So recently Sugar Daddy and I Netflixed The Greatest American Hero on DVD.  Last night we watched the pilot episode.  Mind you, we both enjoyed The Greatest American Hero when it was on TV, but that was almost thirty years ago.  Holy crap.  Holy crap, people!  How old am I???  But now I’m veering off topic.

So yeah, we watched the pilot episode last night, and it was…really dumb.  I mean, we already knew the show was cheesy.  It’s about a special ed teacher who gets chosen by aliens to be a superhero, complete with red long johns and a cape.  We remembered that much.  What we did not remember was what we probably didn’t realize at the time, which is that the whole production–the dialogue, the plot, the everything–was just freaking ridiculous.  It was like a fifth-grader had written it.  I’m not being snarky.  It was very much like something I myself would have written as a fifth-grader–and I was reasonably talented for my age, but, you know, still ten years old.  Not ready for prime-time.

As I said to SD this morning, TV would never get away with this crap nowadays.  You youngsters are living in a Golden Age of television.  As far-fetched and over-the-top as some shows are, there is a bare minimum of competence that just wasn’t present when the fifth-graders got together to make The Greatest American Hero almost thirty years ago.  (Crap!)

Mind you, we’re still going to watch the rest of the first season–if only for that classic theme song:

Which reminds me of this classic answering machine message:


I can’t stop singing it.  I’VE TRIED.

Speaking of stuff that happened a long time ago and youngsters, I was listening to a talk show and the host was talking about the Nobel Peace Prize and who had won it in the past; offhand he asked how many people under the age of fifty knew who Andrei Sakharov was.  Both of the under-fifty people in the studio with him did not know who he was.  I had a vague idea of who Andrei Sakharov was, but had the details of his life and career appeared as a Jeopardy! clue, I’m sure I would not have been able to pull “Who is Andrei Sakharov?” out of my brain, so my vague idea doesn’t really count.  Then the host asked if the under-fifty-year-olds knew who Aleksandr Solzhenitsyn was.  Now Aleksander Solzhenitsyn I knew.  I even read part of one of his books.  (A very small part.  It was…ummm…very long.)  I would have aced that Final Jeopardy!  Unfortunately, I would have been disqualified in the Andrei Sakharov round, so that is neither here nor there.

I’m just curious how many of you under-fifty-year-olds know who Andrei Sakharov and/or Aleksandr Solzhenitsyn were, without Googling.  (On your honor, please.)  To tie this into the first part of the post, I leave you with a quote from the pilot episode of The Greatest American Hero:

“This isn’t 1964.  There is no Cold War.”

Prescient, or just fifth-gradey?  You decide.

What television shows did you enjoy in your childhood that upon re-visiting have revealed themselves to be ultra-dumb?

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