A big thank you to Luke for his following 'review' submissions! I will get around to writing some in time.
"Imagine this: the execs of CBBC are sitting around a table one afternoon, 'Time Team' is on the telly before them, a big bag of red jelly beans in a bowl on the table, and some nasty niche market ‘sci-fi’ magazines adorning the rest of the space on the table.
'We need a new drama for the afternoons when Blue Peter is in port', says the briefing hypothesis. 'Okay, we have a flying space ship (somewhat jelly bean shaped - cheaper), found at some loony archaeological dig somewhere in the sticks, and make two kids somehow find it so we don’t alienate the audience.'
'What about how it is run? All these effects are gonna be costly to the budget!'
’Not if we run it on air! Besides it’s a red blob, it’ll be easy!’
’Terrific! Okay, our work here is done, who fancies a pint...?’
The rest, as they say, is history. At last a drama which didn’t involve underprivileged chavs, in a built up area; showing how drugs, alcohol, and sex are bad for you *cough*, story lines that WEREN’T monotonous or done (quite before).
By the end of its last series (third), the two leads (much similar to life versions of Arthur and his bunny friend Buster from Arthur) had got a dorky side-kick (who went on to play some delinquent chav-wannabee in Grange Hill) found out about a 'mother ship' orbiting earth, to which it ended, on the biggest suspense series-axing in unknown-history.
If there’s one bloke who could get away with having a Bob-Cut, it had to be He-Man.
Sod 'The Rachel Cut' from Friends in the 90s, Prince Adam was there first, and he was straight as a Dime…
Well, sure, he was an alter-ego of a dopey teenager (what self-respecting 80s superhero wasn’t?) and the sheer male cleavage on show could kind of be a little suspect.
(A little too suspect…)
Which brings me to tonight’s Word: ‘Androgyny’
Androgyny is Greek for a person who does not fit cleanly into their gender.
(And we all know how much the Greeks got confused about what Gender they were cleaning…)
But you tell me what teenage boy who can rub his hands together so fast he could turn sand into glass is gay?
(Before realising he has a powerful blow that could 'knock out' enemies…)
Take his catch-phrase “By the Power of Grayskull… I have the power!”, turning little Adam into a stiff Barbarian.
(And we’re not talking about his ‘Power Sword’ either…).
I Know, I Know. It was the eighties. We all said the phrase picking up the Cricket Bat coming to the Crease in P.E on a Thursday evening.
(It was the phrase we said getting bowled out afterwards that really got us in trouble…)
But he was the last defence of Castle Grayskull from the evil Skeletor. And it takes balls to fight a war wearing only a Jock-Strap riding a giant tiger named ‘Battle Cat’ across an epileptic laser field each week going through puberty.
( Et Tu, She-Ra…).
And even though he had the sassy Teela to protect him in Adam mode -
(First rule of dating, never take sand to the beach…)
- Deep down we all know that either way, when a war is never-ending you always keep friends and foes guessing your true intentions.
(Angel Delight or Sara Lee Chocolate Gateau this year for my Birthday?...)
Because if you're not good, you’re evil. And I’d rather be a jack of all trades than a Master of the Universe; which brings me back neatly to tonight’s word: ‘Androgyny’.
(Followed by ‘Lawsuit’ when Stephen Colbert reads this…)
“By the power of GraySkull… I Have –”
“-A long walk back to the bench, Harris, you’re out”
"When you say to people, 'What best reminds you of the 80s?', things like pink shirts, loafers with no socks, wearing sunglasses at night (before the Corey Heart single), and most things that come up (despite considered ‘bad taste’ that are creeping into fashion once more); they all seemed to originate from one iconic show: Miami Vice.
Who can forget that iconic theme tune that rocked the charts? It was so popular: pink shirts, expensive half a million pound cops cars (still searching for an excuse for that, considering they only earned 32k a year!), but - hey, this was the 80s, and until '88 the boom was, well, booming! Don Johnson setting the standard for yuppies everywhere, slick, polished, and an excuse to advertise Ferrari, holidays on Miami’s beach, and a summer wardrobe to us Brits, despite most of the stuff being dry clean (excess shrinkage anyone? All things that are not being emulated in the forthcoming; film staring Jamie Foxx and Collin Farrell, (Wait one cotton-picking little minute there! Did I hear Collin Farrell? In his dopey Yankee accent?! Never! ... But wait it gets worse! They’ve thrown out the slick looks of Sonny Crocket for some weird, half five o'clock shadow with a droopy Mexican moustache! ARGH!)
Although the series dragged on a tad, there was a special feature length ending, but just remembering the opening sequences with the tak-a-tak-a sound openings, shot of the beach, the neon glow title, and… flamingos? Hey, it was the eighties none-the-less, what other animal in Miami was pink?!
