Tag: children’s television

Fall TV Preview Madness! (NBC Saturday Mornings, 1985)

Fall TV Preview Madness! (NBC Saturday Mornings, 1985)

TV & Radio
I’m counting down the days until the Fall 2012 television season gets underway the only way I know how — by bringing you network promos for TV seasons long gone. Today’s preview is for NBC's 1985 Saturday Morning lineup of children's shows. NBC ran a yearly special previewing their upcoming season of Saturday morning shows from 1973 to 1991. The '85 special was called Back to Next Saturday -- cashing in on the popularity of Back to the Future -- and it starred the likes of Keshia Knight Pulliam (The Cosby Show) and Lisa Whelchel (The Facts of Life), as well as the casts of It's Punky Brewster and Kidd Video. Unlike the prime time previews, Back to Next Saturday went to the trouble of concocting a storyline. Pulliam enters the Dream Zone, otherwise known as your typical tropical isla
A Parent Reviews Children’s Television: Bubble Guppies

A Parent Reviews Children’s Television: Bubble Guppies

TV & Radio
My son likes to watch kids' shows on TV, which means I have to watch kids' shows on TV. I've had plenty of time to form opinions on these shows, and now you get to read them. Today: Bubble Guppies. (Previous entry: Thomas & Friends) Some kids' shows are tolerable. You can get through them but wouldn't ever seek them out on your own. Others are painful to watch (I'm looking at you, Dora the Explorer). You suffer through because you love your children. And some are enjoyable in their own right. You gladly watch them with your kids, and you may even tune in after they've gone to sleep for the night. I think that out of all the shows I get to (have to) watch because of my son, Nick Jr.'s Bubble Guppies is my current favorite. It's a cousin of sorts of another Nick Jr. show, Th
A Parent Reviews Children’s Television: Thomas & Friends

A Parent Reviews Children’s Television: Thomas & Friends

TV & Radio
My son likes to watch kids' shows on TV, which means I have to watch kids' shows on TV. I've had plenty of time to form opinions on these shows, and now you get to read them. Today: Thomas & Friends. I like the idea of Thomas & Friends. I dig trains and I'm a bit of an Anglophile. I also enjoy reading the books to my son. But the show in its current format is frustratingly formulaic, even for a program aimed at young children. My main issue has to do with the storylines. The basic plot of every latter-day Thomas & Friends episode I've ever seen boils down to this: Sir Topham Hatt (aka The Fat Controller) orders Thomas (or one of the other trains) to do something fairly simple. Thomas predictably fails when... His locomotive ADD kicks in and he wanders off to do
Damn Gumby, you scary!

Damn Gumby, you scary!

TV & Radio
Today is the celebration of Gumby creator Art Clokey's 90th birthday. If you check out the Google home page today you can see a Gumby-inspired doodle. There's also a new site called Gumby World that has a wealth of information on everyone's favorite little green slab of clay. I loved Gumby growing up -- still do -- and I especially cherish the classic 1950s episodes. They were kid's stuff for sure, but some of them had a really trippy and slightly creepy side to them. Take, for instance, this 1957 episode called "In the Dough." It starts off in typical fantastical fashion as Gumby and Pokey are invited into an oven to see how baked goods are made. But when the dough seems to turn on the pair, shit gets real. Check it: Related articles Google Celebrates Art Clokey's Birthday ...
Vintage View-Master: Electra Woman and Dyna Girl, Reel 3

Vintage View-Master: Electra Woman and Dyna Girl, Reel 3

Ephemera
This is it folks -- the thrilling, action-packed, spandex-clad conclusion to the epic showdown between the heroic (if not slightly befuddled) duo of Electra Woman and Dyna Girl and the teeth-clenching villainy of Spider Lady! In case you've just joined us, you can catch up on the first two reels here and here. #1 -- Still disguised, Spider Lady took the sacred idol. Wait, what's this about an idol? When the hell did this enter the story? This might just be the first MacGuffin in View-Master history. #2 -- Dynagirl's ElectraComp went dead. #3 -- Dynagirl was amazed to see two Loris! What! Two Electra Women?! Now we'll get half the investigating done! #4 -- But Spider Lady changed back to real self. You know, if Electra Woman did a little less posing she'd get a lo...
Vintage View-Master: Electra Woman and Dyna Girl, reel 2

Vintage View-Master: Electra Woman and Dyna Girl, reel 2

Ephemera
You've had a few weeks to cool down after the intense action from reel 1 of the Electra Woman and Dyna Girl View-Master reel set, so let's get back to it! As we left off, Electra Woman was in the semi-competent clutches of the vicious Spider Lady and Deidre Hall was desperately trying to get her agent to return her calls. I won't keep you waiting any longer, so it's back into Spider Lady's lair for more vintage 1970s-style superhero action! #1 - Spider Lady's assistant threw the switch-- -- and instantly transported everyone into a cheap '60s color TV set! #2 - --and Spider Lady had become Lori's "twin"! You know, both of them seem rather nonplussed -- bored, even -- by the proceedings here. #3 - "I've duplicated your voice everything." Again, Electra Woman seems...
Vintage View-Master: Electra Woman and Dyna Girl, reel 1

Vintage View-Master: Electra Woman and Dyna Girl, reel 1

Ephemera, TV & Radio
Here's one of the more bizarre View-Master reel sets in my collection. It was issued to promote the short-lived live action series Electra Woman and Dyna Girl, which ran for just 16 episodes in 1976. It was one of the segments aired during the first season of The Krofft Supershow, which itself only lasted for two years. Electra Woman and Dyna Girl followed the adventures of two comely reporters for Newsmaker magazine -- Lori/Electra Woman (Deidre Hall) and Judy/Dyna Girl (Judy Strangis). Over the course of the series the pair battled an array of colorful villains like the Pharaoh, the Sorcerer, Glitter Rock, Ali Baba, Spider Lady, and the Empress of Evil. The segments seemed to be a none-too-subtle homage to the Batman TV show from the '60s, as you'll see in this clip of the opening the...