Saturday, December 09, 2006
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.