Wednesday, August 23, 2023

The Saga of the Cat and the Mouse

Began the day with breakfast and the remaining Tom & Jerry shorts. It's a "Sorry Safari" when Jerry manages to outwit Tom, his human, and their elephant while hunting in Nairobi. Tom thinks they're "Buddies Thicker Than Water" when Jerry lets him out of the snow...but then his female owner screams and orders him to throw the mouse out, buddies or no buddies. "Carmen Get It!" spoofs opera as Tom chases Jerry and a line of ants onstage during a performance of Carmen.

And that's that. Mixed feelings on this set. Yeah, I can see where they got their bad reputation over the years. Some of them are very formulaic, and it's obvious they were all done on the cheap. On the other hand, there's some brilliant use of pantomime, and some of the more creative ones like "Mouse Into Space," "It's All Greek to Me-ow!," and "The Tom & Jerry Cartoon Kit" can stand with the best of Tom and Jerry's shorts. 

I'm still going to say this is best for major Tom & Jerry fans and those who must have all of their shorts. Everyone else is better off with the Spotlight Collections or watching them on Max and Boomerang. 

Worked on writing for a while after the cartoons ended. Joyce and Rover finally start down the Golden Road. She's going to figure out how to get home, not to find the Wizard. She's read the book and seen the 1939 movie. She already suspects he isn't what he claims...but there has to be someone who can get her back to Burbank in time for her taping. 

Watched Tattletales during lunch. Got a rare chance to see Dick and Dolly Martin play. They usually preferred to play with Bob Newhart and his wife Ginny...and Newhart would rather their episodes not be seen. Here, they play with Juliet Mills and her then-husband Michael Miklenda and Bill Bixby and his then-wife Brenda. Dolly and Dick and Juliet and Michael both played well, but the latter made a comeback during the second half that allowed them to win.

Headed out as the second episode began. Work was, once again, dead for most of the afternoon. Not only was it too nice for shopping, but there's really nothing going on right now. Not to mention, we're getting close to the beginning of the month and the last major holiday weekend of the summer. Most people are either waiting for next week before they do major shopping or still on vacation. There were a few annoying customers. Otherwise, I spent most of the time standing around bored. 

Went straight home and into dinner and Match Game '79. Gary Burghoff got to do two Head-to-Heads in a row, including a $10,000 for "Bless Your __." Too bad the contestants weren't quite that good for the rest of the episode. The challenger was sweet, but so bad, he never got a single right match the entire time he was there.

Finished the night at Shout TV with Mystery Science Theater 3000. The Saga of the Viking Women and Their Voyage to the Waters of the Great Sea Serpent is a long name for a short, delightfully cheesy action film. A group of Viking women led by Desir (Abbey Dalton) dodge the title monster to rescue their missing men. The guys are being held by the Grimaults, who are using them for slave labor. The ladies are captured as well, but they eventually break their men out to take down the tyrannical Stark (Richard Devon) and his whiny son Ottar (Johnathan Haze).

It's painfully obvious Roger Corman worked on this one. On one hand, I love that it's the ladies who propel the action, including being the ones who do a lot of the fighting and rescuing. On the other hand, it's also amazingly cheap, with a cardboard Viking ship, obvious puppet "sea serpent," minimal sets, and terrible acting. Corman apparently rushed filming so badly, several actors were injured or almost-injured. The special effects that inspired the film today - probably that sea serpent - don't look so hot now, either. Worth seeing once if you like Corman's other so-bad-they're-hilarious action films or want to see an early stab at a female-driven action movie. 

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