Don’t Be Afraid – The Bugaloos (1970)

A bunch of kids who are actually bugs who know how to play instruments and write situational Beatles-esque music and live in a bizarre forest and have an even-more-bizarre foil? That’s Sid and Marty Krofft’s answer to The Monkees, a tab of orange sunshine in a kid’s TV landscape already drenched in psychadelia.

The Bugaloos – I.Q., Harmony, Courage, and Joy – are four hippie teens with wings and antennae who live in Tranquility Forest and…just kind of hang out. Each plays an instrument and they play straightforward pop songs that punctuate whatever situation is happening at the moment.

The forest is selectively populated with sentient flowers, animals, and other plants – nestled among their conscious-less counterparts. There’s also a strange bug-child hybrid named Sparky that’s more bug than human.

Nearby, in an enourmous jukebox, Benita Bizarre pursues musical fame despite her lack of talent. The Bugaloos are usually obstacles or tools in the path of her pursuits. The character designs of her henchmen, Woofer and Tweeter, are easily the highlight of the show.

The militant German rat, Funky Rat? Not so much.

As Krofft shows go this one’s pretty easy to swallow. The Beatles did a lot of the legwork here getting the world ready for a show like this. It’s definitely got a charm to it and – unlike other Krofft properties – the weirdness doesn’t really go into that creepy territory that offsets the charm. That said, it’s not terribly interesting past seeing once. Check it out.

-ds

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