Monday, March 14, 2016

In defense of... Superfriends!

(0:36-end mark from the theme from the final season of American Gladiators original run play the camera moves back to see James on top of the slab with the words “The Last Of The Americans” on it then cutting to James in his chair)

TLOTA: I’m James Faraci, The Last Of The Americans and the views I’m about to express are that of my own & some of yours and welcome to another edition of "In Defense Of..."(Show pics of maligned pieces of pop culture while the fanfare from the Olympics  play and James comes up after Vanilla Ice slides back and his right hand thumbs up and the words "In Defense Of..."  before cutting to James in his office quarters.)

TLOTA: Do you want to know how I discovered The Justice League, outside of the Comic books? Well...(Cut to the original "Superfriends" intro before cutting to clips of the different seasons of the series as James does a voiceover)

TLOTA (Voiceover): Believe it or not I actually watched this series though granted it was in the Syndication market by the time I saw it and it was pared with the Filmation Batman & Superman shorts and my initial reaction was "Wow, this is entertaining." What I didn't know was that there were people who despise it because Superfriends was considered a watered down Justice League. But to be honest if you weren't into Comics, well this was an introduction to those characters. I actually found out about Characters like Wonder Woman, Aquaman, The Flash and all the great DC Comics characters. Most of them anyway. But unfortunately Hanna-Barbera had added their own characters especially in the first season with Wendy, Marvin and WonderDog. It's safe to say why they were traded in for the three original characters most associated with this series The Wonder Twins and their Space Monkey Gleek. I'll say this about them, they weren't as annoying as say the likes of Jar-Jar Binks or Shia LaBeouf. But when one can turn into any form of water & all you need is a Sponge to take that one down and seeing as how the other one can become an animal which might be in season. Yeah, pretty lame duo you've got there. Then there is of course Aquaman, I've got nothing against the guy. Yeah, he commands all sea life, he rules the portion of the Earth covered in water, his skin is tougher than steel, he controls water telekinetically, he founded the Justice League, he's stronger than Superman, he can summon Cthulhu! CTHULU! Yet in this series he's comedic fodder. If the guy can summon Cthulhu, I KNOW I'm toast! So yeah while I'm on the subject of heroes being comedic fodder, Yeah I had to talk about how much they severely disrespected the Man Of Steel in this series. Had it not been for network censors I'm willing to bet Doughnuts to Dollars they would've had every single San Francisco & Fire Island Joke come out of Superman's mouth because they had made him a bigger joke than the late night Superman Musical ABC did! But this series was started before Christopher Reeve starred in the Movies that kick started the Renaissance of the Man Of Steel So the people obviously had no other choice but to make Superman the butt of the joke.(Cut to James physically)

TLOTA: So do I hate the Superfriends for making Superman and Aquaman look pathetic when really they're not or for how they misrepresented The Justice League or for the side characters that actually weren't in The Justice League or anything that people have against this series? NO!( Cut to clips of the different seasons of "Superfriends" as James does a voiceover)

TLOTA (Voiceover): I give the series major props for being an introduction to The Justice League in a way The Comics were unable to be. Yes the original characters including "The Wonder Twins" & Gleek were boring, but the later seasons introduced Characters before they were actually deemed cool by the audiences. In the last two series they brought in Darkseid and his crew and for those wondering yes Darkseid is voiced in those series by Frank Welker! And they had brought Cyborg in on the final series voiced by Ernie Hudson Plus they also had some real talent behind the scenes including Alan Burnett, Bob Kane (Yes THE Batman's Creator Bob Kane),  Andrea Romano and so many who would go on to make the DC Characters be done right. So this show should NOT be so easily dismissed. Does the earlier entries in the franchise have it's moments of cheesiness? What series doesn't and the fact it lasted longer than many of the other series during that era must mean it had staying power then as it does today. And if you're as much a fan of this classic series, a good proportion of the series from this time is available on DVD. So if you're a fan you can enjoy it and maybe convince your friend why this series may be as good as you remember it. (Cut to James Physically)

TLOTA: I'm James Faraci The Last Of The Americans and That's My Opinion!