Saturday, January 17, 2015

Saturday Morning Cult-TV Blogging: Korg 70,000 B.C.: "The Picture Maker"

In “The Picture Maker,” Korg and his family rescue a mute boy, Moon, while out hunting.  

Although Moon is unable to speak, he can communicate by drawing pictures in the sand with a stick. 

To Korg and his family, this seems like a magical -- and useful -- gift.

However, Moon’s family comes looking for him. He has shown cowardice during his first hunt, and if he can’t hunt, he can’t eat.  And if he can’t eat, he will die. The men in his family refuse to hunt for him any more.

Korg (Jim Malinda) and Mara (Naomi Pollack) attempt to convince Moon’s family that he has other gifts of value, beyond hunting, particularly his ability to communicate by drawing.

“The Picture Maker” is a sort of new template for Korg 70,000 B.C. Future stories, including “The Ancient One” and “The Story of Lumi” follow the same pattern that unfolds here.  Basically, a stranger is welcomed into the Korg family, despite the scarcity of resources (food and water).  But that person, despite being an extra mouth to feed, reveals that he or she has virtues, and can contribute something important to the family. 

When the visitor’s family of origin arrives to take the visitor away, Korg and his family attempt to impart this lesson to the other group.

It’s not a bad template, for certain, but it is repetitive.  This week, we meet Moon, a boy who can’t talk or hunt, but can draw.  Next week, it’s Lar, a dying old man who can’t physically hunt, but can share his hunting experience for the good of the community. 

Although I like the message, and it is important to recall that the series is designed for children of the 1970s, it is a little jarring to hear a Neanderthal women tell a rival tribes-people that “there are other meanings to life besides hunting.”  I just don’t believe that the world we have seen depicted in the series so far – a world of extreme fear and ignorance, often – would have such an enlightened point of view.  Many people today still don’t have that enlightened point of view, and try to put people into boxes.  But here is Korg 70,000 B.C., preaching cave man tolerance.

As I said, I like and appreciate the message (and in fact, agree with it), but it’s hard to swallow this moral lesson coming from these characters who, on several occasions, have gone into full blown panic attacks (not to mention catatonic paralysis…) because they don’t understand how the world works.

Next week: “The Ancient One.”

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