Saturday, March 18, 2017

Saturday Morning Cult-TV Blogging: Lidsville: "Show Me The Way to Go Home" (September 18, 1971)

In Lidsville’s (1971 - 1973) second episode, “Show Me The Way to Go Home,” the Colonel approaches Mark (Butch Patrick) with an old map that may show a way home to his world.  

Specifically, the map reveals a giant golden ladder stretching to the sky, a possible escape from Lidsville.

Mark, Weenie (Billie Hays) and the Colonel begin a safari through Sideburn Meadows to locate the giant golden ladder, but they encounter resistance in the Hair Forest.

Meanwhile, Hoo Doo wants to prevent Mark’s escape with his genie, and uses a new weapon -- Big Daddy -- to attack the innocent Hat People of Lidsville.  Big Daddy is a giant, inflatable version of Hoo Doo, one bent on crushing all hats!

Mark and the others see Big Daddy from a mountaintop on their journey, and realize they must abandon their search for the Golden Ladder and return home to save their friends.

“Show Me The Way to Go Home” is pretty much the same story as Lidsville’s first episode. An attempt is made to return Mark home, but the attempt is interrupted by Hoo-Doo, and abandoned (until next week!) 

I certainly hope that the map with the Golden Ladder will be remembered at some point, and Mark will attempt the trek again.

This doesn’t seem like something the character should forget exists, or is a possibility.

This episode also exposes, in some way, the thinness of the series premise.  Why does Hoo Doo want to prevent Mark from returning home?

One, Mark universally seems to foil his plans, and help the people of Lidsville.  So it seems it would be beneficial to send Mark packing, and return him home (or help him return home, as the case may be.)

Secondly, I understand why Hoo Doo wants his genie returned, but what does he care about keeping Mark, since Mark seems to possess no special powers?

This episode of Lidsville ends with a song and musical number about “ladders,” and how they exist everywhere, all over the world, and we must climb them. Perhaps not the best subject for someone seeking a ladder, and failing to find it.

Finally, this episode reveals some new regions of the land of hats, including the Sideburn Meadows, and the Hair Forest.  The Hair Forest has mobile trees with hair on branches, instead of leaves.  The trees look look like leftover costumes from H.R. Pufnstuf.

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