Saturday, December 27, 2014

Saturday Morning Cult-TV Blogging: BraveStarr: "The Good, the Bad and the Clumsy"

In the BraveStarr episode “The Good, the Bad and the Clumsy,” Fuzz is training a robot dog when Billy the Droid -- the most wanted criminal in the galaxy -- robs the Fort Kerium Bank.

BraveStarr, Thirty-Thirty and Fuzz intervene during the unfolding of the crime, but Fuzz is held hostage by Billy the Droid, and the criminal is able to escape custody. 

Embarrassed by the situation, the little Prairie Person determines to bring the villain to justice…and he must also deal with Skuzz, who is also Billy the Droid’s captive...

“The Good, the Bad, and the Clumsy” -- besides being named after a Clint Eastwood spaghetti western -- is an episode all about the fact that Buzz loses his “confidence” after being held hostage by a criminal. And, in the final analysis, he’s the only one who can restore it. 

As BraveStarr notes “sometimes words aren’t enough.” The good marshal remembers a kayaking trip from his youth in which the Shaman showed him trust, in particular. He allowed him to navigate the kayak through choppy waters as a demonstration of his confidence in the boy.

That’s a nice message to convey to the kiddies (and this is a kid’s show), but once more, too much Fuzz and Skuzz gums up the works. 

 Both Fuzz and the other Prairie people add an element of camp, or juvenalia to the proceedings, and it becomes difficult to take the universe of BraveStarr seriously. 

The characters look silly. They sound silly.  And they act silly. 

No self-respecting kid wants to be stuck in a story with these characters a moment more than necessary. There's so much that is interesting about BraveStarr's world, both in terms of the visualizations and the universe itself. It seems a shame that so many stories focus on these goofy sidekick characters.

The terribly-named Billy the Droid is not really a great villain, either. He has a robot body, a humanoid face, and a weird tentacle with metal claw that shoots out of his torso.  If he’s a droid, who built him, and why? 

Billy the Cyborg -- the survivor of one too many gunfights perhaps -- might have been a better designation for him.

Next week: “Wild Child.”

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