Yours truly is planning on visiting (or revisiting) some iconic tv programs that fit into our retro charter being between 1970s through the 1990s. I'll attempt to watch the pilot unless another episode title or description catches my fancy and that will be talked about in the blog. My plan is to try to look at these programs from a lens of when it was released and what my thoughts about it back then or the potential appeal in its heyday, I'll then put on my modern day lens and provide my forty something aged perspective as to what I may have just watched. Finally, I'll apply two grades as discussed on episodes of the podcast.
1. How much would I pay to watch this program?
2. Is it creamy or crunchy?
The Six Million Dollar Man - Season 1 Episode 1 "Population Zero"
Looking Back ...
There were many times in my 70s childhood, that I would show off my super speed by running very slow and making the "Chutchu...Chutchu...Chutchu" sound. I would be able to see as if I was Steve Austin by looking through his bionic eye of my action figure (noticed I didn't say doll). This TV show checked a lot of cool boxes in that it gave us a blend of technology that we wanted to be real and a person with genuine super hero abilities that didn't come in a spandex costume (not that there is anything wrong with that). Lee Majors was also able to give us a portrayal of a man that lived on the razors edge of following orders provided by Oscar Goldman when he felt like it and broke the rules to benefit the common man when appropriate. What I would have liked about this episde back then would have been the guy that brought Steve Austin the space suit not knowing it was Steve's suit to begin with and thinking it was going to fit and then Steve revealing after the suit is on that is his name on the suit. The fun part to watch was Steve pulling a fence post out of the ground and running with it like a javelin to throw at the truck of the bad guys and it exploding on impact. Last part about any shows with this formula in the 1970s in which our leading man walks away with the beautiful woman that helped him through this adventure to one can only assume have "relations" before he has to run to his next assignment. I assume this was a tride and true formula for shows like this, to possibly appeal to older audiences back then both male and female, as the men wanted to be like Steve and the women I am sure wanted to have Steve.
In the Now ...
My first blog entry was a cartoon and it would have been very easy to jump right into another cartoon, but I wanted to expand my watching horizons to benefit us all. I also wanted to step back further in our time machine from where I started in the 1980's and pull up something that was clearly 1970's. A few web searches later and I find this episode on DailyMotion and stream it to my Chromecast. During my viewing, my two youngest kids look up from their electronic device appendages and ask the very important question, "Dad, what are you watching?" My answer with a bit of matter of fact type influence as if to impress them with the name alone "The Six Million Dollar Man". I look over after a few minutes and notice that Steve Austin does not having the staying power to hold their interest away from their game devices or mobile phone. This saddens me a bit because it tells me this show may not ever be watched again by either of them, nowhere in the future will they be looking back on this show fondly and rewatching and saying to their kids, this was one of my Dad's favorites, like I do with M.A.S.H. when I see a rerun on that is in the General Blake era (more on that later, as we are discussing that as a podcast topic idea). Back to this episode, unfortunately, I see why this one didn't really grab the kids attention. The use of his bionic abilites were bending a pipe at the beginning, big leap across a tent, and running super fast and tossing that makeshift javelin tha t I mentioned earlier as the episodes climatic conclusion. The bad guy was evil if you invested time into watching the story but casual glances from a device distracting attention may not have convinced you as he wasn't over the top evil villain, it was a bit more cerebral which I did appreciate but I kid may not. Overall, I felt the episode dragged in the part that we find out sub zero temperatures inhibit bionics, this felt a little weak as the way to stop someone with these technological advances (in fact cold makes computers run better, don't they?). Last complaint, Steve if you know you are about to be put in a freezer and it will hurt your abilities, as a man of action can you put up a little fight against a few guys with one shot gun? I did like the fact that Steve grew up in a town close to the epicenter of this episode and it showcased Lee's acting ability to portray a man that had his world dramatically changed and could still grasp at elements of when he was "normal".
How much would I pay?
$.99, I wanted to look at this if this episode was available through an on demand offering and I wanted to watch a single episode and what would I pay for it. Based on this viewing, while the episode did have some slower weak moments for me that lacked showcasing bionic abilites. It did ping the nostalgia factor with me and make me want to watch more episodes. My hope is that the next episode is faster paced.
Crunchy or creamy?
Steve Austin (aka Lee Majors) should be chunky in the fact that he is a man of action and what appears to be a "ladies man" like James Bond. However, this episode as a whole due to its slower pacing and lower action value, than I had hoped for, is getting a creamy grade. The show is a fun watch but maybe this episode shouldn't be our jump in point to get hooked into watching more.