Grok My Enthusiasm (30)

By: William Nericcio
August 3, 2016

One in a weekly series of enthusiastic posts contributed by HILOBROW friends and regulars.

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Is it still 1974? Can I get out of here? Or am I, like Will, Holly, and Rick (Alice? Gilligan? Neo?) trapped in a world beyond time, space, and knowledge? I am, of course, sitting in front of a TV set, at the fine age of 13, and I am watching mesmerized — really, I can’t move — watching Sid and Marty Krofft’s epic Land of the Lost.

The Krofft brothers are responsible for H.R. Pufnstuf (fame), Sigmund and the Sea Monsters (ignominy), and The Bugaloos (infamy). But it is Land of the Lost that paralyzes me and my sister Josie, out in the borderlands of Laredo, Texas.

Cute as a button (but grrl-feisty) Holly, young stud Will, and their strapping dad Rick Marshall (who will be unceremoniously dropped from the show Season 3 for asking for too much residual filthy lucre), are trapped in a bizarre world with three moons, populated with dinosaurs, furry pre-humans, sentient lizard spacemen and mucho más. Who needed marijuana or peyote in South Texas, when Krofft-fare filled the airwaves (this one ghost-penned by David “Trouble with Tribbles” Gerrold, Ben Bova, Theodore Sturgeon, Larry Niven, and Norman Spinrad)? The premise of the show was genius. Trapped in another world, the Marshall family must learn the secrets of this bizarre space; think Stranger in a Strange Land, but with YA-savvy. Time and again the bizarre family unit, sans Mom (who would ruin all the fun?), would be thrust into impossible situations: flying pylons in the sky spouting semaphores, hairy man boys aping Caliban (Cha-Ka with Holly) with Rick left to play a tepid Prospero. No doubt my urgent hetero pinings fueled the uncanny draw the show had for me, but I think many in my generation were equally touched by this ambitious show that somehow (especially the first season) found a way to transcend all the Saturday morning rancid schlock it was up against. No, this was not Ibsen for minors, but like Star Wars and Close Encounters of the Third Kind, it found a way to convey notions of the cosmic to kids who had no idea they were waiting for Godot, with groovy stop-action dinosaurs and sets that look like castoffs from Star Trek.

Ah, to be 13 again. But in a way, I never left. Unlike lucky Rick, kicked off the show and replaced by his brother, I am somehow still there.

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GROK MY ENTHUSIASM: Rob Wringham on THE THEORY AND PRACTICE OF LUNCH | Gordon Dahlquist on WEEKEND | Joe Alterio on MILLION YEAR PICNIC | Adrienne Crew on LA BARONNE EMILE D’ERLANGER | Josh Glenn on THE SURVIVAL SAMPLER | Alix Lambert on THE SKIES BELONG TO US | Adam McGovern on PENELOPE and CHAVEZ RAVINE | Rob Wringham on THE LYKE WAKE WALK | Mark Kingwell on NORTH STAR SNEAKERS & GWG JEANS | Gordon Dahlquist on FELLINI SATYRICON | Erik Davis on AH! | Devin McKinney on WHISPERING AFRAID | Mimi Lipson on 1973 SEARS ROEBUCK CATALOG | Jessamyn West on MOSS | Josh Glenn on THE SCOUT HOW BOOK | Brian Berger on SLACKER | Alix Lambert on ABSOLUTE BEGINNERS | Chelsey Johnson on MONOTREMES | Devin McKinney on THE BUTCHER COVER | Flourish Klink on ONE DIRECTION | Gordon Dahlquist on FULL METAL JACKET | Allegra Huston on CLOTHESLINE | Jenny Davidson on POWERLIFTING | Evan Narcisse on REZ | Deborah Wassertzug on VEGETARIAN MEATBALLS | Chris Spurgeon on WALLACE AND GROMIT | Mandy Keifetz on BENEFICIAL MICROBES | Annie Nocenti on MARKS ON WALLS | Molly Sauter on THE GREAT BRITISH BAKE OFF | William Nericcio on LAND OF THE LOST | Dan Fox on “VOICE OF GOD” RADIO DJS | Brandi Brown on WIKIPEDIA TALK | Claire Lehmann on THE APPARATUS REVEAL | Alice Boone on COSTUME JEWELRY | Colin Dickey on WIDESPREAD PANIC | Anshuman Iddamsetty on THE FULL BODY PROJECT | John Hilgart on MAKING GRATEFUL DEAD ALBUMS | Rob Wringham on STEVEN UNIVERSE | John Overholt on DECKLE EDGES | James Hannaham on HABIT PATTERNS | Jessamyn West on THE PUBLIC LIBRARY SYSTEM | Adam McGovern on THE SPACE GIANTS | Brian Berger on MEDIUM COOL | Chris Spurgeon on THE DUNNING-KRUGER EFFECT | Joe Alterio on TABLETOP WARGAMING | Mimi Lipson on TRASH PICKING | Jason Grote on CZECH CINEMA | Roxane Gay on AUTOMATED CAR WASH | Dan Fox on JULIA DAVIS | Amy Thielen on BINGO | Steph Burt on FEIJOA.

MORE ENTHUSIASM at HILOBROW

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