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Monday, January 12, 2015

Back When the Future Was Innocent

I had a pretty stressful day at work today, so to wind down I decided to lose myself in pop culture. Not quite at random, I picked up my Buck Rogers in the 25th Century DVD set and watched a two-part episode from the show's first season: "The Plot to Kill a City."

It turned out to be a fortuitous choice. While no one would ever mistake Buck Rogers for high art, it was clearly produced with care and affection. These are simple stories of high adventure, entertainment aimed at children and young teens, heaps of fun for the young and the young at heart.

While the costumes, sets and special effects might seem primitive by today's standards, the creators did a remarkable job of building a believable future society within the limits of their time and budget. Yes, the show can be embarrassingly cheesy at moments - but it's also very earnest. I have a weakness for stories in which people of good character work together to solve problems, and this is exactly that sort of show. Despite taking place in a post-apocalyptic future, the series is optimistic, cheerful, and there's not a trace of cynicism to be found. It's the sort of approach that's rarely found in series television today, save, perhaps, New Girl.

So thank you, Glen A. Larson and the writers, actors and technicians who gave us two seasons of science fiction silliness and derring-do. It was definitely what I needed tonight. 

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