't we think of that?". Really, what kind of artistic integrity are you actually sacrificing anyway? You are a writer on Ark II for God's sake! Write the chimp in...

5) Josie and the Pussycats: A big step down from Scooby Doo, Josie and the band would solve crimes and play gigs. I guess in the early 1970s solving mysteries was a good way for musicians to make a little extra cash. I may investigate this for the Whiskey Daredevils. I feel rather confident that Leo, our drummer, may become as beloved as Shaggy. Josie and the Pussycats are almost like a White Stripes thing way before their time as Josie plays guitar, Melody plays drums, and the black girl was relegated to tambourine due to Josie's obvious racist upbringing. I was always annoyed at the songs, but the show was a good way to kill a half hour waiting for Jonny Quest to come on.


At November 23, 2010 at 12:11:00 PM EST , Blogger ScottyJ said...

Buy Leo a dog immediately.


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