One of the best recent additions to many markets antennae TV market is a new syndicated network of oldies TV shows. ME-TV. The newer network features series from the 1950’s through to the 1980’s, handpicking a number of TV series that are cult favorites among fans such as BATMAN, GREEN ACRES, GUNSMOKE, BONANZA, MISSION IMPOSSIBLE, THAT GIRL, THE TWILIGHT ZONE and many more memorable TV shows. The new network even features an original hosted horror movie show, SVENGOOLIE who is like an old time horror movie host who introduces rather harmless horror flicks. Tonight they feature FRANCIS IN THE HAUNTED HOUSE. The FRANCIS series was about a talking mule and his adventures. The animal was so popular he would tour department stores at one time making guest appearances.
And ME-TV manages to bring back many great old TV series that are my own personal favorites such as HONEY WEST, the Anne Francis private eye drama that made her seem much the female JAMES BOND during the mid60’s. IDEAL Toys even had an action figure available at one time. She had a pet ocelot, a type of exotic cat that looked much like a wild animal as a pet.
And LOST IN SPACE always remains one of my very favorites, largely because of the outlandish SCI FI story-lines and characters in this classic Irwin Allen 1960’s schlock SCI FI adventure show. Largely because of the outlandish acting of actor Jonathan Harris as well as the lovable robot character , this show was once a popular favorite although SCI FI never drew huge audiences on network TV. Jonathan Harris played Dr. Zachery Smith, an outrageous saboteur meant to prevent the success of a family shot into space exploration who become lost because of computer damages malfunctions intentionally caused by Smith. He then shares their adventures on a distant outer space planet where they meet up with a weird series of bizarre creatures and space personalities including some terrible bad Mexican stereotype all spray painted silver. Last week’s episode features perhaps the worst SCI FI prop that I’ve ever seen, a normal old broom spray painted silver. Because it’s silver, you can tell that it’s a space broom. Irwin Allen was notorious for saving money and doing shows on the cheap.
One classic two part episode called THE ZOOKEEPER featured the great actor Michael Rennie. Smith accidentally frees all of the outer space animals from the spaceship zoo, who really turn out to be the same three or four actors all dressed in creature costumes parading in front of the camera over and over again. Roger Corman couldn’t have done this any better or any cheaper.
Jonathan Harris seemed to evolve his Dr. Zachery Smith character in an outlandish manner as well, taking the character from a sinister and devious saboteur and evolving him into the most outlandish Gay stereotype ever, who would frequently emit high pitched screams when confronted with danger. At any point in the series, you’d almost expect at some point for the Smith character to show up dressed in drag, as a full blown drag queen with his outlandish Gay character he played. The very last episode of LOST IN SPACE actually became the cast favorite, with characters that looked much like Fruit Of The Loom ad extras, dressed up as vegetables and fruits. For three years LOST IN SPACE delighted fans, becoming a cult favorite show.
ME-TV seems to be making a real connection with TV fans, especially of old 1960’s series. What a great network this is.