Thursday, October 14, 2010

Don't Be Afraid of the TV!

What were you watching this week, 37 years ago?

Like a step into the Time Machine, I can tell you exactly what I was doing 37 years ago this week. I happened upon a bunch of old TV Guides at a household sale I was helping out with. Amongst the many issues, which spanned the decades of the 60s through to present day, I found one dated Oct. 6-12, 1973, and took a look see to find if I could recall what I watched on the tube that particular week. I almost spit out my Fruity Pebbles when I came across the listings for Wednesday night, October 10.
And that's exactly what this 11 year old kid was doing that very night.  It would become one of my all time favorite TV Movies.  What a blast.

Then, a flip of a couple pages brought me to Friday night, Oct. 12.  This is the the treat that was in store for a creepy little kid, who was looking for more Halloween season treats:
Surprisingly, the write up doesn't mention that this little monster flick was produced and directed by Dark Shadows creator Dan Curtis.  Jack Palance seems an unlikely candidate for the role of the Casanova of all monsters, but I don't know that I even recognized him back then.  I may have seen him in some westerns or something, but hell, it didn't matter.  The guy was absolutely creepy (but not as creepy as the 1968 version of Dr. Jekkyl & Mr. Hyde, also directed by Curtis).

I think maybe I'll put my DVDs of these movies in the Time Machine and experence them all over again.

Wednesday, October 13, 2010

Get On Board: The Double Deckers!

Best Clubhouse Ever!!
I've said it before, and I'll say it again -- One of the coolest shows ever.

I got my early Christmas present -- a DVD package from Second Sight in the UK, with 17 fantastic episodes of The Double Deckers.  Not only have I been enjoying this blast from my childhood cathode ray past, but my two little girls are digging it just as much (although my youngest thinks Doughnuts and Brains are ridiculously silly).

The Double Deckers originally aired in the UK in 1971, and then enjoyed a syndicated run in the US for several years after.  This show was a fantastic mix of comedy and adventure, featuring a group of children who do a bit of detective work, a bunch of singing, and find themselves knee deep in hilarious hi-jinx.  Most memorable for me was the fuly loaded double decker London bus clubhouse.

Not visible from the London street, the kids had to enter with a secret password and a combination, which would set of a Rube Goldberg-like series of contraptions that would unlock the secret door in the wooden fence facade. Then, once inside, the bus held a cache of cool rooms and high-tech trinkets.  Man, did I ever wanna live in that bus!!

I'm always on the lookout for DVDs like this, because I really enjoy sharing the kind of entertainment I enjoyed as a kid with my kids. Not only out of nostalgia, but really for the wholesome, good humored fun. There's not a whole lot on the TV these days that doesn't depict kids as egomaniacal whiners, and tech-needy twits, or parents as soooo-cool and trendy hipster wannabes, and who can be just as sexy as their kids (oy!).  It's either that or the so-wholesome-it-shrinks-my-teeth Barney episodes, or the redundently-challenged (but admittedly cool) monsters of  Yo Gabba Gabba.

Besides, the title song is so catchy!  My oldest is even teaching it to her kindergarten friends!!

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