austin_dern (austin_dern) wrote,

And I noticed your tail was attached permanently

I picked up the Superfriends: The Lost Episodes DVD, to have something fresh to do twenty-minute sessions of jogging in front of. I've already gone through the library's season of NewsRadio and I really need stuff I can watch without having to fast-forward because I don't quite have that fine body control while jogging. I'm doing well enough if I don't drop the Wii Remote. It turns out the episodes were not ``lost'' so much as ... er ... well, maybe ``lost'' is the correct term. The episodes didn't air for over a decade, and when they did it was with the separate components split up and mashed up with other Superfriendly adventures.

This is an era of Superfriend action that fascinates me, I think because they were very clearly writing these stories without the slightest idea where they were going, and without the time to have second thoughts about anything. Maybe not even first thoughts. There's a wonderful freedom that comes from stories told where there's just no predicting what will happen because they defy narrative structure. I'm thinking of reviewing them just for the fun of treating seriously such weird artifacts.

The first one starts out with Mxyzptlk, who starts out tormenting Superman and Batman by pulling them over into his dimension for a slight change. As you might expect it bursts with odd lines, such as Superman complaining that the vacuum pulling him into the fifth dimension is stronger than he is, which seems to indicate that he doesn't know how a vacuum works. In the course of things Mxyzptlk sentences Superman to life in a vegetable garden, and Supes gets tossed off into a field as described. And he says, ``Mxyzptlk wasn't kidding! This is a vegetable garden!'' And now consider the circumstances which caused a writer, thirty years ago, to type that in, and for the voice actor to repeat and emphasize in just that way. You don't get that these days now that writers have time to think about what they're doing.

Trivia: On 9 September 1876 the Hartford Blues and Cincinnati Red Stockings played two games against each other on the same day. It was not a doubleheader: the first game was in the morning, and then after a lengthy dinner break the second was in the afternoon. Source: The Rules of Baseball: An Anecdotal Look at the Rules of Baseball and How They Came To Be, David Nemec.

Currently Reading: Notes For A Memoir: On Isaac Asimov, Life, and Writing, Janet Jeppson Asimov.


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