Saturday, May 06, 2017

Saturday Morning Cult-TV Blogging: Lidsville: "Mark and the Beanstalk"

Weenie (Billie Hayes) materializes a magic bean while attempting to help Mark (Butch Patrick) escape from Lidsville. The bean sprouts a bean stalk stretching high into the sky, and Mark attempts to climb it.

Hoo-Doo (Charles Nelson Reilly), however, intercepts the young man and decides that he wants to see the real world for himself.  

Hoo-Doo decides to climb the bean-stalk, and enter the world beyond.

A fascinating event occurs in this week’s episode of Lidsville (1971-1973). Hoo-Doo climbs a giant bean-stalk and leaves the “World of Hats.”  

What does he see as he reaches the brim of the hat?  New York City!

In particular, we see an aerial view of the city, and The Empire State Building.  So now we know that there is a way to escape Lidsville. Furthermore, we know where Mark would end up upon leaving: The Big Apple.

Unfortunately, after introducing this successful escape route, Lidsville proceeds to ignore it in upcoming episodes.

Another intriguing aspect of the series follows-up on matters I have written about before. In particular, Hoo-Doo is not just a typical bad guy, but an evil landlord of sorts, one beholden to a bureaucracy. 

This week, he complains that he has gone bankrupt because the “dead beats” of Lidsville haven’t paid their back taxes. He climbs the bean-stalk, in fact, to find Mark’s parents and blackmail them regarding their son's future.  If they pay him, he will release the boy.

Once more, the specter of taxpaying is specifically raised. This is the third time in the series it’s happened.  But on the other hand, Hoo-Doo never again attempts this particular plan to earn more cash.

Next week: “Turn in Your Turban, You’re Through.”

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