Wednesday, June 22, 2005

Six Million Dollar Sham

Remember when as a kid, you had your favorite TV show that your whole world revolved around; you just couldn’t sleep unless you knew that your television hero (or heroin) had once again kicked some bad guys ass, saved the earth and restored order to mankind? Then at some point later on, you happen to view this same TV show later in your adult life and you sadly realize in actuality, what a shitty show it really was?

For me, this particular show was the ‘Six Million Dollar Man’. The 'Six Million Dollar Man' could kick the living bejesus outta the Hulk, bowl the A-Team over with a single bionic fart, snap MacGyver's neck like a dry chicken bone, bitch-slap Wonder Woman back to a Stone Age kitchen, and then used Superman to pick his teeth. Even now, the opening credits give me the chills.

And now this childhood favorite of mine has just recently been rebroadcasted in syndication on the Prime Time channel - *pause here for random giggling and jiggling in joyful celebration* - causing my world to come crashing down around me with the realization that this once revered show is about as cheesy as the showroom at the Baby Bell cheese factory. I guess that my expectations were much lower at eight years old than they are now.

As a child, I was all over this show:

“Steve Austin, astronaught – a man barely alive…Gentlemen, we can rebuild him…we have the technology. We have the capability to make the world’s first bionic man. Steve Austin will be that man. Better than he was before, stronger, faster…”

How fucking cool was that? What kid wouldn’t be automatically sucked in?

Lee Majors played Col. Steve Austin, a NASA test pilot who had the good fortune to survive a near fatal crash and was reconstructed and refurbished by Dr. Rudy Wells at a cost of $6,000,000. Sure amount this may be mere chump change by today’s standards (in fact, Donald Trump probably spends more than this on each of his ridiculous toupees), but back in the 70’s, a cool six mil was a nice substantial amount of cash to spend!

Personally, if I was spending six million dollars in physical reconstruction, I know where $5,999,9990 worth of reconstruction would have been invested. Basically, I would have been a walking high-priced super mechanical cock.

Our hero Steve however was fitted with atomic-powered legs, arms and left eye. I’ll never know why they just didn’t rip out his other eye and give him two atomic-powered eyes; wouldn’t that have been more prudent, or was the bionic budget already too stretched to the max at the six million dollar mark? But, ‘c’est la vie’ I suppose.

And while we’re on the subject, why were all these superhuman bionic parts nuclear-powered? It may be that ‘ol Steve Austin was a force to be reckoned with, but as it turns out, he was a walking environmental disaster waiting to happen!

I always thought that it was extremely convenient that Steve Austin damaged both his legs and only one arm in his crash. Had it been the other way around (two arms and one leg) we would have had a bionic man who ran around in circles really, REALLY fast!

So, now bionically equipped, the ‘Six Million Dollar Man’ could perform incredible feats of strength and speed * in his battles with evildoers everywhere. Unfortunately, what I didn’t understand as a kid was that since the Bionic Man’s arm was attached to the rest of his body (instead of a continuous metal structure), whenever he lifted something that weighed as much as him or more, the leverage would mean that, as the arm flexed, his body would left up, leaving the heavier item unbudged. Likewise, if an item, like the ass end of a Sherman tank as in one episode, was heavier than the tensile strength of his organic components, ‘ol Steve’s spine would fold up like an accordion until he was reduced to that of a ‘Six Million Dollar Cripple’…and that show wouldn’t have been nearly as cool!

Thank you basic high school physics!

Also, when Austin used his bionic eye to see great distances without any extension of the lens – in real life, his eye would have stuck out of his head like Pinocchio’s nose after a police interrogation with the magnification he was getting out of that eye!

Another thing that bothers me now is that even though the Bionic Man could achieve incredible land speeds with his nuclear-powered legs, are we then to also assume that he was also equipped with super bionic brakes since he seemed to be able to stop on a dime? Didn’t anybody ever look in their rearview mirror to see some guy in an orange jumpsuit running behind them at 60 mph and slam on the brakes making Austin plow into the back of their getaway vehicle face-first? By all rights, the ‘Six Million Dollar Man’ must have had a face that you could level crossbeams with.

And while we’re on the subject, how is it that the Bionic Man was able to sneak into all those enemy components by leaping over 8ft fences and walls? Couldn’t the bad guys ever hear those bionic parts working like a rusty pogo stick? What a giveaway!

But all these misgivings aside, I didn’t really care back then just as long as Steve baby was kicking the bionic ass of any evil foreigner, spy, villain, extra-terrestrial, killer robots (“Maskatron”), and even Bionic Bigfoot. Steve Austin would also lock horns with another bionic ‘Seven Million Dollar Man’. This ultimately led to an inevitable clash of the titans, which Steve naturally won despite being a million dollars cheaper. I just wanted to see him doing impossibly cool bionic stuff – like Luke Skywalker, or Superman!

But, even then, I realized that my beloved TV show was a steady decline towards the end with the introduction of an entire bionic family including a Bionic Woman injured in a freak parachuting accident**, a Bionic Boy, and even a fucking Bionic Dog.

How retarded is that?

Even at the ripe old age of eight I realized that the idea of a bionic girlfriend with the usual gamut of powerful bionic limbs was not an ideal situation. Who wants to date a woman with super sensitive hearing? You don’t have to be a genius to figure out that that’s not a particularly good idea. Now that I’m a mature adult, the thought of a woman with a bionic grip that can burst tennis balls is extremely intimidating, if not terrifying. She could pussy-whip Darth-fucking-Vader!

But I could deal with it then because she was hot.

When they gave some kid bionic legs and some dog bionic jaws, along with Steve Austin’s decision to grow a mustache, the show not only “jumped the shark”, it dove headlong into the tank.

Now I’d rather watch senior citizens schiesse videos.

* Usually filmed in slow motion. Wow – what amazing special effects! Why couldn’t they just show him running fast?

** What constitutes a “freak parachuting accident” exactly? You’re jumping out of a plane at 60,000 feet! Is it so incomprehensible to have an equipment failure and plummet to the ground like a falling rock? How many other kinds of accidents CAN occur while parachuting?

2 Comments:

Anonymous Keepin' 6 said...

The only man to run at top speed in slow motion..why couldnt they speed up the film so he ran like someone in one of those old silent films from the 20's? Now thats entertainment!

9:58 PM  
Blogger Kimmy said...

you can't go back ;-)

4:08 PM  

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