And I’m not talking about that 2007 crapfest either!
Continuing on with shows I dug as a lad, I bring you two of the awesomest shows in the history of televsion. These were not paired together in my original post, however you’ll see why I’ve decided to pair these lovebirds together in this one post in a bit. Sit backs, relax, and enjoy. Firsts up, my original thoughts on the show:
The Six Million Dollar Man: Lee Majors was, perhaps, the hottest man on television at the time. He was fine, athletic, smart. He was, and had, the whole package (insert snicker here). My folks created a gay monster that year by buying me the Six-Million Dollar Man doll for Christmas. It kind of creeped me out a little bit, because you could roll up the "skin" on his arm to expose his bionics. He had a hole in the back of his head so you could seeing amazingly far distances with his bionic eye. I can't tell you how many times my Six-Million Dollar Man and my G.I. Joe doll did "calisthenics" together to beef up their appearances.
The Bionic Woman: I loved Jamie Sommers. She had the cool bionic German Shepard too. That scar on her lip bugged the shit out of me, and watching the repeated nightmareish image of her skydiving accident every week definitely kept me from ever wanting to jump out of a plane. I was always jealous of her bionic ear (and the fact that she eventually nailed Steve Austin). For those of you who don’t know, I’m partially deaf in my left ear JUST LIKE JAMIE, so I would have LOVED to have her super-duper hearing.
Y’all just going to have to forgive me a minute while I queer out, okay. I mean, JUST LOOK at Lee Majors back then and you can see why I loved this show so much. Ladies, can I get an AMEN? When I was growing up in German, as previously mentioned, we didn’t have a television. But we did have record players. For those of you born AFTER 1980, records were little wax (or plastic) disc about 14 inches in diameter that you put on a rotating device, known as a “record player”. They were, sort of, similar to what people born between 1980 and 2000 commonly referred to as a “CD”, and what people born after 2000 now call an MP3. Anywhoodle. My folks bought me the Six Million Dollar Man album, which I STILL HAVE to this day. Yeah, BE JEALOUS. For those of you who are wondering if it was an album of Steve Austin’s dance hits, STEP OFF! They were like recorded episodes of the show…ON ALBUM (or CD…or MP3…or what ever language you understand). Although there were only two episodes on this album, I would listen to it FOR.HOURS.ON.END. Oh my god, did I love The Six Million Dollar man. AND, as mentioned in my opening above, my folks also bought me the Six Million Dollar Man doll. (HUH! Now that I think about it, maybe it IS nurture vs. nature!) LOVED Lee Majors. Loved Steve Austin. LOVED the Six Million Dollar Man. I mean, JUST LOOK AT HIM! [faints]
Confused by my placement??? Don’t be. It'll all make sense in a bit. Lindsay Wagner played Jaime Sommers. She initially started off in a 2-episode arc of TSMDM in the second season. While Steve Austin was visiting his family in Ojai, California (Incidentally, the town where Brothers & Sisters takes place!) he runs across his old flame, Jaimes. They hook up, do the horizontal mambo, reconnect. She goes diving, foolishly, out of a perfectly good airplane and crashes into a bush and gets broked up real good. Steve, thinking with his little head, convinces his good pal (and personal surgeon) to put her back together again like he did for him. And Rudy does. But you know how chicks ALWAYS have to mess EVERYTHING UP…Jaime’s bionics aren’t functioning properly, then she develops a brain clot, and dies…in Steve’s arms…leaving him lonely and broken up…again. But the fans didn’t like that. They really dug Jaime, they really dug the love fest between the two characters. So the next season they bring Jaime BACK TO LIFE (gotta love television, eh?!?) and give her her own series.
Richard Anderson was one of two actors that played on both series simultaneously. (I’m not sure if this was the first series that did this…had characters from one show on another show at same time both shows were on the air. I DO know that they were the first two actors to play the same characters on two different shows on two different NETWORKS.) He played “Oscar Goldman” who was a good friend and confidant (and OSI director) to Steve Austin on TSMDM and Jaime’s boss on TBW. He, apparently, was good enough to keep the secret from his “good friend” that his good friend’s love interest was ALIVE AND WELL AND NOT DEAD. With friends like him folks, for reals.
Martin Brooks is the only actor in the history of television actors that actually looks younger today than he did in 1976. I don’t know how he did it…perhaps he cryogenically froze himself? Yeah, so this was Dr. Rudy Wells, the man. He was the original conflicted surgeon (although…not actually the “original”, cuz there were TWO other “Rudy”s before him. But he trade marked that “I’m very concerned about your health and emotional well-being” look that he’s famous for. A/K/A “Bedside manner”.
Now, I should point out that The Six Million Dollar Man ORIGINALLY started off as a television movie. In fact, there were THREE movies prior to the launch of the weekly television show about the “Cyborg”, Steve Austin. Additionally, after the show(s) simultaneously went off the air in 1978 three sequels spun off featuring both bionic characters (AND Rudy and Oscar). The Return of the $6 Million Dollar Man and the Bionic Woman (1987) in which Jaime helps train Steve’s newly bionic son (which was NEVER mentioned in the series); The Bionic Showdown (1989) which introduced a virtually unknown Sandra Bullock (who, incidentally owns a restaurant a half-block from my office FYI!) and featured Steve Austin’s son as an agent of OSI (wait…wasn’t he…BIONIC?); and the worst made-for-t.v.-movie EVER, Bionic Ever After (1994) in which both actors agents should be shot in the forehead for forwarding the scripts. Seriously? This movie sucked. When Jaime got bionic AIDS and her bionics started shutting down I actually muttered, “Good riddance”. I think the show actually said she had “A COMPUTER VIRUS”! And that was before “computer virus” was part of our daily lexicon! By that point Lee Majors had gained a gut and lost a substantial amount of hair (and sex appeal), and it was just tragic to see a 65 year old Lindsay Wagoner slow.motion.lift A TENNIS BALL because her bionics were failing. I cried out to my television, “PLEASE DON’T MAKE ANOTHER SEQUEL. PLEASE JUST LEAVE IT AS IT WAS…”
Real quick, to finish here, in addition to the dolls I had, mentioned above, I have very specific memories of my sister having the Bionic Woman Lunchbox:
And HOW SUPER AWESOME was Maximillion, THE BIONIC DOG!
And how much MORE awesome was the greatest television villain EVER in the history of television villains? THE ARMY OF FEMBOTS?!?
Uhhhhhhhhm, YEAH, THIS was the greatest show EVER!