Thursday, September 3, 2009

Render unto Justin what is Justin's...

... i.e., artifacts of geekiness that I strongly desire to purchase but, for various reasons, I cannot.

Look, you may not agree with me on the fourth item, but that show? Low on quality, high on charm. Plus, 1970s New York, the image of which I have always loved for some reason. Also: The incredible first-season theme song will haunt your dreams.


plok said...

One hundred percent agreed on the weird attractiveness of the Spider-Man TV is a bizarre thing to consider now, and it was never any good, and I didn't really like it at the time, but in 1978 you took whatever you could get, and the sheer clumsiness of the thing produces its own sort of busted-up charm. I wrote about this once: this show had no crutch to lean on, not special effects and certainly not ironic kitsch value...heck, it doesn't even have that value today, and if you think about it that's a hell of an accomplishment...just little ol' Nichaolas Hammond trying manfully to master the lameness he found himself embedded in, through the power of pure acting...! And of course it didn't work, but then what did, back then?

Heck, people ironically kitsch-ulate Rocket Robin Hood these days...still can't do it to Spider-Man, though!

Justin said...

Yeah, in watching the few bits available on YouTube, I'm reminded that Nicholas Hammond is an absolute champ in the role (and has, in the end, a very good Spider-Man voice).

I think a lot of the charm comes from the fact that they were just *determined* to make a Spider-Man show one way or the other. None of this "Oh, special effects technology isn't ready yet," they just pressed on..

"We can't afford to do any of the comic book villains."
"Well, just do things that are supernatural but cheap. Mind control, telekinesis, clones, that kinda crap. We gott have *something*."
"The web effect doesn't look very impressive."
"Just shoot it prominently as though it's a friggin' technical marvel and maybe we'll get by on the strength of our conviction."
"And these wrist-shooters don't fit under the costume."
"Just put 'em over."
"But they weren't there in the scene before that! Should we reshoot it, or...?"
"Nah, just chalk it up to artistic license or something. Why are you bothering me with all this? We gotta deliver this to the network by next week!"

This is a version of Spider-Man that OMITS UNCLE BEN ENTIRELY. That is just BOLD, you know?

plok said...


Too true.

I mean, in a way people should be all over this -- don't we live in a blogospheric bubble in which hundreds of people are saying "strip off the crap, approach it like a filmmaker, do what needs to be done to make it good, so long as you don't outrage the BASIC APPEAL everything is permitted"? The Nick Hammond Spider-Man is surely all that, even though it wasn't all that appealing...however if it were made today in EXACTLY the same way, it'd be hailed as a work of irreverent genius that nevertheless leaves no fan Indian Spider-Man if it were made by ABC Studios, straight up and without apologies. We'd be MAD for that.