Saturday, October 27, 2012
Saturday Morning Cult-TV Blogging: Land of the Lost: "Nice Day" (November 1, 1975)
Or perhaps, “Gone Fishin.’”
It’s an easy-going half-hour, and nothing of tremendous import happens in it. On one hand, it’s always nice to take a break from impending disaster and destruction, but on the other hand, one might question why this Land of the Lost story, by Dick Morgan, was selected for filming. It’s not a tale that needed to be told.
In “Nice Day,” Will (Wesley Eure) builds a fishing pole and goes fishing, while Marshall (Spencer Milligan) builds and tests a cage for catching pigs. Meanwhile, Holly (Kathy Coleman) gathers the ingredients for her Smilax cakes, and prepares them for dinner. At one point, Holly falls victim to the poison of a weird Venus Fly Trap-type plant, but then she recovers on her own, with no medical intervention.
The episode, directed by Gordon Wiles, does feature some more ritual humiliation of Ta (Scutter McKay), an element of “The Test” and “The Pylon Express” as well, and also showcases once more, alas, the sexist side of the Land of the Lost. In particular, Will doesn’t want Holly to accompany him fishing.
At first, you might think he just wants to be alone. Which is fine, of course. Bu then Will goes out of his way to invite Chaka (Philip Paley) to join him on his excursion.
So, having a girl around is less preferable to a stinky missing-link creature? It’s best not to consider the thinking there too closely. Holly is further down the totem pole than a half-evolved man-beast?
A not particularly scintillating installment, “Nice Day” also features a lesson about hunting, delivered by Rick to Holly “You should never kill more than you can eat,” he instructs. It’s a good moral lesson, to be certain, but delivered in an episode with no driving urgency, or reason for being. The lesson doesn’t really play into the narrative, except as a way to further humiliate Ta.
All in all, “Nice Day” may be nice, but it’s a thoroughly undistinguished entry in the Land of the Lost canon. In short, it’s a waste of a week in a series where anything in the (pocket) universe is possible.
Next week: “Baby Sitter“