Saturday, February 16, 2019

Ease On Down the Road

Kicked off a late, sunny day with breakfast and more Buck Rogers. "Buck's Duel to the Death" comes about when the people of Katar bring him to their planet to challenge "the Trebor" (William Smith), an evil warlord who enslaves and terrorizes their people. They believe that Buck is "the Roshan" who will deliver them from evil. Buck's not interested in leading a revolution and tries to encourage the people to take him on their own. The Trebor, however, wants to duel with Buck...which may be hazardous to his health, thanks to the Trebor's ability to control electronic impulses.

Headed out to do the laundry around 12:30. It was surprisingly not that busy when I arrived. It did pick up a little bit later, but it was never really crazy. It must have been too nice for a lot of people to want to be in laundromats. I read the book on professional blogging and ignored the sports and documentaries on NBC behind me.

When I got home, I put everything away, then had a quick lunch before going right back out. It was late, almost 3:30, but I was feeling restless. Between the wet weather we've had all winter and my lack of funds, I've spent way too much time inside in the past few weeks.

I wandered across Oaklyn and through Collingswood, keeping my eyes open for rental opportunities. I eventually ended up in Westmont. The Samaritan Thrift Shop was still pretty busy for almost 4. Didn't find anything I liked there, so I went across the street to see if Phidelity Records had any musicals for me to review. Nope - their movies are mostly comedies, action flicks, and sci-fi. I did pick up the original cast album for the 1960 Broadway show No Strings with Diahann Carroll and the 1968 off-Broadway hit Busby Berkley spoof Dames at Sea with Bernadette Peters, plus the original soundtrack album for The Umbrellas of Cherbourg.

Took the long way home across Newton Lake Park. I dodged a lot of people pushing strollers or out for a walk, enjoying the lovely weather. While not as warm as yesterday, it was just as sunny, and the wind was gone. It was a perfect, icy-blue day for mid-February. The trees are bare black slashes against that pale sky, though the grass is a bit greener than usual, probably due to all the rain.

When I got home, I e-mailed Linda Young and did a little research on Amazon Affiliates, then went into writing. Leia goes to distract Prince Palpatine, while Han and Chewbacca join the contest. Han's enjoying Lando's uptempo song for the court, but Chewbacca thinks he looks nervous about something...

Broke for dinner at 7. Finished out the Buck Rogers first season finale, "Flight of the War Witch," while eating chicken sausages, sweet potato fries with honey, and salad for dinner. Buck, Wilma, and the people of Earth find themselves working with Ardala, Kane, and the people of Draconia to stop the evil witch Zarina (Julie Newmar) from waging war on a peaceful planet in another universe. Buck's not overly happy when Ardala turns him over to Zarina in exchange for passage out of the black hole around the universe...but she learns that there are ladies out there even nastier than herself when Zarina goes back on her deal, and they have to escape together.

And...yeah, I'm glad I bought this. This show is a lot of fun. On one hand, there's a lot that's dated rather badly, including Buck's "girl of the week" revolving door of leading ladies, some of the briefer costumes, and a few very strange storylines. (A galactic whiz kid? Space vampires? Space rock and roll rebellion?) Some of the casting doesn't always come off well today either - Gary Coleman and Jerry Orbach, among others, definitely do not belong here.

On the other hand, Geraud and Gray make a fetching pair, and when the casting works - as with Jack Palance in "Planet of the Slave Girls" and Jamie Lee Curtis in "Unchained Woman" - it can really make for some campy fun. Mel Blanc is absolutely hilarious as Buck's robot buddy Twiki, too. Some of the more creative episodes, like the touching "Dream of Jennifer" and "Happy Birthday, Buck," are really interesting.

In the end, I'm glad I bought this. It's not for those who prefer their sci-fi darker, but if you have fond memories of this show or love camp like me, I highly recommend this wacky trip into a late 70's view of the future.

Finished off the night after a shower with The Wiz Live! I go into further detail on this NBC hit from 2015 on my Musical Dreams Movie Reviews blog.

The Wiz Live!

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