Saturday, October 28, 2017

Saturday Morning Cult-TV Blogging: The Bugaloos: "The Good Old Days"

In “The Good Old Days,” Benita Bizarre (Martha Raye) buys Tranquility Forest and evicts the Bugaloos.  She wants to put up a taco stand where they live. 

Unfortunately, the Bugaloos have little alternative but to leave since, according to Benita, everything is “bought and paid for.”

They realize, however, that Joy (Caroline Ellis) can pretend to by a gypsy, and “curse” Benita unless she gives them back their home.  They proceed with this plan, after finding a crystal ball.  “You will be cursed three times,” Joy tells her, warning Benita that for the final curse, her jukebox will explode.

Encountering the carefully-engineered first two curses (an “unexpected trip” and “the shock of your life”), Benita agrees to give the Bugaloos back their land.

“The Good Old Days” is the final episode of the Sid and Marty Krofft Saturday morning series, The Bugaloos, and it also happens to be a clips show.  The episode flashes back on several occasions to show previous adventures, as the Bugaloos reminisce, upon leaving Tranquility Forest.

Adding insult to injury, the series culminates with a rerun song, instead of a new composition. Once more, “For a Friend” is featured.

I suggest, only half-snarkily perhaps, that a more surprising ending would have seen Benita keeping the forest, and evicting the Bugaloos permanently.  Imagine how that ending would have shocked kids. For fifteen weeks, Benita got defeated. 

Then, in the final episode of the series, she would have won. That would have made the series a legend, no?

In terms of the series overall, The Bugaloos is pretty enjoyable. It doesn’t possess either the extreme highs or extreme lows of Lidsville (1972), for example. It’s more straightforward, and less spiky, but the series is also more coherent than its brethren.

I watched Lidsville and The Bugaloos with my on Joel, and his assertion, at this juncture, is that The Bugaloos is a better series, simply because it wasn’t “completely insane,” (his description of Lidsville).  That might be true.  

However, Lidsville does feature the great CNR. Martha Raye does solid work here as Benita, but Hoo Doo remains a bit more memorable, even if the series featuring him is crazy.

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