18 October 2011

Wild Wild West

I really have no memories of probably my first 10 years of life. When I reflect back, I can remember vague things of the late 1960s, like the Great Chicago Blizzard of 1968, or bits of growing between the years my Dad died in July of '68 to the time my Mom married her second husband in 1971. But up until that second marriage, most of that time is gone, blocked out or whatever. From what I'm told by my mother, I was not the most difficult of her 4 children, but I'm sure I got into a lot of problems. Still, she has told me that I was a kid that she could leave alone for a few hours, in the corner, playing with my cars (one obsession I do remember having), creating (apparently) my own private world. As I got older in the early 70s, TV became an obsession for me, and my siblings. Sunday mornings were spent in front of the TV watching reruns of Westerns on WGN. There was The Cisco Kid, Rawhide, The Lone Ranger, and my personal favorite, The Wild Wild West. I loved that show then, and always wanted to be Artemus Gordon (Ross Martin), he of the disguises and gadget design. I also wanted to live in a train car with all the secret places that one had on TV. I was also, for reasons that I learned later in life, got excited when Jim West (Robert Conrad) would get shirtless. I mean, it was hard enough to understand how he moved in those tight pants, but that hairy chest fascinated me at the time. As I grew up, of course, the understanding of why I got excited for a shirtless Robert Conrad became clear. It was the same reason I loved reruns of Flipper and enjoyed watching Emma Peel kick ass in tight leather outfits, but always have fabulous hair and a cocktail at the end of near-death day. When they cast reunited for a TV movie in 1979, ten years after it ended, I was so excited that on that May evening it aired, I gave up playing baseball with my neighbor. When the show finally got released on DVD, I started to buy the season sets. Of course, in a lot of ways, I was stupid. I had hoped that after all four seasons of the show was out, they would release the two reunion movies. Well, they did, but only included in the Complete Series set, which to this day, pisses me off. I know WWW was hokey, and even Conrad has said that if you've seen 10 episodes of the show, you saw all their stories, but I still have a love for this show -the movie, which I've only seen fragments of, looked like shit. Apparently it was. And this opening credits is, for me, still one of the best.

1 comment:

Mike Ellis, The Jolly Reprobate said...

I totally get this. I was a bit crazy about the WILD WILD WEST as a kid, and I was the only one I knew who thought Artemus Gordon was cooler than Jim West.