Favourite memory? Well, none really... apart from its pure un-adulterated chique-ness. Although Drew Barrymore’s fiancé in The Wedding Singer is righteous with his wannabee of Don Johnson, laugh out loud moment when he pops the door to his DeLoreon to hear the theme tune of Miami Vice Blaring out, with his sunglasses on, in pitch black of night… priceless!"
The Rotten Trolls
"Yo! *holds up two thumbs with a gormless face* … This sequence meaning possibly two things, either:
1) I’m pissed - Or 2) I’m watching Yokenthwaite from The Rotten Trolls.
To be honest it’s a bit of both, but for now lets concentwate, sorry concentrate (there we go), on The Rotten Trolls. Undoubtedly the wittiest and slapstick, without being a shameful and as cringing to watch as Bodger and Badger or the likes, that STILL remains funny to this day. Random act of genius, think wit of Black Adder, comic expression of The Muppets, and quintessential middle-England comedy, which attracts all ages.
To this day, me and a close friend whilst watching cricket (the sport) would say if one of our players is bowled out: 'them blooming Rotten Trolls have messed it all up!' with our fists shaking in the air like Merlin in the title.
Example: 'One day Merlin was making a ski resort for King Arthur when he picked up some strange Norwegian trolls in a storm cloud'; 'those blooming rotten trolls have messed it all up!'… Need I say more."
Every child with access to a television grows up with particular shows that they will watch a lot, and get something out of. If that show wasn’t ‘Sesame Street’, for you, then you have missed something quite special.
Many years as a young’un I watched this; sure, it had its Americanisms, and I guess it’s quite risky to bring up those children of the British Isles on such influence whilst they are still developing their English English (and unfortunately I feel that is one of the reasons it is no longer shown on British TV) but it was good fun and lightened learning. At least I was sensible enough to grow up pronouncing Z ‘zed’, in spite of the drilling in of the American ‘zee’.
It introduced us to a lot of intriguing ‘muppet’ characters, including ‘Kermit the Frog’, who would go on to star in virtually every other muppet venture ever after. Others include: ‘The Cookie Monster’ (who, by the way, looks great in drag), ‘The Count’ (the vampire who ‘loves to count!’, also my favourite character), ‘Elmo’ (scary), ‘Big Bird’ (even more scary), ‘Grover’ (forever causing the same customer frustration as he attempts to serve him at various food places) and many others. Oh, and not forgetting the heart-warming companionship of ‘Bert and Ernie’ (rubber ducky!). Amongst the fun capers of the muppets, there were also some animated sequences such as: the rolling ball with lips, King Crocodile and the guy in the glass sliding about the kitchen. In addition played several alphabet reminders and excitable children.
The show still airs, even if not in Britain, and has done so since the late sixties. Unfortunately, some changes have been made for the noughties editions, including the ridiculous notion that the Cookie Monster eats vegetables?! and Elmo has got much more frightening with his underlying adult humour (but he’s a child, right??) and more annoying girl characters. Basically, if you want the true Sesame Street experience, look to the ‘classic’ series of the seventies and eighties (now available on DVD). I feel it is one of those programmes you can watch even now and enjoy. Truly, ‘Sesame Street’ is one of the best examples of fun and learning TV, ever.
~ Your very own site-creator.
"Stalin once said: 'If a man dies, it's a tragedy; a million men die, it's a statistic'. If Uncle Joe is correct then Zzaap! is its b*st*rd love child - a tragic statistic.
The frightfully young CITV and its animation-importing, lack of hosts budget cop-out which - looking back in retrospect - was one of its few charms.
Remember Neil Buchanan off of Art Attack playing most of the characters and how each week was near identikit to the last?
Remember an abundance of weird-looking PC kids overacting expressions?
Remember not actually hearing any voices or dialogue? (Why pay for a mic when we have synthesisers! I hear a TV exec cry...)
But it was worth it. that lift music-esque artist, and the slapstick (and lets be fair, 'low-budget') shenanigans of a 'Real life Comic Strip!' let us look past its faults.
Primarily because it was the first older programme after Tots TV, and CBBC was still running the acquired taste of Bodger and Badger or the such.
Zzapp was bold. Zzapp was daring. Zzapp... didn't last long. (But it kind of did, didn't it?...)
In an effort to evolve, only one character was changed (and I use the word 'changed' lightly) Daisy Dare changed into the shadowy question-mark figure - who was he? what did he want? why was he playing tricks on kids that near-always ended up with them falling into a vat of water or gunge trying to tightrope and retrieve a pork pie? - maybe that was the mystery; maybe their budget was dwindling. maybe the producer was a pervert... Maybe we'll never know.
But we know this: Zzapp! represented early nineties television culture. It was simple, harmless and did what it set out to do, and if you can't look past low production values then maybe you shouldn't really be watching it in the first place. And if you can, then sigh a deep breath. You're in the company that watched so much and viewed by so many yet loved by so few. (What ever happened to 'live and let live', eh?) - [Minak: the Tories privatised it years ago]."