Friday, February 25, 2011

Nostalgia and Self-Loathing -- "Legends of the Superheroes"

It is the curse of Generation X. In our youth, we experienced some of the best pop culture entertainment ever produced. We grew up watching The Six Million Dollar Man, Starsky and Hutch (you can really tell the Michael Man Episodes), Kolchak the Night Stalker and reading Watchmen, The Killing Joke, Tim Truman's Scout, and the Giffen/Maguire/DeMatteis Justice League, Star Wars, The Terminator, and Tron.

We also had to endure the legacy of the ultra-camp "too hip to like pop culture" mentality of many Boomers. Case it point is the "Legends of the Superheroes" television special. Gen X kids loved the Super Friends cartoon, especially when the show added the Wonder Twins, so we eagerly begged our parents to let us watch the "Legends of the Superheroes" special when it aired.

After all, what could be better than a live action version of our favorite show?

Apparently, a kick in the face would have been better. The show was campy and awful, and the follow-up roast was a mockery of everything the kids loved about shows like Super Friends.

And yet...I still have this compulsion to buy and watch the special and relive the hopes that I had for the show, even as I re-experience the nightmare of its reality.

There must be some connection between nostalgia and self-loathing.

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