Monday, June 4, 2012

Scooby-Do It!

As I child, I really enjoyed one thing in particular--apple juice.  What's that all about?  I can't even drink the stuff these days without wincing, it is such tasteless crap--and this from a guy who enjoys apple cider, apple pie, and on occasion apples. 

But the other thing I really enjoyed in my youth was the original Hanna Barbera show, "Scooby Doo Where Are You?", featuring Fred (the bland handsome guy), Daphne (the bland pretty girl), Velma (the smart girl, because she has glasses!), Shaggy (the easily frightened drug addict) and of course, Scooby (a giant, easily frightened dog that speaks in a weird half-English patois).  Watching the program again in my late 30s, I have the following observations:

1) Why is Scooby always scared of everything?  He is a GIANT DOG.  If he started going all dog-crazy, he could tear up a room full of bikers.  He's really the size of a bear.

2) The Scooby universe is actually quite depressing, in that every episode features some scene of economic ruin.  Abandoned fun parks, abandoned mansions, abandoned shipyards . . . basically, this show foresaw 2012 Detroit!

3) Here's a good idea--next time something mysterious and potentially dangerous is afoot, split into two groups--one group being the three semi-competent people, and the other group being the cowardly drug addict and the easily frightened dog.

4) The ghost (or other scary-apparition) always turns out to be the one new person that the gang meets at the beginning of the episode.  After hundreds of adventures, you'd think they'd just call the cops the minute they meet that old guy who runs the gas station, or the old lady who is the caretaker of the mansion, or the businessman who gives them directions from the highway.  It would save time!

5) In the second season, the show for some reason starts injecting musical numbers (basically, late '60s bubblegum music) during the chase scene.  And the music has nothing to do with chasing or being chased by ghosts--the lyrics are things like "all you need is to be a friend" and "love the world" and stuff like that.  It's almost Tarantino-esque.

6) Fun fact--the actual name "Scooby Doo" was added at the last minute by a TV executive, and came from the Sinatra song "Strangers in the Night"--near the end of that song, Sinatra scats "scooby doo be doo, doo doo doo doo....".

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