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30 Days Of Telly #16

Day sixteen, your guilty pleasure show. I don't believe in guilty pleasures. If I like something, I don't feel guilty about it. Why would I? There are a fair few things that other people probably think I'm daft for watching, though, so we'll go with one of them. The one that jumps immediately to mind is Thunder In Paradise, but I've talked about that at some length before. It's the epitomy of daft, which is probably being charitable, but it's a genial sort of show. Two ex-Navy SEALs, living together in a cottage by the sea with their adopted daughter, fighting evil in their super-powered speed boat. The episode when Bru kills an invisible alien from outer space by twanging his ukelele at it ranks as one of the most gloriously silly episodes of anything. But I'm not choosing Thunder In Paradise this time. Instead I've decided to go with Bod.

Bod isn't silly, but it's very much not the sort of show I'd usually watch of an evening. It dates from 1975, and was created by a husband and wife team who were Taoists, and wanted to share their philosophy with children. So, using simple, barely animated line drawings, they created a series of five minute cartoons for the BBC's pre-school strand. Bod is a boy in a yellow dress, who wanders through life discovering things with his four adult friends, Aunt Flo, Farmer Barleymow, PC Copper and Postman Frank. I bought the show when it came out on DVD a few years back, because I loved it as a very small child, and was interested to see it again. It remains extremely watchable. Something about Bod's adventures, and the very simple format, works brilliantly. I also find it extraordinarily relaxing, for some reason.

When it first aired, Bod was twinned with another short, Alberto Frog and his Amazing Animal Band, in which the titular Albert and his band help out fellow animals in exchange for a milkshake. There'd be Bod, then a game of Snap featuring the characters, and then we'd have to help Alberto Frog choose a milkshake flavour. The BBC, in its wisdom, went into a frenzy of deletion in the early nineties, precisely when it was beginning to realise just how stupid its earlier frenzy of deleting had been. This time it was children's shows that suffered, and only a handful of Alberto Frog episodes remain. It was a bit repetitive, and not as engaging as Bod and his stealth-Taoist teachings, but that's still rather sad.

So that's my choice for not-guilty viewing. I could only find two complete episodes on YouTube, and neither's got the Snap game, nor Alberto Frog and his desperate milkshake dilemma, but they're still a nice way to spend four and a half minutes. Or at least, I think they are. I suspect there may be other opinions available.

Bod And The Cherry Tree & Bod And The Apple


( 11 fierce growls — Growl fiercely )
Jul. 3rd, 2013 11:40 am (UTC)
Loved Bod, and always tried to guess the flavour of the milkshake.

Love Thunder in Paradise as well. Very silly.
Jul. 3rd, 2013 06:25 pm (UTC)
It's always nice to know that I'm not the only one watching the daft stuff!
Jul. 3rd, 2013 11:52 pm (UTC)
As a child? probably Hogan's Heroes. Man, WWII was soo funny! Looking back I cannot believe that was on the air as family viewing. As an adult - well, 10 years ago (shoot, edited to say that the show ENDED 12 years ago, man time flies) there was a tv series based on La Femme Nikita that got really, really stupid by the end but I loved it a lot and was even a modestly well-known person in the fandom. Nowadays, it's probably a tossup between True Blood and Warehouse 13.

Edited at 2013-07-04 03:57 am (UTC)
Jul. 4th, 2013 04:37 pm (UTC)
How does "Hogan's Heroes" compare to "M*A*S*H"?

"La Femme Nikita" ended twelve years ago?! I didn't take much notice of that one myself, but my sister was a big fan, at least for the first few years. Ouch. Where does the time go!

I do like that icon. So glad to see Dame Judi become a big name on the international stage in recent years, although I do rather miss her on the small screen here.
Jul. 4th, 2013 05:02 pm (UTC)
Hogan's Heroes was based on how much fun you could have in a POW camp - imagine Tenko but competely played for laughs like Barney Miller.

I love my Judi Dench icon - she's my inspiration for stopping dying my prematurely grey hair and cutting it short.

Edited at 2013-07-04 09:03 pm (UTC)
Jul. 4th, 2013 07:13 pm (UTC)
Interesting set up for a comedy show! Sounds like something that could work very well, but could easily go very wrong. Did you get "Allo Allo" over there? British sitcom set in Occupied France, where a Frenchman lives in permanent terror of execution, as he's forced to help the Resistance hide a pair of downed British airmen. Meanwhile, three Nazi soldiers and a pair of Gestapo agents stalk about the place and threaten everybody.

It was contraversial, but it was very popular for a time.
Jul. 4th, 2013 10:18 am (UTC)
I think you've made Bod sound very high brow and nothing to be guilty of. I think the The White Queen could do with killing some aliens with the mediaeval equivalent of a uke.

I got over the guilty pleasures thing, by feeling guilty about everything;P
Jul. 4th, 2013 04:46 pm (UTC)
Heh. I'm afraid "Bod" isn't terribly high brow at all, although it is very sweet. I haven't seen any of "The White Queen", but I have no doubt that you're right in your assessment. I heard that the props and costumes have been a bit of a disaster, with zips cropping up several hundred years early, so maybe the aliens have already stopped by? Clearly Mr Claypole and his lute just weren't quick enough to stop them.

You should never feel guilty. About anything. Well... almost anything. ;)
Jul. 4th, 2013 05:06 pm (UTC)
The White Queen could hardly be worse than Merlin was - given that Merlin had sandwiches, cups of tea, tomatoes, stiletto heels and Morgana in a halter-top dress.
Jul. 4th, 2013 07:40 pm (UTC)
True! I don't think we were supposed to take "Merlin" seriously though, were we? "Robin Hood" was sort of the same, with roulette wheels in Sherwood Forest. "The White Queen" seems to be claiming to be proper, grown up drama, though. I guess I expect that sort of TV play it straight, which is probably a bit old-fashioned of me.
Jul. 5th, 2013 03:03 pm (UTC)
Michael Maloney is always good. Probably not good enough to save the series, though. My mother is a fan of the books, and she said that the series was rubbish, so there's obviously something wrong with it.
( 11 fierce growls — Growl fiercely )

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