Funniness Negates Wrongness
Friday, April 29, 2005
Shows That Need To Be Released On DVD
Manimal - People you've never heard of star in this 80s show about a guy that's half-man and half-animal or, as pseudo-scientists call it, a manimal. Notice how they don't specify an animal? That's because this crime fighter can change into any animal, though I'm doubt that he ever changed into one of those monkeys with the red ass because, hey, that'd be embarrassing.

Matt Houston - Lee Horsley--whose name sounds like he could also be a manimal--stars as wealthy private investigator Matt Houston. The key here is that though the show takes place in Los Angeles, the title character is from Houston. And his last name is Houston! Isn't that crazy? I think the only reason his last name was Houston was to constantly remind the audience that he was from Texas, because, you know, the fucking huge cowboy hat, shitkicker boots and stereotypical accent weren't enough for the simple people of the 1980s.

Buck James - Another 80s show about a rich Texan private detective. Or doctor. Or rancher. Because all of us Texans are rich and have nothing better to do than fight crime, right? On this show, they took the stereotype further by giving the title character the big hat, the boots, the drawl and a Lincoln convertible with horns on the grill, just like a real Texan. Fucking Hollywood know-nothings. Here's the interesting part: the show was originally conceived to be about an eccentric doctor in Houston who used extraordinary medical skills to save lives and was based on the life of "colorful" surgeon Red Duke. How the fuck that concept evolved into a billionaire detective, I have no idea.

Hart to Hart - Robert Wagner and Stephanie Powers star as--guess what? That's right...billionaires who have nothing better to occupy their time with that do some private investigation work. What the fuck? Where did all the original ideas go? All I can figure is that if you're going to have a show about private investigators, you want them rich, that way they can afford the flashy cars, the private jets, the exotic locales, the hot women, the fancy restaurants, the exuberant jewelry, the best plastic surgery and the purest Colombian coke. I mean, who wants to watch a show about some cracked-out homeless guy trying to solve murders? Especially when, in the end, it's more than likely himself that did it.

Automan - This short-lived show, starring Desi "Little Ricky" Arnaz, Jr. in the title role, was--without a doubt--one of the worst of the 80s crapfest of TV dramas. That's right--worse than The Powers of Matthew Star or Tales of the Gold Monkey. Little Ricky stars as a "computer generated" crimefighter. In other words, he's supposed to be a three-dimensional, solid computer graphic that inhabits reality, not unlike the "hard-light" hologram Rimmer from Red Dwarf. But in this case, I use the phrase "computer graphic" loosely, in that it was obvious that Little Ricky just wore a blue or green suit on camera then they superimposed "computer graphics" on him in post-production. "Computer graphics" that consisted of a bunch of sparkles and lines so that it looked like he was wearing his sister's black sequined prom dress melded with those suits they wore in Tron. Click here to see what I mean.

The Edison Twins - Ah, this Canadian crapfest, which aired on the Disney Channel in the States and on the CBC (motto: "Almost like the BBC, but not as good") north o' the border, typifies the kind of shite that the CBC aired in the 80s. Stuff like The Kids of Degrassi Street (strangely, the current incarnation--Degrassi: The Next Generation--is hugely popular down here in the States, even if the kids don't know what "aboot" and "serviette" mean). The Edison Twins starred--well, it doesn't really matter, because you've never heard of them--as fraternal twins Annie and Tom Edison. These Canadian teens, along with their little brother (played by the rather feminine-sounding Sunny Thrasher, whose biggest work since this series seems to have been in the rather banal-sounding miniseries "Exploring Ontario's Provincial Parks") use their scientific know-how (aka nerdiness) to solve problems and fight Canadian crime (moose rustling, drunken bear driving, rapping with a Jamaican accent when you're white). You see, they were destined to be scientific geniuses because their last name was Edison, just like the Wizard of Menlo Park, Thomas Edison. Never mind the fact that Edison seems to have, for the most part, appropriated other people's ideas for his own. Because he was a lying, thieving bastard from New Jersey.

And there you have it, my list of crappy 80s shows that I demand be released on DVD. Only to show the kids today what they escaped by not being born until after that horrendous vast wasteland of a decade had passed.
Anonymous Me1976 said...
Yes to the Edison Twins and yes to Automan. Two of my most favourite tv shows EVER! And they're both on your list! Cool!