Saturday, December 09, 2006

Kitschy Faves

When you look up fantasy TV shows on the net, you'd probably be surprised at how many shows come up. What's fun about that is it reminds you of shows you haven't seen in years. I do tend to be a fan of nostalga, especially in my TV shows, so I'm going to go on another trek down memory lane and show you some of my favorites from years past. One of my earliest favorites was the TV show Bewitched, which ran from 1964 to 1972, a good long run of 8 years. Boy did I want to be a witch when I was a kid. And who wouldn't want to be a witch like Samantha Stephens, as played by the beautiful Elizabeth Montgomery? I would watch the show and think, what would it be like to be able to just twitch your nose and have anything you want? Sheer bliss, that's what! The only thing that never made sense was if Samantha Stephens was going to mostly give up the life of a witch for a mortal, how on earth did she settle on Darrin Stephens-- played initially by Dick York and later by his near twin Dick Sargent? Honestly, I never got that. He seemed more than just a tad uptight didn't he? But I did love the show with all of Samantha's goofy relatives like her mother Endora (Agnes Moorehead) and poor dimwitted Aunt Clara. (Marion Lorne)And didn't you love it when nosy neighbor Gladys Kravitz (Alice Pearce) ended up looking the fool? Good times. Another over-the-top favorite of mine when I was a kid was Fantasy Island, which ran from 1978 to 1984. I don't think I ever missed this show if I could help it. What a great idea. People come to a far away island with their personal fantasies to be fullfilled, for a price. And the enigmatic Mr. Roarke, played by noted overactor Ricardo Montalban would somehow mysteriously grant them, no matter how outlandish. Like the Love Boat, Fantasy Island alwasy had an array of guest stars, usually B-list (at the time) types like Bill Bixby and Dack Rambo. And lest we forget, the always memorable Herve Villechaize as Roarke's assistant Tattoo, known for signaling the approach of the visitors by ringing a bell and yelling "De plane! De plane!" I'm not even sure why I liked this so much. I think as a kid we like the idea of an easy solution to problems or living out our wildest fantasies. I know this never completely goes away, which probably explains the success of the series. I also liked the mystery of Mr. Roarke. He was sometimes a little creepy and I always wanted to know the real story behind the character, didn't you? Another series that was entertaining to my childish mind was Mork and Mindy, which ran from 1978 to 1982. It starred a manic Robin Williams as Mork, an alien from the planet Ork, who came to the planet Earth in a giant egg. Who comes up with this stuff? He lives with the much more conservative Mindy, played by Pam Dawber. The show was actually a spin-off from a Happy Day's episode in which Mork plans to take Richie Cunningham back to Ork as an example of a human. Williams was so engaging as the character (in a quite absurd episode of Happy Days no less) that they made a series out of the character. When I think of the show, I am amazed that it made it to TV. I mean, you have an alien who travels in an egg, who ages backwards, says things like "Na Noo Na Noo", does the Vulcan salute to greet people and gave birth (or laid the egg if you prefer) that contained his and Mindy's son Mearth, played by Johnathan Winters. And as goofy as the show was, it kind of worked, at least for a couple of years. Though even as a kid I knew it "jumped the shark" when they introduced Mearth. So there's a small sampling of the shows that helped form my young brain. Scary isn't it? But they were fun and they're fun to look back on. And as always, tell me what you think, and what shows did you like back in the day? You know I love to hear about it.


Asara Dragoness said...

I loved Mork and Mindy, though I don't remember too much about it now, I know I used to watch it all the time :) You might be interested in this site my hubby found, Retro Junk. I spent a couple of hours there myself just going.. wow, I remember that!! Was it really so cheesy back then?

SQT said...

Sweet! I'm going to link it to my site just to have the reference material.


DesLily said...

Ahhh Old television series huh?!

Just seeing this post made me think of an actor I know named Ron Harper.

"back then"..Ron did a number of tv series:

87th Precinct 1961
Wendy and Me 1964
Garrisons Gorilla's 1967
Land of the Lost 1974
Planet of the Apes 1974

Anyone remember any of those??

Alex said...

I'm a big fan of any woman who can move things just by wiggling her nose. I'm not sure what that Darren Stevens was thinking!

Des: I remember Land of the Lost and Planet of the Apes. Though, I admit I had to watch them on reruns, since I wasn't born until '76.

DesLily said...

Oh good lord Alex!..gimme a break will ya?! 76? *groaning here* my son was born in 66! (btw: reruns count! lol)

Crunchy Carpets said...

I loved Bewitched..but always wondered why she married such a putz. And why did he marry a witch and then always try to change her. A-Hole.

And Fantasy Island...I always watched that and loved that it was sort of creepy about it all.

Mork and Mindy was my intro to Robin Williams....but yeah..did not like Jonathan Winters.....I don't know why i couldn't 'buy that!'

We have Land of the Lost on DVD and my kids LOVE it!

And Alex! HOLY SHIT! You are young.

Oh man......

SQT said...

I featured Land of the Lost not too long ago in my Sid and Marty Krofft Made Me What I Am Today post.

I loved those shows.

Cat said...

Oh wow, thanks for the flash back to my Younger days. LOL

Stopped by from Micheles!!!

Alex said...

Wow! Thanks, ladies. I was a bit down when I hit 30, but your choruses of "you're young" are doing wonders. =)

Asara Dragoness said...

I'll bring ya back down to earth then Alex :)
You're older than me, neener!!!
I won't be 30 until 2008 :)

The Curmudgeon said...

I liked Mork & Mindy too... and I've always liked Jonathan Winters. But, as I recall, by the time they got to him, the show had run out of steam....

Alex said...

That's it, asara! I'm coming to your blog to post tons of highly irrelevant comments in order to get back at you.