Five Things – 5.22.17 – Stories For Boys

  It’s About Time (1966) What if you had a silly TV show set in a remote jungle location and you had an idea for a second, unrelated-yet-just-as-silly TV show set in a remote jungle location and you just re-used props and sets from the first silly TV show for the second silly TV show…

Five Things – 5.8.17 – Some People Call This A War

The Front Line This 1960s training film on the merits of good checkout procedure places an awful lot of responsibility for the store’s performance on what happens in the checkout lane.  Indeed, they are “The Front Line” in the grocery war.  Seriously, they just casually call it a war. I’m not going to spend time…

Five Things – 3.20.17 – What They Call a Ronald Ray-gun

1989 Disney-MGM Studios Grand Opening The decision to make a Disney-MGM (now Disney Hollywood) Studios theme park was an odd one for the company. This 1989 television special celebrating the opening of the park is filled with similarly odd decisions. Disney-MGM was the third Florida park, coming after EPCOT but before Animal Kingdom. Where the Magic…

Five Things – 3.13.17 – That’s Why I’m In This Box

Invasion of Nintendo – Super Nintendo Infomercial It’s always weird when Nintendo tries to be cool. Cool just isn’t their thing. This 1995 infomercial for the Super Nintendo is a perfect example of my point; it sets out to showcase the system’s lineup in an edgy, gritty way and it comes off looking like when the chaperones…

Five Things – 1.30.17 – I Guess You’d Look Like A Garden

Isaac Asimov’s Robots VHS Mystery Game This 1986 VHS game envisioned a murder mystery set in the universe of Isaac Asimov’s Robot books.  Loosely based on the book Caves of Steel, it’s an ambitious effort and carries a high production value – particularly for the mid-1980s, when so many were getting away with so much less….

Five Things – 1.9.17 – Nickel, Nickel

Hammerman It should come as no surprise that MC Hammer, he of the pop charts and the parachute pants and the very-safe-edginess and the runaway early-90s success, had his own cartoon.  Hammerman ran on ABC in 1991, and only lasted one season. (My computer keeps trying to correct Hammerman to Hamilton.  Guessing this is the only time those…

Five Things – 12.12.16 – Alphie Says I Got It Right

Mr. Ed’s Christmas Story What holiday season would be complete without the ritual viewing of that one Christmas episode of that one show about the horse that can secretly talk and makes life miserable for the awkward suburban man who owns a horse that can secretly talk? Mr. Ed’s Christmas Story opens with Ed and Wilbur…

Five Things – 11.14.16 – Ticky Tacky

Homes Of The Future Walter Cronkite takes us on a 1967 journey through the home of 2001. Like most “blank-of-the-future” media from the ’50s and ’60s, lots of predictions hit the mark and others are way off.  A house with a recirculated water supply, drawing power from its own fuel cells, and a central point…

Five Things – 10.3.16 – This Is My Door

Jim Henson’s The Cube In the late 1960s, NBC had a short-lived Sunday afternoon anthology show titled NBC Experiment in Television. From what I can tell the show seems like a general-audience-aimed The Outer Limits, with an expectation for the audience to cut the NBC some slack if episodes strayed from traditional themes and formats.  In 1968, Jim Henson…

Five Things – 7.11.16 – Real Sick, Real Quick

Man From The 25th Century This 1968 Irwin Allen production never got off the ground, and it’s kind of a shame. Tomo was abducted from his 1951 Earth life and given combat and telekinesis training on a distant planet 500 years in the future by alien beings, his ultimate mission being to return to 1951 and…