Opinions expressed on this blog are solely those of the author, David C. Matthews (unless otherwise indicated). Images used are copyrighted by their respective owners, and appear under the "fair use" provisions of the copyright laws.

Thursday, July 15, 2010

Episode Reviews coming soon!

I have recently procured the entire original 1967-68 Herculoids series, so now I can re-watch these classic cartoons when I want, without worrying about when they're going to get yanked from YouTube. And... it allows me to be able to do something I was hoping I could do with this blog: post reviews of individual episodes.

Now, I won't be "analyzing" these shows for "theme" or "subtext" or any of that other literary happy-crappy. First of all, I am intellectually incapable of such deep thinking, and second: these ten-minute cartoons were produced on tight schedules and chintzy budgets for juvenile audiences by people who, for obvious and understandable reasons, couldn't be bothered with such niceties as subtext and characterization. The plots are repetitive, characterizations are so basic that to say they're drawn in "broad strokes"- plural - is to overstate the case, and emotions run the gamut from A to B. That these cartoons still have such powerful appeal decades after their network runs is a testament to the talent and creativity that do find their way into the episodes.

So I won't be excoriating these shows for not achieving the quality of an Asimov or Heinlein story. I'll simply be sharing my thoughts, reactions and feelings about the shows, sharing whatever bits of trivia I think you might find interesting.

The collection I have does not present the cartoons in any apparent order; I've chosen to present my reviews in broadcast order, according to the schedule presented in the Wikipedia Herculoids article. My plan is to review one week's show, 2 ten-minute episodes, in each post. I'll provide a short (and most likely spoilerish) synopsis of the episode, then launch into the review itself. I'll tell you what I liked, what I didn't like, where I might have done things a little differently, and groan over the "oh, come ON!" moment (and almost every episode has one: some character does something, or has something happen to them, that so blatantly violates characterization (such as it is), plot, or common sense that your initial reaction is "oh, come ON!") And I'll share frame grabs of particularly interesting visuals from each show (and if most of them involve Tara, well, that's just the dirty old man in me). Bah! My plan to present screen grabs has run into an obstacle: the screen capture utilities in Mac OS don't work while the DVD Player app is running.

I hope to get the first show (Sept. 9, 1967, "The Beaked People" and "The Raiders") up within a few days, and post new reviews once a week.

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