IT'S NOT A RERUN IF IT'S ON DVD Pt. 1

For years, I have been longing for a DVD set of Wild Wild West to come out. I loved this show so completely as a teenager, when I watched it in reruns every afternoon at 5:00pm for a number of years. Cheesy? Silly? Sure, on both counts. But also marvelous escapism, with stumpy little Western super-spy James West (Robert Conrad) getting outnumbered in each and every fight, and only sometimes coming out on top; the amazing Artemis Gordon (Ross Martin), Master of Disguise showing up in the most unexpected places to help his pal out; the 1860's version of the Aston Martin: a private train car complete with secret exits, trap doors, and various bits of hidden weaponry; and the supergadgets, mostly period appropriate, that would help the heroic duo both in and out of scrapes, including all of the swell devices hidden in West's bootheels. That a truly crappy movie version was chundered out a handful of years ago only pointed out how fun and special the original series was even more. And now, while not meaning to sound like a commercial for the release, a first season set is finally hitting the shelves in June, and I couldn't be more delighted. Combined with the recent release of the complete series of Darren McGavin's The Night Stalker, two of the favorite shows of my youth have finally arrived to help fill much needed gaps in my DVD collection.

But, there are a handful of other shows that I am shocked -- SHOCKED, I tell you! -- that have not seen the light of day as regards a DVD release yet. The first is Adam West's Batman, a show that still gets so much press, so many cultural and trivial mentions from nearly every corner, that it is simply astounding that I am not burning out my freeze-frame button on Julie Newmar's Catwoman as we speak. [Editor's note: the rest of this missive is being written a half hour later.] I'm sorry. I don't know what happened. She still makes it hard for me to breathe, even years past being an impressionable adolescent. So, where is Batman on DVD? Some sort of problem making batarangs meet on the part of Fox (who produced the series) and Warner (who own the characters). Which is a shame because I'm getting tired of scouring two weeks ahead on TV Land through endless repeats of What's Happening? and Night Court to see if maybe, just maybe, the channel will deign to allow Batman and Robin to walk down the side of building with their capes leaning towards the side of the building again...

Many years ago, I spent an entire week getting very little sleep as I meticulously taped the entire series of Get Smart during a grueling but delightful marathon on Nick at Nite. I have watched those tapes a lot over the years, and I, believing that the series just had to be released relatively soon on DVD, got rid of those tapes before my move to Anaheim. Hoo boy, was that a mistake. I'm going nuts without Maxwell Smart, 99, the Chief, Siegfried and Hymie the Robot at my beck and call, ready to be stupidly (thus, Smartly) wacky anytime that I need them to be. There is something wrong with the world where I can show someone an episode in the late 90's, and that young person says to me, straight-faced, "That guy sounds like Inspector Gadget!" It was then that I wished that I owned a Cone of Silence of my own. Don't know what the Cone of Silence is? That's why you need this set to come out...

As I was writing this very post, I was preparing to dig into a diatribe about the lack of three other series in my DVD collection, namely Pinky and the Brain, Animaniacs, and, the first of two Bruce Campbell series that need to be put out on disc, The Adventures of Brisco County, Jr. Turns out... they are all coming out in July! So, my work is done already... but what about Jack of All Trades? Paired with the infinitely inferior, though dripping with hot babes, Cleopatra 2525, Jack was a short-lived but dopily worthwhile show that deserved a much longer run than the partial single season it was allowed. Due to the hot babes, Cleopatra 2525 graduated to an hour-long series the next season, and is somehow out on DVD already, a crime which someone will pay for in some imagined hell somewhere. But Jack? Where are you? Surely, your Campbell cult fanbase has got to be larger than that for 2525? No?

We'll continue this discussion at a later date. There are still a few more series to consider...

Comments

matt fosberg said…
You sed it!

Batman and Get Smart DEMAND release on DVD. I'm happy to hear about Pinky, Animaniacs and Brisco County, Jr. as well.

Matt
ak_hepcat said…
Batman, Get Smart, Pinky, and another animated series that showed on MTV: The Maxx.

DVD! DVD! DVD!

bastards.

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