Monday, January 26, 2015

My Childhood, In Syndication...

I've been writing about television and movies in the seventies, but I find myself hitting programs from the late sixties (and I'm planning on even earlier than that at some point).  I realized tonight what it was:  syndication, where canceled network shows find new life on non-affiliate stations, in my case it was usually UHF stations, 27 and 33.  Stuff like The Brady Bunch, Dragnet, Batman, it was all in rerun heaven.

Tonight I watched the first four episodes of Dragnet (Jan. 12, 19, and 26 and Feb 9 '67) and boy, Jack Webb sure hated hippies.  I understand, in 1967, the need to demonize drug use, but seen from a 2014 perspective, these things are hilarious.  Jack Webb and Harry Morgan are stoic and deadpan in the face of whatever depravities they encounter... but Webb is so, so, so serious.  It's camp.

What's best is that it's not camp like Batman, with a wink, but it's sincere in it's sincerity, playing it straight the entire time.

As a treat, Kent McCord, is actually in two of the four episodes- he plays a patrolman in episode two and plays a rookie under investigation by Internal Affairs in episode four.

I followed these up with Snowbeast (4.28.77).  America didn't just fixate on the Bermuda Triangle in the seventies.  Bigfoot was out there too.

And he KILLED.

It's the Snow Carnival and Sylvia Sidney (Juno from Beetlejuice, the original Mama Carlson from WKRP) owns a ski-resort.  Her grandson runs it, his Olympic skier pal (Bo Svenson) needs a job and his wife (Yvette Mimeux) is a) the grandson's ex and b) a tv-reporter who has coincidentally done a series of segments on (wait for it...) bigfoots.

It's actually a pretty by the numbers take on the "something is out there killing people while the town plans to celebrate" thing Jaws started, but... well, there aren't any sharks in Colorado are there?

I made a point to watch this tonight because of friend of a friend on facebook recommended it, relative to the snow storm hitting the east coast today.