Wednesday, December 03, 2008

Ork Ork Ork

We've been watching old "Mork and Mindys" lately.

I don't know why I say old ones, as if there were a new one; though there probably eventually will be, what with the ongoing trend of remaking favorites from decades past into new TV series or movies. Which reminds me! I never did see the new Get Smart. But I think Zooey Deschanel might have made a better 99.

Anyway, they're fun to watch, and not just because whenever they show the outdoor shot of the house I am reminded of my friend Billy. The overall premise is an interesting snapshot of its time: Mindy's dad is totally freaked out that she has a guy move in with her, and keeps on being freaked out even when she reveals that Mork comes from another planet and sleeps hanging upside down in the closet.

That might actually constitute reasonable cause for freaking out, even in Boulder, I guess. But Mindy's dad doesn't really care about that. He's still freaking out because they are living together, unmarried. Various early plot devices (I haven't got very far into the series yet) center around old high school friends of Mindy's trying to steal her "boyfriend," and the difficulty she has getting dates when guys find out there's a man on the premises. Does it ever even occur to her to tell anybody they're just roommates? That's legitimate enough. Why doesn't she just tell her suitors Mork is gay? He wears rainbow suspenders, for God's sake. She shouldn't even have to say anything.

That said, it's actually a reasonably funny show, and I can remember how completely off-the-wall it was for its time. Remember, this was an era when we were all supposed to believe that ring-around-the-collar was the worst social calamity that could ever befall you, and that Sara Tucker put big globs of Cool Whip on her pies at what was supposed to be a good restaurant.*

It's kind of weird how badly Robin Williams cheesed out as he got older, though. Did he have to? Do we all have to? Sometimes it looks that way, but then I remember that I know lots of older people who didn't: my maternal grandmother, for one, I always thought was very cool, except for a brief period in the early nineties when she really liked Dan Quayle. But nobody's perfect.

As I recall - and we haven't gotten there yet - Mork and Mindy did eventually hook up, and have a baby in the form of Jonathan Winters. And if that doesn't teach you about the perils of living together before marriage, I'd like to know what does?

*100% stolen from Dave Barry, who was also well ahead of his time.

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At December 03, 2008 10:44 PM, Blogger Tommy Korioth said...

I think M&Mindy jumped the shark with Jonathan Winters the same time Happy Days jumped the shark. Anyway, word on the street is Williams hated the role toward the end and was coked out of his mind during the last season. But I have to admit, it was funny.

An another note: Barbara Feldon might actually be Zooey Deschanel if she was suddenly younger. Zooey may be a better 98, but I don't think she measures up to agent 99 status.


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