The Flash — 1990

June 19, 2015

Since all our regular TV shows finished for the season, this week for our Monday dinner-and-TV extravaganza, we pulled out the DVD’s of the first Flash TV series from 1990, specifically to watch the Trickster episodes, which some of our party had not seen.  Here, have some opening credits:

So. Much. Nostalgia.

I loved this show when it first aired.  By the late 80’s we were completely starved for any kind of superhero media at all.  The glory days of the late 70’s to early 80’s had dried up, and there really wasn’t anything — until 1989 and the Tim Burton/Michael Keaton Batman movie.  I remember how revolutionary that movie was.  How dark and menacing and awesome.  We ate it up like popcorn.  Now of course, in hindsight, the Burton Batman movie is to the current crop of Batman movies what the 1960’s TV show is to the Burton Batman movie.  So dated.  So cheesy.  Never would have thought that could happen.

The 1990 Flash is direct result of the success of the Batman movie.  You can tell they mined the same aesthetic — the art deco gothic setting, the over-the-top everything, the molded latex suit (I got to hear John Wesley Shipp speak at DragonCon in 2007, and he said they would lysol the suit out at night and it would never quite dry completely by the next time he had to wear it, and it got pretty rank. *shudder*).  The theme song is by Danny Elfman.  And at the time the show really did feel dark and serious and mature and…

Well.  Watching it now?  It’s freaking adorable.  That flying hair trick to show that Barry has left the room?  The new show uses that trick too, but somehow on the old show it’s deeply hilarious.  The whole thing is silly, but the silliness is seamless and the actors manage to play it straight.  It’s lovely seeing John Wesley Shipp, Amanda Pays, and Mark Hamill in their original Flash incarnations.  It’s really lovely seeing all the easter eggs the current Flash has slipped in referring back to the old show with love.  The Trickster warehouse from the new episode?  The costumes?  Perfect recreations.

The 1990 Flash only lasted a season, which is too bad, because I think its heart was in the right place.  It’s dated, but it’s fun, and we enjoyed watching it.

Here’s my big question:  I pretty much believe that Mark Hamill landed the role of the Joker on Batman: The Animated Series because of his stint as the Trickster, where he managed to convey psychopathic evil under the outrageous Trickster antics.  But here’s the thing I’d forgotten:

Trickster acquires a sidekick named Prank.  Prank is a pretty woman who develops a very unhealthy infatuation with the Trickster and devotes herself to supporting his cause, while constantly throwing herself at him.  Sometimes he relents and returns her affections, sometimes he rejects her — all this keeps her coming back for more no matter what.

Prank predates Harley Quinn by at least a year, near as I can figure.

Do any of the comics/superhero wonks out there know if there’s a direct connection/inspiration between the two characters?  Because dang, it’s a little obvious watching that episode now.



As you can see, I’ve taken out the paper mache again, so that I can make a Thing.  It’s a secret project.  I might post pictures of the finished thing, or I might not, because there are some extenuating circumstances.  How’s that for mysterious?  Anyway, this bit is what I did Wednesday.  I worked on Phase 2 last night, and left a wet sopping mess to dry overnight.  (I love living in an arid part of the country, where paper mache actually dries overnight.  I was reading one set of instructions that suggested putting your paper mache in the oven to dry, and that just sounded like a disaster waiting to happen.  Or maybe that’s just my oven.)

When I got up this morning and took a look at it?  Ooooooooh, it’s lookin’ really good!  I’m really excited!  Next step:  paint.



Happy Friday!

April 10, 2015

This is becoming a thing, I think, where I get to the end of the week and throw together a blog post.  I’m late today because I went riding this morning.  TinyHorse for the win!  She’s doing great.

TV update:

Agents of SHIELD.  I’m frustrated with this show because it feels like the last three episodes were pretty much all the same episode, with the same dialog but just spoken in different situations.  Kyle MacLachlan is making it bearable with his truly enjoyable brand of crazy.  Basically:  if AoS is going to be hamstrung by the release of the big Marvel movie in May every year, they maybe ought to think of just canning it.  Or running it in the summer.  Or something.

Justified.  I think it should end with Art throwing everyone in prison and walking off into the sunset wearing Raylen’s hat.

The Flash.  As a fan of the first Flash TV show, the Mark Hamill guest appearance was a thing of beauty and perfection.  Also, this show has now won all the fan service points.  There are no more fan service points to win.

Here, have a picture of days of superhero Halloweens past:


I just noticed the terrible 1970’s carpet in this.  Yikes.


Here’s another of the things I saved from the old kindergarten/preschool file:


What I really love about this:  I’m pretty sure that what I was trying to do here was create my own version of this:

This has always been my favorite Sesame Street sketch.  As a small child, it fascinated me.  So strange, so oddly beautiful.  Which of course makes this drawing quite possibly my very first fan art.  So awesome.



an announcement

April 1, 2015

I’ve been thinking a lot lately about my social media footprint, and I’ve decided the topics I write about on this blog are just too broad.  I really need to focus more on just a few specific areas if I’m going to pull in more readers.

So I’ve decided that from now on, the only movies I’m going to review are romantic comedies starring Kate Hudson.
I am a terrible liar.


I FINALLY got to see Urinetown, the satirical dystopian musical, which I’ve known about since it came out 15 years ago because you can’t be into musical theater and not know about a musical called Urinetown.  I had no idea what to expect, but it turns out it was great, because it knows exactly how silly it is and goes full meta, and it turns out that’s a great way to do a quick, punchy, funny musical.

I also had no idea what to expect because this was the first production I’d seen by the local theater group, the Longmont Theater Company.  I was braced for iffy, but they started singing, they were great, and I relaxed.  The show had that homemade look to it but everyone knew what they were doing and they did an excellent job.  I enjoyed it.  (Having done community theater in high school, I know exactly how iffy it can get, like when your Nellie and Emile in South Pacific have zero chemistry, and in fact your Nellie and Joe start dating before the end of the show…  ANYHOO.)

I’m caught up on this final season of Justified, and for the most part I think it’s great, particularly the villains’ tangled plots and Raylen trying to figure out what he wants to be when he grows up.

But I gotta tell you, I think they’re completely screwing up Ava again.  After the last two seasons, you cannot convince me that she’s that much of a wet dishrag idiot.  That she would really put up with the shit Boyd’s pulling on her.  All I can think is that she must have some big epic plan up her sleeve to screw everyone over by the end.  But if so, the show is keeping it really well hidden. And it’s not satisfying.

Also, I propose that you know Sam Elliott’s a bad guy in this because he doesn’t have his mustache.  Sam Elliott without a mustache is JUST WRONG.



March 2, 2015

I listen to a lot of classical music on the radio, and my current station is pretty stodgy — I judge a classical station’s stodginess by how frequently they play John Williams movie scores, and this one doesn’t play any at all.

But they played the theme song to the original Star Trek to announce Leonard Nimoy’s passing.  And they kept playing it throughout the day, on the hour.  It was like the geek version of church bells tolling.

That’s a measure of the impact Nimoy had — particularly in his role as Spock.  Even non-geeks, even the most mainstream outlets imaginable, even places I didn’t expect an acknowledgement at all, marked the news.  Everyone understands how important that character is as a model, as a symbol.  As Scalzi said:  Every geek just lost their favorite grandparent.

I don’t think I realized how far-reaching Nimoy and Spock’s influence really reached, and I just keep thinking, what a life.  What a profound and meaningful life.



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