Monday, May 11, 2009

Rediscovering the Past: Was I Retarded as a Child?

I know, I know. "What the fuck are you doing up right now?" I kind of fell asleep while writing my column, finished it, and then got around to posting a Royals entry and knew that I could bust out another about something that happened on Saturday night.

First, I will post this link that you should follow to watch the "Opening Gambit" at the very least. I say this if only to give you a true frame of reference for what I'm about to talk about.

I'll wait.

Go ahead.

All right, seen enough?

Now, as a child, I liked "MacGyver". I wouldn't say I wanted to model my life after him or anything, but I'm sure I thought the show was pretty damn cool.

Boy, was I fucking wrong in retrospect. To watch the show, you would think it was produced for Christian television if judging it by its production value. This episode in particular (Trumbo's World) features preposterous POV-through-binoculars-and-camera of carnivorous ants devouring everything in sight in the Amazon basin. The "close-ups" that the binocs and camera afford the characters in the show are patently ridiculous. To get an appreciation for exactly how dumb this is you will have to watch further into that episode, which is actually worth it.

In addition to how ridiculous the production of this show is (oh, there's also a horrible and seemingly unnecessary rear-projection sequence on a small motorboat that suddenly changes to being on a stream), there's the acting. This episode is bogged down by "Babylon 5" alum Peter Jurasik and whoever the actor that plays Trumbo is. And that's obviously already including Richard Dean Anderson, who at this point in his career decided he was going to channel John Wayne with brain damage.

I watched this whole episode Saturday night, as Chad, Mark, and I explored the Roku player. We also watched a special live episode of "Gimme a Break" (which no doubt inspired "Roc Live") and one of the Chaz episodes of "Charles in Charge" in a fit of group masochism that has seen no equal in the history of man. Trust me, this is not something you want to do. And while both of those shows were expectantly awful, it was the shock that set in upon finishing "MacGyver" that stays with me the most.

The most shocking thing about having seen this show is that this was the sixth episode, and it is unfathomable that they continued airing this series after this abysmal episode. Keep in mind, this was airing at the same time as "Moonlighting". Hell, "The Rockford Files" was off the air, what, six years earlier, and in its first season it looked better than that. There should have been no excuses for a show resorting to such archaic production value. The whole time, I kept waiting for a star wipe.


KRD said...

1. It is unfair to compare any of its contemporary shows to Moonlighting, which was so beyond its time that it isn't even funny. (Except the last season and a half, which was complete and total shite.)

2. You weren't retarded. You probably also liked that Gary Paulsen Hatchet book too. That's just developmentally appropriate. Little boys like survival and gadgets. This does not, I realize, answer your question about why that crap was on the air though.

Old Man Duggan said...

I read Hatchet. Wasn't crazy about it. Thought it was pretty good. I have a feeling that Gary Paulsen writes better than the jackasses on staff at MacGyver.

Anonymous said...

Was it really necessary to use the word retarded? I'm giving you the
benefit of the doubt here but certainly you know that the word
retarded used as slang is extremely hurtful to people living with
special needs. Before I had a child with a disability, I pretty much
was like you. I don't know if I used the word but I certainly didn't
flinch when I heard it. What's the big deal, right? It is a huge
deal to people who have cognitive challenges. They get what you are
saying and they understand that you are mocking them, even if it's
Anyway, thank you for hearing me out.

Old Man Duggan said...

I contemplated not responding to your comment, Anonymous, but have elected to make two points:

1) The name of this blog is Inconsiderate Prick. Given the name, remarks as the one you took issue with should be expected.

2) Political incorrectness/insensitivity aside, I was actually positing the rhetorical question as to whether I may have been mentally retarded as a child. I wasn't like, "Oh, that shit's retarded! Have you ever seen anything that retarded?" So, while the comment was insensitive, nay, inconsiderate, perhaps even prickish, it could have been a lot worse, and I'm certainly not one who ever fails to speak freely.

Related Posts Plugin for WordPress, Blogger...