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Discussion in 'THE AIGBURTH ARMS' started by Paul Taylor, Dec 11, 2017.
Whenever I think of surreal TV, two countries come to mind, the UK and the US
I MAY have heard of it, the H.R. PuffNStuff thing sounds familiar...... but as for watching it nope. Those years,the 70's, I had way too many things going on to watch TV. Especially a children's show.
I have absolutely no idea what "Peppermint Park" is or was.
It's murderous, maniacal, messed up, and maleficent
You know that bit in Terminator 2, where Sarah Connor
encounters ol Arnie in the hospital, skids to the floor and tries to escape
? That's me after seeing that character. Only now I've dived into the laundry basket and it's rattling ominously...
The last two clips @neilold frankincense and myrrh posted has left the laundry basket levitating and trying to escape!
Now now....... you can come back to earth anytime, the scary part is over.
That puppet in the letter m clip of peppermint park sound like emo Phillips more psychotic evil twin
I think the production values certainly play a part. Puppets and sets were more ropy; picture quality was worse; voice actors were more amateurish, and sounded more eerily monotonous. Synth music was (presumably?) cheaper than live musicians, and I guess bad musicians were cheaper than good ones, so you ended up with a lot of weird or inappropriate synth music.
Some later shows have equally weird subject matter, but they don't seem as warped because they look crisp, clear and professional. Imagine Tellytubbies done with 80s style production values. It would be pretty terrifying!
I think JMC is right, production values played a big part of it.
I’d also point to where the ‘talent’ was coming from back then, compared to now. You look at 70’s and early 80’s kids shows and you find yourself looking at a load of incredibly theatrical, flare-clad, long-haired, hippy-dippy types; slouching towards their 30’s and still coming down from all the acid they’d dropped at stage-school a decade earlier.
I defy anyone to say my favourite programme, Jamie and his magic torch, is in any way trippy!!!!
Seriously though, the trippy/druggy angle is played up. There were unusual kids programs way before acid, and they were unusual nursery rhymes and artists pictures accompanying then, way before that. You can't just assume that everything surreal is seemingly down to drugs or absinthe. Kids programs are supposed to be abstract, or brightly coloured, or have unusual characters. That's what makes them memorable to children
Yes, I think it's best to take my 'acid trip' comment at the end as playful flippancy to be honest Neilold, I'm certainly not subscribing to the "LOL what WERE they smoking?!" school of pub-banter I assure you.
The actual point I was making was that the crop of performers and artistes that were creating children's television from the mid 70's to the early 80's (recognizably the era most associated with especially weird and unsettling output within that field) were the 20/30 somethings who had (a) come to it from a theatrical/drama/art school background (as that was the main entry point then) and (b) themselves come of age at the height of psychedelia, counterculture and artistic experimentation.
Along with being just downright bizarre, the work at that time also has a relentlessly depressing and nihilistic undercurrent to it - which we often see with work that is created a decade after a huge cultural movement that has kind of fizzled out and basically turned into a big bad hangover.
Fair point. You also have to remember that the seventies and eighties were very depressing times in general for many also. Three day week, power cuts, crime, strikes, lack of money, unemployment and lousy living conditions were rife throughout the nation as a whole. Regarding the drugs point, it was at its peak a lot more in the sixties, regarding its effect on counterculture, especially in music. Drugs themselves tended to dissapear in the seventies into the discos and then reappeared everywhere as coke mania in the eighties