It is summertime. It is hot outside, the kids are home, and it would be nice to watch some TV together and take a break. What to watch? The middle of a weekday is the bane of kid TV viewing. Here are a few suggestions to some retro programming that your geeklets and you might actually enjoy.
Lost in Space
Hitting airwaves in 1965, this family-friendly TV series was set three decades ahead — and in space. In 1997, John Robinson (Guy Williams), his wife (June Lockhart), the couple’s children, and Maj. Don West (Mark Goddard) are sent to start a space colony that will relieve an overpopulated Earth. But a stowaway agent for an enemy government sabotages the mission, sending the ship off course and leaving the crew fighting to survive and get home.
I can remember many a Sunday morning watching reruns of Lost in Space on TBS when I was a kid. My five year old and I watched this recently because he loves anything space related and I must admit, it still holds up. The aliens and monsters are campy enough that they are not scary and the show itself is usually lighthearted. All three seasons of Lost in Space are available on DVD and it will keep you and the little geeklet you are raising entertained for hours.
The Geeklet says, “I wish I had a robot as a friend to play with!”
Meet ex-Special Forces agent Angus MacGyver (Richard Dean Anderson) — the intrepid inspiration for the popular 1980s television series. No longer an official spy, the brilliant MacGyver still manages to be recruited to solve the toughest cases, relying primarily on his uncanny ability to extricate himself from any perilous situation using everyday materials to fashion weapons and tools.
There are no geeks out there that can say that they were not MacGyver fans. I would also say that Richard Dean Anderson deserves a special place in the Geek Hall of Fame. He played MacGyver for seven years and he has been taking us through the Stargate since 1997. I will save my Stargate comments for a later day.
Back to the review. Once again, the little one and I watched a few episodes to see if this would be of interest to him. While he did enjoy it, the plot drivers were a little to complex for him. Of course there are lots of explosions and neat action sequences, but when one of those two things were not happening, he lost interest. There are no scenes of violence. Things blow up and people get shot at, but you never see death or severe injury on screen. I would recommend this for families with older children, probably seven years old and up. All seven seasons are available on DVD.
The Geeklet says, “Cars blow up all the time, that’s cool.”
The Super Mario Brothers Super Show!
In 1989, the two Brooklyn plumbers burst out of the Nintendo game world and onto television screens. “The Super Mario Bros. Super Show!” aired weekday afternoons and catapulted Mario, Luigi, Princess Toadstool and King Koopa into thrilling, animated adventures. What’s more, each vintage episode contains live-action segments with such guest stars as Cyndi Lauper, Sgt. Slaughter, Danica McKellar, Joe Piscopo and Magic Johnson.
We started watching this one and I cringed. It does not hold up. After the beginning theme song of “Hooked on the Brothers” was over, my five year old looked at me like I was making him watch The History of Cheese narrated by Buzz Killington. He left the room to the safety of his Legos. Interestingly enough however, it caught the attention of my eighteen month old. I guess the mushroom head kid and the princess helped. Unless your geeklet is very young or very in to Mario, pass on this batch of DVDs.
The Geeklet says, “I got other stuff to do…”
I hope you enjoy these reviews and I will have more to follow soon. All pictures and quotes are from Netflix.