Saturday, April 04, 2015

Saturday Morning Cult-TV Blogging: The Secrets of Isis: "Funny Gal" (November 22, 1975)

In “Funny Gal” an episode of The Secrets of Isis (1975 - 1976), an overweight young woman, Carrie Anson (Sandra Vacey), hides behind humor to cloak her feelings of insecurity.  

A friend of hers attempts to launch a campaign to make her student council president, but Carrie messes it up with her self-deprecating, silly sense of humor.

In one last ditch attempt to win, Carrie makes a scene. She steels Rick’s boat, the Star Tracker, and heads out to sea, just as a deadly storm moves in.  Quickly, Carrie becomes stranded....

Realizing that she can’t both stop the storm and recover the boat at the same time, Isis (Joanna Cameron) seeks the assistance of a superhero friend: Captain Marvel (John Davey).

It’s a cross-over episode of Isis!  

Here, our remarkable Andrea Thomas, secretly an Egyptian Goddess, summons Captain Marvel of the sibling Filmation series, Shazam!, to help out in a pinch.  It’s undeniably fun to see the two superheroes join up, even for a time, though the excuse is pretty lame.  Isis has handled tougher situations than this alone before, for certain.

But still, any excuse to get Captain Marvel and Isis together is fine with me.  As a child, I remember watching this episode, and loving the team-up, despite the general lameness of the affair.  Here, Tut --the crow -- goes, on Isis’s orders, to find the good captain.

Our message of the week here in "Funny Gal" is that you can’t love others until you really learn to yourself, and it proverb is applied to a girl named Carrie at high school (no, not that Carrie!). Isis reminds Carrie that she is worthy of being love for many reasons, including her mind and her sense of humor.

Also interesting here is the conclusion of the episode, which finds Rick “comparing” meek Mrs. Thomas to mighty Isis, and finding her wanting.  Andrea shoots back that maybe she should compare Rick to Captain Marvel, and see how he likes it. Zing!

That’s an exceedingly good point and it gets at, in a humorous fashion, the way that our culture is particularly hard on women for their looks, and not nearly so tough on men.  

Alas, it's a shame the episode doesn't get at another key point.  Carrie isn't fat, or even overweight at all.  It would be nice if someone stated that fact flat out.

Next week, the atrociously-titled "Girl Driver."

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