on Oct 22, 2007
Last year I was ranting about the uniform awfulness of 70’s culture. While writing those posts, I found an old dusty corner of my mind with a pile of memories I don’t use anymore. Behind the memories of putting ice cubes onto the heating vent to melt deep waffle-like atterns into their surfaces, underneath some loose recollections of Bill Cosby’s Picture Pages, and sitting on top of some vague notions of a McDonald’s playset, I found a bunch of disjoined images from some television shows that I couldn’t identify. I couldn’t remember the names of the characters or the show, just situations and plot devices. Some creative googling finally led me to a website that (somehow) has images from those old shows. As soon as I saw them, the whole thing came flooding back.
Lots of people remember kid’s television from the 70’s. Scooby Doo. Lost In Space reruns. Gilligan’s Island reruns. Batman. Spiderman. Speed racer. Wonder Woman. Some of these have enjoyed recent revivals or remakes. But some shows didn’t survive and are not so fondly remembered. The shows I was remembering were Electra Woman and Dyna Girl, Dr. Shrinker, Wonderbug, and Lost Saucer. I found out they are all actually just segments the same show: The Krofft Supershow.
Most of us have idealized memories of childhood television programs. Despite this retroactive rose-colored view, there is no way around it: This stuff was crap. Utter tripe. Even at six years old I remember noticing that the thing was kind of lame. Keep in mind that I was at an age where I still thought Scooby Doo and Gilligan’s Island were clever. This show took awful and tacky to new, uncharted extremes.
The show ran two years, from 1976 to 1978. I never expected to see them again. Imagine my surprise.
The Electrawoman and Dynagirl segment left an impression on me. Somewhere in the back of my mind were some features that had not yet been enabled. Some unlockables, if you will. As a little boy I knew there was something about these images of women in spandex and go-go boots. These images were important… somehow. Couldn’t put my finger on it. Not for another few years, by which time the show had been swapped out of active memory to make room for episodes of Wonder Woman.
Kept that one cached for a few years.
Shamus Young is an old-school OpenGL programmer, author, and composer. He runs this site and if anything is broken you should probably blame him.