Earlier this week, Friend Of The Blog FranIAm wrote a post about the cartoon Clutch Cargo, which reminded her of a gentler, possibly sillier time. Many posted comments, but only Padre Mickey and I clearly stated what needed to be said.
Clutch Cargo was not the worst cartoon ever made. It was the worst THING ever made.
That is, until recently.
On Adult Swim at 11:00 on Friday nights, (check your local listings) you can gaze upon the spine-chilling, brain-numbing colossal goat fuck that is Garth Marenghi's Darkplace, a show made in England on Channel 4 in 2004. It stars Matthew Holness as Garth Marenghi, dreadful writer, weak actor, gigantic ego. The idea is that the series was shot in the 1980's and is now available on DVD with commentary by Marenghi and other actors and crew involved on the show. Like many British shows, "the complete series" only means a few shows, in this case six half hours. It had a fan base in Britain, but not enough to bring it back for a second set.
I see it as a tribute to the "golden age" of syndicated TV shows, that era in the 1970's and 1980's before cable's full conquest when UHF channels were the only alternative to the Big Three networks or PBS. A whole lot of new channels needed a whole lot of new programming, and syndicated shows jumped into the empty void.
In many cases, the empty void would have made for better viewing.
While some syndicated shows, notably The Muppet Show, had a charm to them and at least some production values, most were shot in a hurry for limited cash, and that's how they looked. The horror/sci-fi/fantasy shows of that genre and era were the most conspicuously weak, and Garth Marenghi's Darkplace shows that weakness in all its glory. Adding to the humor are the "commentaries from today", where the actors talk about how well it holds up, the poor deluded bastards.
For someone of my age and previous TV viewing habits, the idea of the author's name in the title of a crap TV show brings back memories from a cheaper, duller time. It isn't fair to the authors to bring up these sad shows they made because they needed cash, so I will give their names in anagram form to preserve their dignity.
Rya Bardbury. Halran Ellisno. Steephn Knig.
If any of these authors stumble upon this blog and can solve these mind-bending conundrums, I tell them to watch Garth Marenghi's Darkplace to see what awaits them when the Big TV Fan In The Sky decides their fate, endlessly watching reruns of their own shows.
And now on to Friday's Random 10.
Adagio, Concerto de Aranjuez (Rodrigo) Zoltan Tokos
Old Fashioned Girl Matthew Hubbard and Michael Dresbach
Crying, Waiting Hoping The Beatles
Rockin’ In The Free World Neil Young
I’m Not Waiting Chris Isaak
Jesus Was Way Cool King Missile
Deadbeat Club The B-52s
Crosscut Saw Albert King
One Live To Live Teresa Stratas
Some readers will now exclaim, "Gosh, Matty Boy! I've never that second song!"
Refer to the post just below this one, 'cause baby, if you want it, I'm GITTIN' PAID!
Now playing: Zoltan Tokos(guitar), Budapest Strings, Bela Banfalvi - Concierto de Aranjuez - Adagio