Wednesday, March 7, 2018


With superhero television programs blowing up in the last few years, recaps of superhero television shows have become all the internet rage. Other sites, however, are hobbled by the need to cover shows which have been "recently broadcast" or which are "any good at all." But who covers the uncoverable? That's why Gone&Forgotten chooses to cover the 1991-1993 USA Network live-action Swamp Thing television series in a feature I used to like to call a dumb pun kind of title, but I've run out of those, so I just call it ...

It's another ding-dang hurricane in the heart of Houma, and this one's expected to be the worst in fifty years! But any conversation about the hurricane is only going to bury the lede of this episode, which is that Swamp Thing says at one point these following words: "Don't the good times count for anything?" I don't know if you can understand the magic generated by Dick Durock, under a heap of craft glue and collard greens, pleading with another character to please, if they have a heart left, just remember the good times. Even in my memory, I head it half in a Swamp Thing voice and half in a Matthew McConaughey voice. "Don't the ... good tahms ... count fuhr ... uhnnythahng?"

Swamp Thing is absolutely loaded with good'uns this episode, including one line where he describes hurricanes as "nature's cleansing tool." If it were that good a cleansing tool, it would lease us with fewer Kipps, but instead we get one -- no, two! -- more!

In this scene, Will is wandering through the swamp looking for Swamp Thing, who is right fucking there behind a bush. I get that we're supposed to suspend enough disbelief to accept that this enormous ham dinner in a compostable shopping bag is effectively invisible against the foliage of his marshland home, but HE IS STANDING RIGHT THERE WILL

Will has entreated Swamp Thing to join him and Tressa at Stately Kipp Manor. Our hero refuses the honor on account of he belongs in the swamp, the swamp is him, the swamp wants him to stay, et cetera and so on. Swamp Thing has a lot of colorful excuses for why he'd rather not be stuck in a powerless swamp shack playing UNO with either of those idiots. Instead he chooses to weather the storm in the swamp, which is a real burn on that legendary Kipp hospitality. Since his plan involves "standing in one spot holding onto a small tree," I don't think he really needed to be out in the bad weather.

Over at the Kipp household, Tressa's long lost sister Leslie Langford (Jan Waterhouse) shows up, and Tressa is pissed! "My sister died a long time ago" she intones as she turns on her heel and slams the front door behind her. Not well, mind you, but that's what she does.

Will really rocking the moccasins/pit stains/off-brand Indiana Jones hat/cargo diaper look.

Just to skip ahead, the reason Tressa hates her sister so much is that Leslie went backpacking in Europe and got married while she was there. That's quite a burn, how can the family unite? Tressa particularly holds Leslie's absence against her, inasmuch as that left Tressa all alone to care for their dying mother during the Langford matriarch's difficult last days. Long-time readers might recall that Tressa's mother was obliquely murdered on Anton Arcane's orders, and she in fact didn't waste away. But then again Tressa seems to have difficulty remembering important details about her immediate family being killed by Arcane.

For instance, IT TURNS OUT THAT JIM IS ALIVE AND THEY FOUND HIM AND BROUGHT HIM BACK TO AMERICA at some point they forgot to show us. Look around your work areas, your chairs and desks -- perhaps once of you fucking dropped the fucking episode where they fucking found fucking Jim.

They found an actress with equal Tressa-face.
This is tremendous bullshit, by the way. After buying the death-by-exploding bicycle story in the first place, then sporadically hunting Jim Kipp down in South America, they just -- poof, he's back. He's "safe, with his dad," says Tressa, referring to the man whom, only a few episodes back, was portrayed as an emotionally abusive and criminally unreliable individual. I'm glad Jim's in a safe place, all right.

Anyway. Swamp Thing suggesting that Tressa remember the good times (as referenced above) leads her to reminisce about the only home movie she and her sister were ever in, which is seventeen seconds long and slowed down dramatically to fill time. All the good times were shot on 35mm, I guess.

The phone is from the Seventies, the suit is from the Forties, and I think that TV antenna is from space.

The family thing isn't interesting -- this is the fifth or sixth episode of Swamp Thing:Osage County we've had to sit through, and the family dynamics are never all that interesting. Any family squabble that can be solved with advice from a 385-lb bag of baby carrots doesn't possess a lot of gravitas, you know?

But all of a sudden the whole thing turns into Johnny Mnemonic. Turns out Leslie's late husband stole some computer discs from a guy called Espinosa (Ed Amatrudo) and he's coming after her! Thanks for leading them to Will and Tressa -- I'm not saying that sarcastically, I'm honestly grateful. Because it means Will is going to get smacked around and I am for that.

"Don't fuck around with ... Swamp House!"

Espinosa and his men invade the Kipp home, but only after Will utters literally the funniest line I think he's ever had: As the sisters are hiding the computer discs in a secret sconce in the pantry, Will exclaims "I didn't know we had a secret hiding place!" Yeah, Will, it's secret ...

Swamp Thing abandons his swamp penance long enough to brave the eye of the hurricane and wale the tar out of Espinosa and his men, Roadhouse-style. He also plaintively calls Will's name during the point when the storm got worse, which was sort of romantic and sweet in a swampy sort of way. Then the family issue is resolved? And the storm is over. And. Oh, and Espinosa pronounced in "Home-Uh" and I am really uncertain as to the pronunciation of "Houma" and I don't want to look it up.

Y'all come back next week now, y'hear?

1 comment:

John said...

My parents refused to get cable for years and years but splurged on "fancy" rabbit ears just like those. The set in the picture seems to be missing a knob for some reason.

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