Tuesday, January 20, 2015

My Crazy Youth: The Time That A 'Dinosaur' Got Super-Powers

Who all remembers Dinosaurs?  Come on- you know that you do!  From 1991 to 1994, ABC ran this show Produced by Brian Henson- but conceptualized by Jim Henson- that was a riff on classic Sitcoms...only with Dinosaurs.  That was it.  Simple in concept, but hard in execution.  The Show managed to be Political in a subversive way at times and even a bit META at others.  Thanks to Netflix, the Show is more widely-available now than it probably was then.  Looking back it at, I can see alot more going on.  Mind you, I was 11 years old when the Show originally stopped running.  Reliving the Show, there is bizarre stuff on there.  There is an Episode dealing with Sexual Harassment, one with controversial Science and even one dealing with Tort Reform.  No, really.  In this Episode, they deal with Commercialism and Hero Worship.  How can this get any weirder?  Super-powers- that's how!  You know that you want to keep reading...
Earl is upset that his Baby- the Baby- worships and adores a TV Superhero.  Even when he gets put in charge of disposing of Toxic Waste, it is still the same.
Falling in said Waste (see the Title Card) gives him the ability to fly, shoot heat rays from his eyes and...guess people's weight accurately.

He becomes Captain Impressive and now the kid loves him...but his identity must remain a secret.
Just look at that and let it sink in for a minute.  It sure is...something, right?
When he accidentally reveals his powers near his Boss, Earl is forced to do deeds for his company.  After all, it was apparently in the Contract!
He begins doing ads for the Company, which makes him lose his kids' respect.  In the last straw, he's made to go on an HSN-like Channel to schill unsafe toys like the Trachea Plug.
He reveals his identity and later takes a shower, which washes off the toxic waste that gave him his powers.

In the aftermath, he gives Baby a toy that is just him (and not Captain Impressive).  When he's not looking, he plays with it.  Aww.
Damn- this is weird!  The whole thing uses a silly idea- a Dinosaur getting super-powers from Toxic Waste- to talk about some important stuff.  Kids do tend to worship larger than life characters at the expense of their loved ones.  Companies will do anything to market to Children.  Corrupt people will do anything to make money.  This is all true.  If you just say that, you won't get to too many people.  You need to find a fun and interesting way to do it.  Giving a talking Dinosaur super-powers is certainly one way to do it!  There really was alot more going on in this Show than I knew at the time!  This is weird, wacky and it kind of works.  If you can look past the technical wizardry (remember that this was a TV Show in the early 1990s) behind the Show, there was actually some deep stuff going on with Dinosaurs.  Hey Internet- let's see if we can make this into a Meme...
This is seriously weird, but also has some good points.  Watch this while all 4 Seasons are on Streaming.

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