Saturday, July 12, 2008

From the Top of My Brain

I'm usually not the type to hold a grudge, not because I'm necessarily all that forgiving, but because I have a short memory. I tend to forget the details of movies I've seen after a few years, who guest-starred on a series, even if I've seen that episode a couple of times, and I'm forever rediscovering roles an actor or actress has done, no matter how many times I check their IMDB profile. But then there are things I never forget, even if I've only encountered them once, and they still filter to the top of my brain from time to time. One such thing came to mind today, something that I encountered only once, back so long I can't even place it (I'm guessing sometime after 1993 but before 1996), and I can't even remember the proper title (I refer to it as Colby 6, but it has a real title). The reason I still remember it to this day is the sheer level of annoyance I get whenever I think about it. The reason it annoys me: the absolute idiocy of the plot.
First, a little background on the Colby series: back in the 80's and I guess early 90's, there was a series of cassettes (and LPs, too, but I never saw them for sale anywhere) focused on the exploits of a group of kids and Colby, who was technically a musical computer, but designed more like a robot, including rollerskates. This was a christian series, so every cassette focused on a biblical lesson of some sort. And lots of singing. I only owned two of the tapes (the first one and Save Colby's Clubhouse, although I'm not sure where it falls in the series, and Wikipedia only mentions the TV series, which I never watched, although I was aware of its existance), but I heard Colby 6 as a sampler at a christian bookstore back in the day. From what I recall, the plot goes a little something like this:
The kids and Colby are going to Winter Camp (already a dumb premise), and one of the kids, a girl, is singled out as a bookworm, more interested in reading than actually camping. Once the kids arrive at the camp, there are apparently no adults (this part only started to annoy me more recently; I didn't even register it when I was younger), and all the food is still on the now-departed bus. So the kids sing a song about how hungry they are that I still half remember to this day. They try various things to get food, including ice fishing, but one kid falls through the ice! Fortunately, the bookworm girl read about how to save people who fell through ice and the kids rescue the other kid. And it turns out the food wasn't on the bus at all, but the bookworm girl put it someplace and apparently didn't hear the other kids talking about how the food was gone and where will they get more because she was too busy reading!! And the kids cheer because now they have food, but nobody yells at her for creating the situation that caused other kid to fall in the ice in the first place! It's such an idiot plot that to this day I still get a tinge of rage when I think about it.
This also generally gets me thinking about other things that cause this level of annoyed rage in me, usually those Eggo Waffle commercials from last year or so where the Dad was always trying to get the daughter's waffles (or pancakes, depending on the product being pushed). Those commercials always rankled me because it shouldn't have been the dad, it should have been the brother! I mean, the dad probably bought the waffles in the first place, and therefore could have claimed a bite (which is what my dad did from time to time), or, being an adult, could have gotten some of his own. In other words, he outranks her, and should not have been the foil. It would have made much more sense if a brother, as an equal (as another kid if older), or a lesser (as a younger brother) to the girl, where the one to go after an extra share of waffles, right? I just get the feeling that ten years from now I'll still be recalling those commercials and the music that went with them, and still getting a tinge of rage all over again.

Also, I just want to say, unlike Colby 6, Save Colby's Clubhouse is awesome, not just because it features an actual villian (Inspector Persnickety, who wants to bulldoze the clubhouse, although not for capitalistic reasons, as one might think) with a snazzy villian song ("His name is Inspector Persnickety/And he inspects everything that he sees/He will point out each mistake/While he writes the rules he makes/--'And every clubhouse must be authorized by me!'"); it also features a female French robot who falls in love with Colby and sings a doo-wop song with the girls about "The Computer of My Dreams." (Really!) The actual conflict resolution is kind of lame, but the robots computers in love makes up for it.

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